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Part #1 Block Periodization and Weekly Outlook

Years ago, I first read through Christian Thibaudeau’s Black Book of Training Secrets which opened my eyes to the principles behind the Omni Contraction Training System (OCTS). This block periodization system consists of 3-4 training days per week with each day emphasizing one specific type of muscular contraction/focus. Similarly, Ben Prentiss runs a modified version of this system, Quad Current (QC), and has been able to deliver great results with his training. On a side note, Ben has tons of information regarding this system and is very open in sharing his data and evidence on what/how they use their system. This is a program we typically perform in the offseason w/athletes that have 3+ years of quality training. It’s not to say this system wouldn’t work with less experienced athletes, but there are less complex methods that will deliver the same results with those athletes.  Alternating between four separate blocks of accumulation, intensification, realization (peaking), and transition, these provide the overview to the what and how training will be performed. After years of continued education, peer reviewed, and anecdotal evidence we have been able to modify this outline to make it into something that fits the needs of our athletes. Just like with OCTS/QC the days are separated into eccentric, isometric, concentric, and repetition. While the intention of each day is listed, integration of plyometrics is done on the eccentric and concentric/repetition days. With multiple inputs in plyometrics from Matt McInnes Watson, Joel Smith, and others we added at least two days per week of lower/upper plyometrics.  Additionally, speed, change of direction (COD), & agility are also put forth on eccentric, concentric, and repetition days as needed. Understanding that COD and plyometrics can have a mutually beneficial relationship can make programming simplified on these days. Thus, the eccentric day includes more traditional strength loading/strategies with the addition of the necessary pieces above. It is important to note that not everything on this day will require heavy load, long tempo, or compound movements. The second, isometric day, incorporates information from Danny Lum and others on increasing strength and rate of force development via isometrics. Additionally, holding/pushing isometric muscle actions, catches, and switches (Alex Natera) are combined with other methods to develop strength, joint integrity, and transference to sport via running/jumping. Our concentric focus includes plyometrics, sprints (loaded/unloaded), weightlifting derivatives, concentric only lifts (sleds, pins, etc.), medicine balls, and other modalities to improve effort and ability in delivering force quickly over a brief distance. The final day in this sequence is the repetition day, typically we use this day to address the biggest weakness of the athlete. Whether it would be bodybuilding esque, sleds, lockouts, weightlifting derivatives, etc., this day is programmed for quality repetitions on the weakest or worst physical quality(s) the athlete needs to develop for their wellbeing and sport. It should be noted that each day is a full body day with varying intensities and volumes depending on the goal of the training block.


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