I recently posted about understanding the intended stimuli of your sessions. This is vitally important to staying on track with your training during lockdown. Particularly for those with an eye on sports performance. In the post I highlighted some potential problem areas in terms of sessions structure, exercise selection and application. The aim of this post will be to highlight how you can manipulate your training to get your desired outcome. I will try to give a variety of examples and exercises so that you can apply them to the stimulus you are looking for.
Let’s start with what may arguably one of the harder characteristics to hit, particularly if you have no weights or equipment. The place to start is with the definition of max strength. In its most basic terms, strength is your ability or a muscles ability to produce the maximum amount of force possible. This is generally achieved by loading up a bar with a heavy load and hitting some hard reps! However, as mentioned, what do I do if I have no equipment?? My suggestions would be Isometrics – both yielding and overcoming.
Yielding Isometrics – This simply means holding a static position. The key for yielding, is that the focus is more on accepting the position and forces (generally gravity). The most basic examples are holds at the bottom of a squat or lunge and wall sits.
Try performing 3 x 20secs in each position and then gradually building up the time. See how long you can get! These can build up quickly. What we are looking for here is the length of time and accumulating time spent producing force in a stressful position.
Overcoming Isometrics – The clue is in the name, overcoming. This is where you are once again going to be in a static position but you are going to push or pull as hard as you can against an object! Think trying to move a scrummaging machine on your own. Some good examples would be a Towel Isometric Deadlift or Towel Isometric Split Squat.
Try performing each movement in the following way 3×3 5 second pulls as hard as possible with 5 secs rest in between. So, in each set you accumulate 15seconds of absolute force production.
Moving on from strength, let’s take a look at power. Unfortunately, speed and power gains decrease faster than pretty much all other aspects of performance! Therefore, it is important we address them during this period. Fortunately, it can be quite simple to work on power. My advice, jump. Jump hard, jump high, jump far. Once you have done that, throw. Throw hard, throw high and throw far. Done those two?! Now run. Fast and short. The absolute golden rule for all of these? Rest until you are fully recovered. We are not trying to improve our cardio. We are trying to produce as much force in the shortest amount of time. Examples of a few exercises for power.
5×4 – Squat jumps, broad jumps, lateral jumps.
5×5 – Med ball slams, med ball overhead throw, med ball chest pass.
5×10-40m – Sprint.
That’s All For Now
I am going to leave it here for now. Why? I feel that these are the two areas that are going to be most missed out, or incorrectly applied while training in lockdown. I may well be wrong and you may be a superstar at applying the right stimuli to your sessions! However, hopefully this helps some people find the stimulus they’re looking for. If you’re interested in learning more about our Strength and Conditioning coaches and programs, take a look here.