Thursday, August 28, 2014

Auto Regulation + Velocity Based Training = Beast!

So this is the last in this series so here's a recap of the it in its entirety:

Part 1: Force Velocity Curve

Part 2: Force Velocity Curve #2

Part 3: Velocity Based Training

Part 4: Velocity Based Training - How To

Part 5 - Implementing Auto Reg into Your Training

Today I'll show you how to combine auto regulation and velocity based training into your own program.

It's probably a good idea to schedule in a block of low load - high velocity training after a block or 2 of high load - low force (maximum strength) work to take advantage of the increased neural adaptations you get from that type of training.

For footy you might do this block x 4 - 6 weeks leading i to your practice games or round 1.

Instead of working with reps per set you'll do reps in a set amount of time like maximum reps in 5secs for example, depending on your goal.

Within your block you might start at sets of 3 - 5secs and with the aim of doing 1 rep per second. Start light and work up to a maximum load you can do for 2 rep per second then continue doing sets with that weight until you can't.

It's as easy as that!!

You've implemented the velocity component by limiting the time you have to complete your reps and the auto regulation has been implemented by setting a time to complete a set amount of reps in.

I've been playing with this the last few weeks but keeping my time per set to 5secs and have used the following methods for this:

#1 - start with barbell only and do as many rep sin 5 secs as I can increasing weight each set until I can only do 5 reps in the 5secs then stopping.

#2 - start with barbell only and do as many rep sin 5 secs as I can increasing weight each set until I can only do 5 then continue to do sets of 5 reps in 5secs until I can't then stopping.

#3 - start with barbell only and do as many reps in 5 secs as I can increasing weight each set until I can only do 5 reps in 5secs.

Remember it's all about quality not quantity and this method ensures there is nothing but quality. You set a the set time and the reps you need to reach and once you reach or can't maintain it, you stop. Those last reps you do where you can barely move the weight do nothing for you but build up more and more fatigue.

Good luck for those in finals this weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Implementing Auto Regulation into Your Training

Way back in 2010 I posted about Auto Regulation in regards to your training.

For those not in the know, auto regulation is a way to ensure that your training is of the utmost quality each and every time.

You can look at training as like filling a glass. Once you program the amount of training you can tolerate, then adding more only overfills the cup and will result in a decrease in performance from too much stress or not enough recovery but almost certainty both.

High volume and /or frequency training programs are fine and I do them myself but I think we all know that quality trumps quality every time so if half of your sessions are doing you good but the other half aren't, then what's the point of them?

Also how do you know if everything is having an effect? Maybe only 1 part of your training is providing you your performance improvements but 3 other parts are not. So why continue with the other 3 parts that are just adding unneeded stress to your body?

When implementing auto reg, it provides a set point that you are aiming to reach but not cross. Once at that set point then you can use a drop off point that you'll continue to train to but once you hit it then it's home time.

An example of this is someone who has a strength program that says he's gotta do 5 x 5 of bench presses.. You first 2 sets are pretty good and you've built up a bit of fatigue and feel that you might not reach 5 reps on the next set. Sets 3, 4 and 5 are completed with a far slower rep speed and your also straining between reps holding the bar at lockout taking big breathes to fire out more reps. You lockout of some reps almost comes to a complete halt until you squirm on the bench a little and force it up with a twisted torso position. Not great technique but, hey you got it up let's count it!

You finish your 5 sets of 5 an follow it up with 2 more bench press variations and a fly/crossover exercise or 2 and go home with a pump the size Texas and you're happy. You wake up tomorrow and you're sore as buggery and won't train chest again for 6 full days to recovery from yesterdays pec-tastic session.

Now when using auto reg you'd follow something like this:

Step 1 - set a goal for the session, let's say strength again. You also want each rep of each set to be completed with full acceleration through each rep with no sticking points, excessive straining/grinding or change in technique.

Step 2 - set a rep goal for the session, let's say 3.

Step 3 - focusing on the speed of each rep of each set you ramp up in weight each set until you hit the heaviest weight you can for 3 reps with full acceleration.

You've hit your aim for the session and now you've got some decisions to make whether it it be a focus on strength, hypertrophy or explosiveness.

Step 4 - whatever decision you make, you'd drop the weight and do a specific reps per set until max out following the guidelines of your training from step 1.

Here's how it might look numbers wise:

Set 1 - 3 x 50kgs
Set 2 - 3 x 60kgs
Set 3 - 3 x 70kgs
Set 4 - 3 x 80kgs
Set 4 - 3 x 90kgs
Set 5 - 3 x 100kgs (max set)

Goal is to continue with strength improvements so you will stay with 3 reps and also drop the weight 5 - 10% for your next sets.

Set 6 - 92.5kgs x 3
Set 7 - 92.5kgs x 3
Set 8 - 92.5kgs x 3

On your 8th set it didn't feel as "good" as the others and there was a bit of wavering in rep acceleration so you'll call it a day right there.

As you can see this method cuts out any bullshit volume that is there to fill up time or your program sheet.

It ensures only quality work is completed which will usually result in less overall volume which will result in less overall recovery from this session. This means that tomorrow or the next day you'll be able to do more high quality work again because you didn't overfill your stress glass.

Too many footballers follow bodybuilding programs, which is ridiculous, and has far too much shit volume in them that is not needed for footy when you have a lot of other things to train for.

You can apply so much stress before you break down.

In my next post I'll go into how I apply velocity based training and auto reg training together to make you a beast!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Velocity Based Training - How To

The most precise way to measure velocity is with a little something called a Linear Position Transducer sold through a website called GymAware. I am not an affiliate of these guys nor do I have one as they are a little costly but the principle is very important one in regards to athletic performance.

It's not as simple as this but what this little fellow does it attaches to the bar and measures the speed at which you lift it.


You may have seen force plates used before in vertical leap tests which is a similar thing but the LPT can be used to measure just about any exercise you want, not just ground based exercises.

As I understand it it doesn't measure power or speed but rather the displacement or distance of the chord that gets pulled from the machine. 

When combined with time, you can then calculate velocity and all equations after that, such as force and power are calculated against the system of mass (of the load or the athlete).

Now unfortunately you can only measure velocity with these machines which you may be thinking is a waste of post, what can I do with this?

I've posted about auto regulating training before and this is what these machines do. For example if you are wanting to train speed strength for a particular exercise, then from a couple of posts ago you would need to train at a speed that covers 1 - 1.5 meters per second. 

Getting instant feedback from a machine like this means that after each rep you knowing exactly what level you need to reach and it also provides a specific form of feedback that can actually enhance your training sessions because you will have a specific aim to reach each rep.

The big picture of this velocity stuff I've been blabbering on about is 2 fold.

1 - varying rep and load for specific exercises can train specific strength qualities which is essential for footy players who need to cover just about the entire force-velocity curve somewhere in their training


2 - auto regulation of your training which is something I have touched on before and will be the subject of my next post and is CRUCIAL to footy players who must train for a lot of things during a full season without training yourself into the ground.