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10 Steps to a great training Protocol

While going through some old notes, I came across a list of ten concepts that I learned as I was just starting in the game.  This list is a shorthand version of things that have helped me stay at the top of my game.  Simple and concise and truly believe that if followed will go a long way in helping you become the athlete you are working to be.

  1. Ground based activities:
    Sport skills are initiated by applying force with your feet against the ground. Choose conditioning drills and lifts that apply force with the feet against the ground such as squats and push presses. The more force you can apply against the ground, the faster you will run.
  2. Multiple joint Movements:
    Multi-joint movements improve your athletic performance as it pertains to generate explosive force.
  3. Three Dimensional Movements:
    Sport skills involve movements on three planes of space at the same time; forward-backward, up-down, side to side. This makes the transfer of strength and power easier to incorporate into the development of sport skill. An added benefit of free weights is they aid in preventing major joint injuries.
  4. Train explosively:
    Moten than not an athlete will get an improvement in their strength index due to the improvement in the ability of the central nervous system in the recruitment of motor nerves and all the muscle fibers it innervates. The more fibers a motor unit consists of the more force it can generate. The amount of force required for a given activity is regulated by the use of two different types of motor units found in the body, fast twitch and slow twitch. These factors combined mean a fast twitch can generate up to four times greater force than a slow twitch fiber.
  5. Progressive Overload:
    A crucial component in maximizing performance and keeping injuries to a minimum is the application of the load. Overload happens when the body responds to loads greater than normal. Volume and intensity are key factors used to progressively increase the volume. Increasing the weight and keeping reps low develops strength and power; whereas increasing the reps and keeping the weight low causes improvement in muscular size and endurance.
  6. Applying Periodization:
    Use varying combinations of volume and intensity to help translate different body responses.
  7. Split Protocol:
    This is geared for more advanced programs which alternate the type of movements performed on alternate days. Perform explosive lifts on Monday & Thursday and strength lifts on Tuesday & Friday. This split allows good recovery and rebuilding as well as at least two full days of recovery from each exercise.
  8. Hard-Easy System:
    You make greater progress over a longer period of time if you do not use heavy loads each training session. To avoid overtraining or mental burnout allow for one hard training session a week. The other days should be a little lighter.
  9. Train The Correct Energy System:
    For effective conditioning, training must occur at the same intensity and duration that is used during competition in order to develop the proper system predominately used, this means no long distance running for athletes in power sports like football, basketball, baseball, tennis golf, tennis, ice hockey, etc.
  10. Interval Training:
    Work should be followed by a prescribed rest interval. The program must meet specific conditions for each sport. If the rest interval is too short, the amount of energy is not sufficient to meet the demands of the next maximum intensity effort, thereby reducing force output.