SPEED OF SPORT TRAINING SCIENCE
It is well known that Russian Scientists were on the forefront of sports training for many years. The amount of time and research they have invested into sports performance training, more specifically the physiological and neural effects of training, as well as the role of the nervous system in training, helped them dominate many sports at the highest levels.
Much of the Fast Twitch Training draws inspiration from Speed of Sport/Nick Curson, and is based heavily on the research of Dr. Yuri Verkhoshanky, Anatoily Bondarchuk, Marv Marinovich, DB Hammer, and other great sports trainers of the Eastern Bloc. These trainers helped to pave the way for training athletes. Using what we have learned about the nervous system from these great scientists, we know that the nervous system is the critical factor when is comes to rate of force development, speed, agility, coordination, timing, as well as other traits of elite athleticism.
Our training encompasses a broad spectrum of areas often overlooked by most strength and conditioning coaches and personal trainers. We place a strong emphasis on involuntary response, proprioception, rate of force development, balance, coordination, focus, timing, neuromuscular efficiency, kinesthetic awareness, etc... two examples of exercises which are a staple at our facility are exercises to strengthen the feet and balance training exercises. Proprioceptive instability exercises have been scientifically proven to reduce injuries in athletes, older people, as well as improve rate of force development, yet they are completely neglected in most High School, Collegiate, and Professional Strength and Conditioning programs. See this study on balance training to understand more.
"The influence of maximal isometric strength on dynamic force and velocity is greater in heavily resisted, slow movements, although there is no correlation between maximal velocity and maximal strength (The Science and Practice of Strength Training, Zatsiorsky, 1995)."
So why do so many people think heavy weightlifting programs will make them better athletes? Why has it become a staple training method for high schools and colleges across the US?
They have based their methods of training athletes on the physics of producing force as it pertains to weightlifting rather than the physics of speed and functional movements as they pertain to sports. Conventional methods place a heavy emphasis on muscular hypertrophy without any regard as to the functionality of the training as it pertains to sports specific movements.
This isn't to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as more conventional strength training methods and modalities have their place with hypertrophy, strength sports, physique development, and even shoring up strength deficits in athletes. But the devil is in the details and the training prescription must carry over and be relevant to the desired outcome.
The "Force Velocity Relationship" that is often referred to in weightlifting has been poorly misinterpreted as it pertains to sports, and does not accurately describe the Force Velocity Relationship as it pertains to sports movements, the two are inversely proportionate. (Bosco C., 1982)
"Being a creative coach means trying new training methods to see if they are effective and integrating them in a training system"
Dr. Yuri Verkoshansky
Plyometrics are exercises that focus on activation of the stretch shortening cycle as explained below. Plyometrics have been shown to give high level athletes the greatest gains in terms of speed, reaction, and functional rate of force development as it pertains to sports. Read this study to learn to see how plyometrics dominate other exercises...... Here's another. and another..
Stretch-Shortening Cycle (SSC) - The stretch reflex is utilized frequently during sport because most movements involve the two phases of muscular contraction. An eccentric phase, which is the muscle lengthening under tension, is followed by a concentric phase in which the muscle is shortened. Attaining a pre-stretch of the muscle causes it to be lengthened eccentrically so tension is developed in the muscle, similar to a rubber band. This stored energy created by the tension can be used to help increase the strength of the following concentric contraction. This concentric contraction must immediately follow being stretched or the tension created will dissipate as heat. An example is a quick countermovement before jumping which allows the quadriceps to be stretched eccentrically so that the following concentric contraction can be stronger. The amount of tension created by stretching the muscle is dependent on the degree and the speed of the muscle’s pre-stretch.
Exploiting the elasticity of the muscle and the stretch reflex is referred to as using the stretch-shortening cycle. It has been shown that the faster the muscle is stretched eccentrically, the greater the force will be on the following concentric contraction.
Working on repatterning movement to shore up velocity leaks, prevent injury, and eliminate pain due to poor movement patterns. Using the neubie to reprogram his nervous system to perform more efficiently and effectively. This not only delivers best results, but to enables the results to stick. If the nervous system is the software, the body is the hardware-the software tells the hardware what to do. The difference between us and other trainers is we focus on the software.
Here are some basic facts about the Nervous System that may help you get a better idea as to why we advocate this type of training:
Nerves - Sensory nerves receive information to process stimuli, equilibrium/balance, hot and cold, heavy and light, this information is then sent to the spinal chord then to the brain and is processed, "instructions"are then transmitted to motor nerves on how to react to the stimuli. This happens very quickly, BUT can be trained to become even faster.
By focusing on increasing sensory stimulation as well as sensory/motor nerve communication we can increase the frequency of their communication signals so that reaction can actually be processed within the spinal chord, bypassing the brain. This type of "propriospinal process" keeps the body in a "stand-by mode", ready to react quicker.
Ex: If you were walking on ice and your foot slipped, surely you felt your reflexes engage, without even thinking your hands/arms would most likely maneuver to maintain balance. See this study on balance training to understand more.
The Nervous system controls the speed at which a person can maximally contract a muscle and produce force otherwise known as Rate of Force Development (RFD).
Force/Velocity Profiling Plyometric Kick-Off's on a piece of explosive training equipment w/Push Strength alongside Nick Curson at Speed of Sport to assess sport-specific strength relative to basketball.