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Triphasic Training For Athletes

Triphasic Training For Athletes

Triphasic Training For Athletes

Reach elite athletic performance with triphasic training.

All dynamic movements are triphasic in nature meaning that they have 3 muscle actions occurring. These 3 phases of a movement are eccentric, isometric and concentric. An eccentric action occurs when an active muscle is getting longer. An isometric action occurs when the muscle is contracting but stays at the same length and a concentric action occurs when the muscle shortens. Imagine a barbell back squat. As you lower down to the bottom position, that would be eccentric. The isometric action would occur when pausing at the bottom of that squat. Then, the concentric action would occur when standing up to complete that rep.  In this article, we will talk about triphasic training for athletes.

THE VIDEO: Triphasic Training for ELITE Athletic Performance

Triphasic Training

Figure 1 shows triphasic in action. The downward part of the V is the eccentric action where, we absorb force/energy (eccentric) with the upward part of the V being the concentric. Therefore, the overall goal of this programme is to make that V as steep as possible. That would mean we could absorb force faster to then translate that into power at a faster rate. Triphasic programming aims to take each of these three components and train them individually to produce that steeper V. The explanations behind each component and the recommended application within training programmes can be found in Table 1 below.

Figure 1

 Triphasic Training

Triphasic Training Explanations

Imagine an elastic band. The further you stretch it, the further it will fly. That is the aim of the eccentric component, to train absorbing force/energy as the muscle gets longer. An isometric action is aiming to get more motor units, muscle fibres and the nerves they connect to, working. The more motor units within a muscle that are working, the more force we can then produce. Finally, the aim of the concentric action is to improve intramuscular coordination. This encompasses many aspects within a muscle to be strong, contract at the right time and in the right sequence to produce the most efficient amount of power

Triphasic Training Recommendations

It is recommended that triphasic movements are only done on compound lifts such as the back squat and bench press. This is because you are lifting heavy loads. Each phase, should last approximately 3 weeks before moving onto the next one. Incorporate this into your programming preferentially, before the season starts and expect to see improved athletic performance in your ability to sprint, change direction, decelerate and to overall, become a better athlete.

Table 1. Recommendations for each phase and the loads, rep speed, rep range and sets.

Phase Load (% of 1RM) Total Time performing phase (seconds) Rep Range Sets
Eccentric 70 75 *80 *85 6-8 6-8 *5-6 *5-6 4-5 3-4 *2-3 *1-2 4-5 3-4 *2-3 *1-2
Isometric 70 75 *80 *85 4-5 4-5 *3-4 *3-4 4-5 3-4 *2-3 *1-2 3-4 3-4 *4-5 *4-5
Concentric 75 80 85 90 N/A N/A N/A N/A 1-3 1-3 1-2 1-2 4-5 4-5 3-4 3-4

* = Reps should be assisted

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