The number of times I’ve seen high school athletes and some collegiate athletes in the gym working on building their lats and biceps with no regard for athletic performance is mystifying to me.
I believe that even individuals that aren’t competing in high-level sports should train like athletes. There’s no better way to maintain longevity and continuing to be able to do what you love to do for longer than to train like an athlete!
Triphasic Training is a relatively simple approach to periodization (creating a progressive, thought-out training plan) in which a movement is broken up into its 3 parts: Eccentric, Isometric, and Concentric.
While there are certainly other ways to train and get excellent results, this well-tested use of triphasic movements can see great results for anyone. New to working out, Redshirt Senior football player, or a 30-year-old mom wanting to be able to play soccer with her kids? Training like an athlete in all 3 phases of movement will get you your desired results
Goals of Triphasic Training:
Triphasic Training is based on the idea that success in sport is predicted by which athlete can produce the most amount of force in the allotted time period. Of course, there are so many variables, and this isn’t going to always be true for all sports, but when you think about jumping for rebounds in basketball or getting sent on a go-route in football, this couldn’t be truer.
Triphasic Training takes this idea and maximizes each athlete’s ability to produce large amounts of force quickly. Each phase of a Triphasic program’s ultimate goal is to raise the athlete’s rate of force development, ultimately making them stronger and more explosive.
Three Phases of Motion:
The eccentric part of motion is when the muscle being stressed is lengthening. Think of a bicep curl (because it’s easily the greatest exercise). The eccentric section of a bicep curl is when you’re lowering the dumbbell.
Being able to control force eccentrically drastically improves the ability of the same muscle to move with purpose concentrically.
Isometric muscle contraction actually has no movement at all! Your muscles are contracting, but they are neither lengthening nor shortening. The isometric phase is the brief moment between the eccentric and concentric motions.
After training eccentrically, an athlete is able to absorb more force than usual. This increases the importance of an isometric phase as that athlete will almost ‘bleed’ or lose force that could otherwise be used concentrically.
In a squat jump, if the athlete cannot harness the eccentric force created on the way down into fast, powerful upward force, the isometric phase of the movement is failing to do its job.
Concentric motion is usually what people think of when they think of training. It’s the upwards motion of a bench press or squat.
Training concentrically should always be fast and is without a doubt important to train, but it is not the only part of a lift that you should work on, as its potential will end up being limited by eccentric/isometric weaknesses if underdeveloped.