Strength Training For Athleticism
A personalized approach is needed in strength training, depending on your goals. If you're an everyday person-trying to look and feel better-that's going to be different than if you're an athlete. If you're an athlete, you need to be training the various athletic qualities of your sport-this includes training in your anatomical power positions relevant to sport, as well as having your strength training match your sports' position on the strength curve.
XIIAM's strength training suite is unique and ensures we are matching the idiosyncrasies of the athlete's unique, sport-specific needs. These can include starting strength, accelerating strength, explosive reactive strength, relative strength, etc. Training prescriptions take rate of force development (R.F.D.) into account to ensure athletes are training the brain and nervous system to produce the greatest amount of force in the shortest amount of time.
Athletic training has been invaded by strength coaches; sometimes these coaches have their hearts in the right place, but ultimately wind up developing their athletes into better weightlifters, not better athletes. Traditional strength training methods focus solely on the athlete's ability to move a maximal load in an unlimited amount of time. This doesn't at all match what's needed in sports, outside of powerlifting and its usefulness in developing physiques.
XIIAM's Fast Twitch Training System focuses on the aforementioned ability of producing as much force as possible in the shortest window. This methodology is based on the elastic architecture of the muscles and tendons. Their ability to accelerate quality movement and generate force is determined by the stretching (relaxation) speed of muscles and tendons, coupled with the ability to store elastic energy and heat inside this complex.
One of the unique plyometric machines here at XIIAM Labs. I use these to train the brain's neural pathways to alter neuromuscular function for athletics.
In force generation, muscles rapidly pre-load and stretch eccentrically prior to contracting concentrically. This is how the ability of the muscle/tendon complex produces elastic force in athletic power movements. Our training focuses specifically on the ability of muscles and tendons to store elastic energy and heat as a source of power in athletics. The emphasis of training also shifts to making this occur as fast as possible because the slower the stretching/relaxation, the more elastic energy and heat is lost in the transfer of power to the concentric movement, reducing your power output.
Plyometric motion (such as jumping) is the inception of this quick eccentric stretch that gets inhibited by excessive load from heavy weight training. Elite athletes perform these motions with elegant biomechanics without this slow speed from unnecessary muscle tension 'braking'. The ability of an athlete to produce the power needed in sports is therefore the result of an extremely rapid exchange of muscle work from eccentric to concentric with proper biomechanics. This athletic quality is absolutely essential and fundamental in all sporting activities, such as running, jumping, punching, and throwing.
So how can we train this quality? Complemented by training a foundation of biomechanics, we base athletic strength training on putting athletes in movements than mimic their sport-specific anatomical positions, while also training at the speed of sport. This can include interventions such as our unique powernetics athletic strength training machines, plyometric machines, as well as isokinetic training. These can eliminate the risk of injury while simultaneously enabling the most efficient and fastest forces to be produced. Additionally, this type of training maximizes neuronal stimulation, biomechanical specificity, and remodels mechanical pathologies (broken links in your biomechanical chain and muscle firing patterns).
Major key alert-if you want to be more athletic, you HAVE to train the correct neuromuscular pathways to unlock the correct muscle firing patterns. Write it down.
By training athletes to perform high-level sporting movements over time, we can make them second nature. This comes from proprioception, kinesthetic and the propriospinal process by which knowledge from these movements are 'downloaded' into the spine. You see, signals sent from proprioceptors (i.e. in hands, feet) normally have to go to the brain to be processed before being sent back down the spine (picture when you're trying to learn a new skill, like riding a bike for the 1st time). By ingraining these movements into the nervous system, these qualities become natural reflexes of the central nervous system and bypass the middle man (brain) for quicker responses. Picture when you trip over something and catch yourself before you fall-you didn't have to think about it-it's automatic. That's the goal-to train athletes to be on fully-automatic at all times.
In plyometric movements, muscles act as agonists, synergists, and antagonists. In other words, some muscles act, some support the movement, and some attempt to relax completely so as not to limit the output of working muscles. Reflexive timing and sequencing of these functions will lead to elite athleticism for elite performance at the elite level. In contrast, a typical squat sees you take the load on your heels so that the knee joint will not be damaged. This heavy load on your back overloads the spine and quadricep muscles, thereby igniting incorrect neuromuscular pathways and muscle recruitment chains that are different than the natural ones involved in running, jumping, and lateral movement (all sporting movements). In these movements, force is produced from the ball of the foot and provide a very different firing pattern compared to when the heels are loaded with a traditional squat. This is a real, in-context definition of 'functional training' that gets misused. XIIAM's training aims to be genuinely functional in that it mirrors and translates to actual sport-specific movements.
By enhancing this process with proprietary nervous system training with the neuwave device, plyometric machines, isokinetic training, and other interventions, we can train true athletic strength. These plyometric machines can be used to engineer real explosive power by speeding up the exchange of muscle work from eccentric to concentric. The end result of all of this is true athletic strength, not just the absolute strength that traditional weightlifting enhances. Plyometric training has long-been the fastest power-producing exercise modality, but has incorrectly been labeled as raising injury risk. In reality, plyometrics performed with proper form and biomechanics actually strengthen connective tissues and can prevent injuries. The Fast/Twitch Training System recruits plyometric machines to provide efficient, safe plyo training to emphasize speed of movement with suitable load to produce relevant power through a functional chain to provide a unique stimulus to the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. We can also biohack this process with the neuwave direct current electrical stimulation to make our training stick at the INPUT level to change the OUTPUTS.
Interested in learning more or training your athleticism? Get in touch: