Complex Training Methods Elicit Gains in Strength and Power

Programming for a variety of athletes can be a arduous process for strength and conditioning professionals. “Complex training” offers one type of protocol for training.

Programming for a variety of athletes can be an arduous process for strength and conditioning professionals. Creating training programs that maximize strength and power are essential for the development of any athlete. The construction of training programs for athletes must address their specific sports as well as strength, conditioning, and power for optimal results. One method used to maximize strength as well as power is a complex training protocol. Complex training protocols are defined as … “a set to set combination of a heavy resistance exercises followed immediately by a biomechanically similar plyometric exercise”. The exact protocols of these methods can vary based greatly based on the movements, intensity, rest intervals, and ultimately the goals of each athlete. The intention of this complex system of training is to elicit maximal gains muscular strength and power.

Research conducted in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research examined the effects of heavy back squats (85% of 1 RM) and then consecutive squat jump performance. Researchers assessed 12 Division I (in season) male track and field athletes. These athletes performed 5 reps of heavy back squats and then 5 reps of squat jumps. Results of the study indicated that performing heavy squats before a set of squat jumps did significantly enhance athletic performance, peak ground reaction force, and jump height.

This complex training protocol is an interesting template for strength and conditioning. The development of specific protocols pairing different exercises over multiple sets with varying modalities, intensities, volumes, and rest intervals can be left up to the discretion of the discretion of the strength and conditioning coach. Future research should address varying complexes with a wider demographic of athletes

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