I’ve heard lots of positive things about Triphasic Training, so I decided to get stuck in myself!
Authors: Cal Dietz and Matt Van Dyke
Topic: Strength & Conditioning Methods
Appropriate for: Strength & Conditioning Coaches
Overall rating: 5/5
Triphasic training has been a book I’ve heard recommended and I’ve heard Cal Dietz discuss it on a lot of podcasts and websites. I’d never come across the training system before but a lot of coaches I follow seemed to have a positive attitude towards the methods suggested.
Essentially Triphasic training does what it says on the tin – it’s a systematic method of training all 3 contractions: eccentric, isometric and concentric. The underlying reasoning for utilising methods specifically targeting each contraction type is that “traditional” training methods are biased toward concentric strength/power production, when in reality most sporting actions require muscular tensions under strength, an amortization phase (isometric contraction) followed by a rapid concentric action. In simplistic terms, the ability to absorb force, decelerate it and re-accelerate is important for many sporting actions – jumping, running, cutting etc.
Within the book, the author details multiple programs based on 2 days or more and how the weekly training format is scheduled. Additionally, the author discusses intensities for each phase, contraction speeds, as well as what lifts are preferred to utilise the method with. Typically, the program is administered in 2 week cycles of an eccentric bias, isometric bias and concentric bias.
Whilst this might seem like an advanced method best utilised in elite athletes, I’ve come across this video of another practitioner using the triphasic method with High school athletes. He gives some useful insights into how it might be beneficial with less advanced athletes:
So this method is definitely something I’m considering using with some of the groups I’m working with to see how they respond. I’m fairly confident that emphasising eccentric strength would be beneficial for most, if not all of them.
The author also includes some interesting concepts – such as metabolic injury prevention conditioning. He suggests that utilising typically inefficient movement patterns such as side shuffling, backpedalling and carioca in a circuit manner is an effective way of producing a low impact conditioning stimulus that can also condition the smaller supporting muscles of the lower limb to help prevent injuries that typically occur in sports that utilise changes of direction. This was a concept that intrigued me and I have heard Dan John describe something similar previously.
There was also some interesting exercises using bands, med balls and manual resistance that can be used to improve neck strength in sports that have contact elements (eg. NFL, rugby etc.)
Overall, I would recommend the book as a thought provoking and stimulating read with some methods that you might like to add to your arsenal.
You can find the book here: Triphasic Training: A systematic approach to elite speed and explosive strength performance: Volume 1
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