Under the assumption that not many people have heard of French Contrast Training, lets make it simple.
French Contrast Training is pairing heavy strength exercises with movement-specific power exercises with a goal of increasing both strength and power. This type of training is advanced, so I do not recommend jumping right into it… pun intended. However, if you have a capable athlete looking to improve strength and power, incorporating French Contrast Training into their routine may be beneficial.
Here is how it works:
- Compound Exercise: 1-3 reps at 80-90% load
- Body weight Plyometric: 3-5 reps
- Weighted Plyometric Exercise: 3-5 reps
- Accelerated/Unloaded Plyometric: 4-6 reps
Perform all exercises continuously. Rest 3-5 minutes between sets and repeat the circuit 3-5 times.
Upon completion, it should fee like you just did an all out sprint.
Why it is beneficial:
In the fitness world it’s called post-activation potential (PAP) or in layman’s terms, how much power a muscle can produce after it has been maximally loaded. With this belief of performing a max-loaded lift paired with a jumping activity, the latter activity recruits more motor units than actually needed to complete activity. More motor units = more power… the ultimate goal!
Lets take hockey as an example. Lower body power is critical for explosive speed, a powerful slap shot, and the ability to deliver a big hit on the ice. Check out the video below of local professional hockey player Nick Palmieri as he performs one cycle of a lower body French Contrast Training circuit.
Front Squat – #315 x 3
Box Jump – 30″ x 3
Loaded Jump – #40 x 3
Accelerated Band Jump x 5
Depending on your sport and sport specific activity, you can tailor the contrast training circuit to your goals.
Good luck with your training!