Rationale on why it is important not taking a “forced break” from sports performance training:
- Preserving strength: Strength is the ability of the muscle to produce and exert force or torque at a specified or determined velocity 1. Strength is the basis of all underlying and essential part of increasing sport performance adaptations 2. Strength does not guarantee that the athlete will be able to produce an increased amount of explosive power. Conversely, the stronger an athlete is, there is an increased potential for the athlete to become improve force and velocity qualities.
- Maintenance of explosive power development: Power is defined as a work per unit of time [force x distance/time]. Velocity is defined as [distance/time], meaning that power can further be defined as (force x velocity) 3. Time is an essential element when training for explosive power. Rate of force development (RFD) can be defined as the rate at which at which strength increases. It is the most important trainable neural adaptation for athletes 4.
- Muscle Hypertrophy: Hypertrophy is the enlargement of a specific tissue or organ of in the body. When referencing hypertrophy, we usually are referring to the cross sectional size of the muscle tissues. To achieve muscular hypertrophy or lean body mass, larger training volumes are need to achieve this training adaptation 5.
- Endurance/Conditioning: Endurance is the ability to resist fatigue, or produce work for an extended period of time. Muscular endurance is the ability of the skeletal tissue to perform repeated contractions over time 6. Furthermore, increasing muscular endurance has been shown to result in a positive transfer to cardiovascular and aerobic endurance (conditioning) 7. Generally training for endurance adaptations requires lower intensities, accompanied by lower volumes unlike training for strength and power development.
Due to the current health situation, it is imperative that we all do our part in staying home and practice social distancing. This doesn’t mean that your progress is lost or the social aspect of training needs to deteriorate. The workouts may look a little different for the next few weeks, but we have and will continue to develop training templates for you. The goal while we are apart is to prevent the above listed training adaptations to decay over time while we are not in the gym. We want you to be aware of the theory of “use it or lose it”, it applies here. The theory refers to the principles of brain plasticity, meaning that the brain will change physically, chemically, and functionally as you gain skills. This theory also applies when skills are not being used, you lose them. Training to increase physical qualities of increasing sport performance are skills you have acquired no matter the length of time you have been with Zelos Athletics. We are here for you guys throughout this whole process. Please feel free to reach out to for help with anything. Be safe!
- Knuttgen HG, Kraemer WJ. Terminology and measurement in exercise performance. J Appl Sport Sci Res. 1987;1:1-10.
- Kraemer WJ. Involvement of eccentric muscle action may optimize adaptations to resistance training. Sport Sci Exchange. 1992;4(41):230-238.
- Siff MC, Verkoshansky YV. Supertraining. 4th ed. Denver, CO: Supertraining International; 1999.
- Clark MA. Integrated Training for the New Millennium. Thousand Oaks, CA: National Academy of Sports Medicine; 2001.
- Fleck SJ, Kraemer WJ. Designing Resistance Training Programs. 3rd ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2004.
- McCardle WD, Katch FI, Katch VI. Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance. 4th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins :1996
- Stowers T, McMillian J, Scala D, et al. The short-term effects of three different strength-power training methods. NSCA J. 1983;5:24-27
This isn’t the first time you’ve heard this from anyone here, but in case you wanted more proof that playing multiple sports can help you develop into a better athlete, check out what Patrick Mahomes’ High School Football Coach said about him!
Jumping tasks, whether they are vertical or horizontal, should be included regularly in strength and conditioning programs. Jumps are part of a larger skill set needed to be successful in sport competitions. In some instances, the ability to jump higher or farther than another competitor will determine who wins the competition, while the repetitive nature of jumping tasks in other sports does not determine the winner. In team sports, jumping tasks may be used during rebounding in basketball, spiking/blocking in volleyball, diving in baseball, etc. While impulse may ultimately determine the jumping performance of an individual , distinct force-time characteristics may determine the spike and magnitude of the impulse created [1,2]. Greater maximal muscular strength may modify the force-time characteristics of an individual. Speciﬁcally, increasing maximal muscular strength achieved through resistance training can alter both peak performance variables as well as the shape of the force-time curve [3-6].
- Garhammer J, Gregor R. Propulsion forces as a function of intensity for weightlifting and vertical jumping. J Strength CondRes. 1992;6(3):129–34
- Sole CJ. Analysis of countermovement vertical jump force-time curve phase characteristics in athletes [Doctoral Dissertation].Digital Commons: East Tennessee State University; 2015.T. J. Suchomel et al.123
- Mizuguchi S. Net impulse and net impulse characteristics in vertical jumping: East Tennessee State University; 2012.
- Cormie P, McGuigan MR, Newton RU. Adaptations in athletic performance after ballistic power versus strength training. MedSci Sports Exerc. 2010;42(8):1582–98
- Cormie P, McBride JM, McCaulley GO. Power-time, force-time, and velocity-time curve analysis of the countermovement jump: impact of training. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(1):177–86
- Cormie P, McGuigan MR, Newton RU. Changes in the eccentric phase contribute to improved stretch-shorten cycle performance after training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;42(9):1731–44.
There is previous literature that has examined the influence of muscular strength on various factors associated with athletic performance and the benefits of achieving greater muscular strength. Greater muscular strength is strongly associated with improved forcetime characteristics that contribute to an athlete’s overall performance. Much research supports the notion that greater muscular strength can enhance the ability to perform general sport skills such as jumping, sprinting, and change of direction tasks. Further research indicates that stronger athletes produce superior performances during sport specific tasks. Greater muscular strength allows an individual to potentiate earlier and to a greater extent, but also decreases the risk of injury. Sport scientists and practitioners may monitor an individual’s strength characteristics using isometric, dynamic, and reactive strength tests and variables. Relative strength may be classified into strength deficit, strength association, or strength reserve phases. The phase an individual falls into may directly affect their level of performance or training emphasis.
Based on the extanted literature, it appears that there may be no substitute for greater muscular strength when it comes to improving an individual’s performance across a wide range of both general and sport specific skills while simultaneously reducing their risk of injury when performing these skills. Therefore, sport scientists and practitioners should implement long-term training strategies that promote the greatest muscular strength within the required context of each sport/event. Future research should examine how force-time characteristics, general and specific sport skills, potentiation ability, and injury rates change as individuals transition from certain standards or the suggested phases of strength to another.
Suchomel, Timothy J., et al. “The Importance of Muscular Strength in Athletic Performance.” Sports Medicine, vol. 46, no. 10, Feb. 2016, pp. 1419–1449.
We prefer to utilize a variation of contrast training to elicit a higher level of explosive strength and reactiveness in the athletes that train here at Zelos Athletics. The method is designed to apply more stress on the athletes, provoking greater neurological and physiological adaptations to maximize explosive strength and speed. It works by performing a heavy, multi-jointed exercise followed by a plyometric movement that is biomechanically similar. A heavy set followed by an explosive exercise that is typically deloaded, meaning you can use assistance, or resist the jump. This combination of exercises that are paired together increases the amount of muscle fibers that are recruited to perform a movement, as well as the speed at which those fibers are recruited; bringing about potentiation. For example, the multi jointed lift can be a squat, followed by a box jump. This increases the speed at which your muscles can produce force; leading to an increase in the rate of force development the athlete can produce.