Over the course of training athletes will train for months in the off season to become stronger, faster, and more flexible. At some point in that training all athletes will hit a plateau and will fail to see any gains from their efforts. To break through those plateaus and continue to see the positive gains in the workouts an athlete must change the way they choose to train other than the traditional way.
Three ways to change an athletes workout is by variable resistance training, eccentric training, and overspeed training. By changing the method of training the muscle’s must react in a different manner to deal with the level of stress being applied to them at any given point.Traditional methods of weight lifting in athlete’s has shown great improvements, but those improvements only last for so long until the body has time to adapt to the load being applied and then fault the progress of the athlete. The first way of breaking through the plateau of training is by variable resistance training.
Variable Resistance Training is a modification on the traditional methods of training such as squats and bench press. By adding different resistance (weight) during different parts of a lifting phase, ways to add resistance is by adding heavy resistance bands or chains. Variable resistance can be applied in the first half of a repetition when the athlete is pulling the weight or on the second half of the repetition when the athlete is pushing the weight. The added resistance will give a jump start to an athletes body to make it utilize all of the strength that was gained by traditional training to deal with the resistance.
Eccentric training has been shown to have more returns of neuromuscular strength than in variable resistance training. This is done by adding a higher load as close to a maximal lift as possible to achieve the greatest results.
This process shows more results, but also greater side effects in muscle damage if not regulated properly. The athlete may have greater muscle soreness from these workouts than in any other type of workout. During the eccentric contraction we are trying to have the muscle in a contracted phase as the movement lengthens the body. An example is during a bicep curl weight would be added as the dumbbell is going back down.
Overspeed training is a type of training that will increase an athletes power rather than strength. Overspeed training is great for ballistic athletes’ that require high burst of power to overcome the situation in their sport. An example of this is attaching a bungie to an athlete at their waist and stretching the bungie to its longest length. Now their are two ways to the force can be applied to the athlete;one that will assist the athlete and one that will resist the movement of the athlete. By helping the athlete the body will recognize the additional pull to the body letting it use less energy to gain the distance. When resisting the athlete the body will recognize the extra force being applied and must add more power to overcome the resistance to complete the task.
Every athlete in training will sooner or later run into a plateau in their training. These are just some methods that are available to use to overcome and continue the growth of the athlete. Each athlete will have their own specific needs during their workout plan and would be adjusted accordingly to increase the maximal amount of productive programs possible. If you have any questions feel free to call, come in, or fill out a guest pass to help your athlete overcome their training plateau!