For May, we're heading back into an Intensification block, so we're going to put a hold on our "spicy" workouts."
Reminder: Intensification blocks focus on power, strength and speed. The primary focus of this strength block will be to simultaneously get everyone stronger and more explosive utilizing the complex training method.
Complexes: integrating eccentric strength training and explosive plyometrics.
Complex Training integrates strength training, plyometrics, and sometimes sport-specific movements. It consists of an intense strength exercise followed by a plyometric exercise. Strategically selecting explosive exercise to gain Post Activation Potentiation (PAP) is the driving force behind complex training.
What is Post Activation Potentiation?
The term Post Activation Potentiation (PAP) simply refers to an acute excitation of the neuromuscular system following some form of exercise (5RM Back Squat). This acute excitation has been shown to improve subsequent explosive performances such as the counter movement jump and sprint speed. The complex training method has been shown to improve jumping, sprinting, throwing, kicking and even change of direction speed performances.
Theoretical model representing the relationship between post activation potentiation (PAP) and fatigue regarding possible windows of enhanced performance
With complexes, we’re working to improve our eccentric strength and stay dynamic with explosive plyometrics.
This training is all about creating a shorter transition from the eccentric portion of a movement to the concentric portion of the movement. For this 4-week Strength block, here’s what our main movements will look like:
There is a concept in exercise physiology known as Strength Deficit. Which is the difference between concentric and eccentric strength. We are stronger eccentrically. But if we train with a concentric focus, we can close the gap. And when we decrease the gap between concentric and eccentric strength, our relative strength improves.
What is relative strength?
Relative strength is the amount of strength to body size, or how strong someone is compared to their size. This reflects a person’s ability to control or move their body through space, a vital trait in all athletics. All else being equal, smaller individuals have higher relative strength. This is why despite both athletes being in great condition, a 145-pound male with an equal absolute strength to a 180-pound male will apply greater relative forces into the ground and be able to sprint much faster .
The transition time between concentric and eccentric is also important. It impacts the force we can develop.
A faster change from eccentric to concentric yields a higher rate of force development. A more robust eccentric ability means you can generate higher concentric outputs. And as we look at strength deficit, a larger deficit means we will generate more power and be able to endure higher loads. You are about 1.5-2 times as strong eccentrically compared to concentrically. People reach their ceiling concentrically rather quickly. It is a naturally weaker contraction type. At near maximal loads, people can always lower the weight under control but will fail when they try to lift the weight concentrically.
A big reason to utilize eccentric training is this:
There is still a lot of potential energy to tap into if we shift focus from concentric to eccentric. Plus, by maintaining better positions, there is a decreased potential for injury. We have designed this training block this way because it is more sustainable, smarter, and gets a better ROI over a long-haul, especially those of you grinding through two-a-days for the #kingsistencychallenge.