Overview of Race Phase Strength Programming (Quarter 3) February 19, 2021 17:33 Updated Follow Not signed in? Log into your Purple Patch account for full access to your education program for coaches and athletes. You need to sign in to view this page. The Quarter 3 strength training block will combine strength and efficiency while retaining some sharpening work at the top end. Coming off the high capacity work to increase the engine, we now create efficiencies and “raise the floor.” There will be three three-week cycles that repeat the same movements with a different focus each cycle. The goal is to master form while improving overall athleticism and power at end-ranges of motion. How This Will Look: CYCLE 1: Length: 3 weeks FOCUS: This cycle focuses on perfecting the movements of each exercise; you are training your body to execute these movements well. Focus on moving with the correct velocity each week which is the crucial week-over-week variable for this cycle. Your goal is to execute the key movements of the squat and deadlift while incorporating core stability with each superset. This cycle is equal parts neuromuscular adaptations and coordination. KEY MOVEMENTS: Squat (workout 1) Deadlift (workout 2) Core integration REASONS BEHIND MOVEMENTS: The squat and deadlift are fundamental movements for every athlete. The pairing of core integration establishes your body’s platform for athletic performance. The specific exercise choices accompanied by slow, controlled coordination of movements unlocks ‘blind spots’ in your brain's movement mapping. Essentially, the combination creates a more complete brain/body connection for power development. CYCLE 2: Length: 3 weeks FOCUS: Cycle 2 changes a single variable -- load. The exercises and the movements do not change, but instead the total volume of load changes. This can be done in one of 3 ways: 1) increasing weight, 2) increasing repetitions or 3) increasing time in the eccentric phase. Choose which variable is more appropriate for you as an athlete: You are a seasoned lifter and prepared for the added load (and have found success in heavy lifting in the past). You are new to strength training. You have not found as much adaptive success in weight training in the past. KEY MOVEMENTS Squat (workout 1) Deadlift (workout 2) Core integration REASONS BEHIND MOVEMENTS: The idea behind Cycle 2 is to create a more targeted strength and power adaptation. You won’t change the movements because they are all fundamental to your athletic success, but your body has started to engrain the movement patterns which allows you to effectively add load on top of good form. This simple addition of load keeps your body in the ‘associative’ or adaptive phase of your training. CYCLE 3: Length: 3 weeks FOCUS: Cycle 3 changes a single variable again -- this time it’s ‘travel.’ That means you are challenging the range of motion and therefore muscle recruitment. Challenge yourself to go deeper, reach further, and jump higher in each movement. Success in Cycle 3 looks like an increased range of motion under load rather than just more reps or sets. KEY MOVEMENTS: Squat (workout 1) Deadlift (workout 2) Core integration REASONS BEHIND MOVEMENTS: The idea behind Cycle 3 is that your body knows how to do the movements well by now, but adding a little more range of motion or ‘travel’ to the movements takes the brain back to the ‘associate’ or adaptive phase. Triathlon is a sport of repetitive motion; motions that are often nearly the exact same as far as range of motion and pattern. By purposefully expanding and altering these exercise patterns slightly, you continue to expand the ‘bubble’ of your movement ability and control. A simple way to look at resiliency: you get injured when you move too often outside of your body’s ‘bubble’. Cycle 3 works to gently expand your movement bubble to increase your resiliency.