Cadbury & Contrasts

Sorry for another long break between posts – but I am FINALLY back to normal after one hell of a sickness. I hope you all had a great Easter for those who celebrate, and don’t beat yourself up if you ate one too many cadbury creme eggs – they’re worth it. 😉

yum

Along similar lines of this ballistic training stuff I’ve been talking about, I thought I’d talk about something we incorporate into a lot of our workouts.  “Contrast sets” are something most people are familiar with, but many don’t know how to program correctly.  They’re ideal for bridging the gap between strength & power, and they help the neuromuscular system fire key muscle fibers despite fatigue. They’re killer, and there are a lot of different combinations you can use to achieve optimal results.

Contrast training essentially takes the same movement pattern and muscle groups for 2 exercises but varies the speed and intensity in the same set.  An example of this is seen when a lifter performs a barbell back squat followed immediately by box jumps.  The recommended reps can fall anywhere between 5-10, depending on the goal, but for athletes trying to achieve explosive power under fatigue, they want to stick to the 5-6 range.  Time under tension is important here, and using any more than those 6 reps during the strength movement will push away from the proper metabolic response.  It is also key to use enough weight to elicit a STRENGTH response, because too light will defeat the purpose.  Shooting for 85%-90% 1RM (for a seasoned lifter) is the goal.

When it comes to programming these, if you are using a TRUE contrast set in the proper % of 1RM, it is important to put them at the beginning.  They are very neurologically demanding & require the most amount of energy.  Usually picking 1 or 2 exercises to contrast per workout is sufficient.

Nick Tumminello has a great article with more examples on contrast training HERE – I don’t want to copy any of his stuff, so check it out.  He also provides great examples for just about every movement.

I tend to use front squats & lateral jumps the most, but I’ve tried a lot of the ones Nick suggests.  Anyone use contrast training in their programs?

Advertisements

About sten06

Master's in Kinesiology: Strength & Conditioning BSed in Exercise physiology -NSCA CSCS -NASM CPT, PES -Varsity Lacrosse Coach Saving the world one workout at a time ;)

Posted on April 10, 2012, in Fitness, Lacrosse, Strength & Conditioning, Training and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I have to admit, I’ve never done this in my own training. It does seem like something that I would like to add into my own program sometimes, if for nothing else, to get a little “neuromuscular kick” so to speak (if I even make sense). It seems like it would be helpful for those times when I begin to feel a little stale with certain lifts? Also, I’m glad you’re back on the blog, and glad you’re feeling better!! (Oh, and the cadbury creme eggs got me… WHY are they so good?!?)

    • It definitely helps with staleness & to bust plateaus. You should try it!! Plus its just a change from the routine 🙂 … yesss i’m happy to be back too! i was down & out for a good two weeks but much better now. i’m pretty sure the cadbury eggs healed me… they’re magic, i swear.

  2. Sable@SquatLikeALady

    I’ve never used contrast sets! I don’t think Max has either – at least I’ve never seen him. He prefers drop sets and rest pause sets. I hate all of those things. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: