Unlock Performance Gains With Triphasic Training

June 16, 2013 | Chris Costa

Must See Strength Training Videos

Are you having trouble taking your athletes to the next level? Are their training gains not translating to on-field performance improvements? If so, I recommend reading Triphasic Training: A systematic approach to elite speed and explosive strength development, by Cal Dietz and Ben Peterson of the University of Minnesota.

Dietz and Peterson are extremely smart guys, but they ran into a problem when training two athletes. One was a world-class shot putter who could throw 65 feet. The other was an NCAA thrower who struggled to reach 55 feet. Yet they both lifted the same amount of weight in the gym. Puzzling, right? (Discover the research behind the Triphasic method.)

Dietz and Peterson realized that there had to be a limiting factor causing the difference. After extensive research, they discovered it was the rate of force development (RFD). The elite shot putter could lift the same weight but at a faster rate.

So the researchers had to come up with a system that would improve the NCAA athlete's ability to generate force rapidly, while also continuing to challenge and develop the elite shot putter.

Their solution, which they called triphasic training, was ingenious. They created a blueprint to develop the three phases of a muscle contraction:

  • Concentric - contracting the muscle (e.g., by pressing the bar up during the Bench Press)
  • Isometric - the transition or stop in the middle of a repetition (i.e., the brief transition between the raising and lowering phases of the Bench Press)
  • Eccentric - lengthening under tension (e.g., the lowering phase of the Bench Press)

Looking at the three phases, there's a good chance you've had your athletes focus only on the concentric phase. The coaching community seems to place more emphasis on weight lifted over weight held or weight lowered.

By training each phase of the muscle at work, you improve your athletes' ability to decelerate the weight, store energy and rapidly produce explosive strength. This is the fundamental physical trait needed to be successful in virtually every sport. It's not always about how strong an athlete is; it's all about RFD.

Unlike most other training programs, triphasic training hones in on how a repetition is performed. Timing of the rep is the focus, rather than lifting a maximum amount of weight. For example, an exercise may call for a 1-3-1 rep scheme, or even a five second hold mid-repetition, with assistance during the concentric phase. It may seem like a departure from your traditional training methods, but the research Dietz and Peterson conducted backs up their methodology.

Triphasic training is not for the faint of heart. Your athletes should have a sufficient base of strength and training experience before progressing to this extremely challenging type of training. Take the time to thoroughly familiarize yourself with how to train each phase, and start taking your athletes' performance to the next level.

You can purchase Triphasic Training: A systematic approach to elite speed and explosive strength development at XLAthlete.com.

Topics: WORKOUT PLAN
Chris Costa
- Chris Costa has participated in athletics as a coach, player and official for 22 years. He specializes in hockey training, both on and off the...
Chris Costa
- Chris Costa has participated in athletics as a coach, player and official for 22 years. He specializes in hockey training, both on and off the...

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 179,065
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 75,992
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 588,674
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,252,646
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,192
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,172
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,920,872
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 6,117,437

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
What Sport Coaches Need to Know About Strength and Conditioning

What Sport Coaches Need to Know About Strength and Conditioning

Are you a strength coach or a sport coach? Lee Boyce A fitness professional really is a strange animal. An entry level cert (that in some cases can be...

Strength Isn’t Just How Much You Can Lift on a Barbell

Strength Isn't Just How Much You Can Lift on a Barbell

Troubleshooting the Lunge: How to Fix Your Form

Troubleshooting the Lunge: How to Fix Your Form

Build Lower-Body Power with This Squat Workout

Build Lower-Body Power with This Squat Workout

2015 Summer Training Guide: Baseball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Baseball

Marcus Mariota's Speed and Strength Workout

Marcus Mariota's Speed and Strength Workout

2015 Summer Training Guide: Lacrosse

2015 Summer Training Guide: Lacrosse

Fix 7 Common Problem Areas with Exercises From Todd Durkin

Fix 7 Common Problem Areas with Exercises From Todd Durkin

How to Build Strong Neck Muscles

How to Build Strong Neck Muscles

The Most American Workout Ever

The Most American Workout Ever

Why Reverse Lunges Are Better Than Forward Lunges

Why Reverse Lunges Are Better Than Forward Lunges

3 Bear Crawl Variations for Better Core Strength

3 Bear Crawl Variations for Better Core Strength

2015 Summer Training Guide: Volleyball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Volleyball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Football

2015 Summer Training Guide: Football

2015 Summer Training Guide: Wrestling

2015 Summer Training Guide: Wrestling

Building Functional Balance for Figure Skaters

Building Functional Balance for Figure Skaters

Building Brakes for More Speed

Building Brakes for More Speed

5 Things to Remember When You Wing Your Workout

5 Things to Remember When You Wing Your Workout

Full-Body Training: 4 Dumbbell Ring Training Exercises

Full-Body Training: 4 Dumbbell Ring Training Exercises

7 Trap Bar Exercises You Should Try

7 Trap Bar Exercises You Should Try

Are You Using the Right Weight for Every Exercise?

Are You Using the Right Weight for Every Exercise?

Go Against Traditional Workout Order for Bigger Gains

Go Against Traditional Workout Order for Bigger Gains

Why You Should Add Depth Jumps to Your Workouts

Why You Should Add Depth Jumps to Your Workouts

Mix Up Your Workout With Unique Partner Exercises

Mix Up Your Workout With Unique Partner Exercises

2015 Summer Training Guide: Basketball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Basketball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Softball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Softball

Bulletproof Shoulders: A Shoulder Training Guide

Bulletproof Shoulders: A Shoulder Training Guide

10-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up for Any Workout

10-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up for Any Workout

3 Simple Tips to Gain Muscle Mass

3 Simple Tips to Gain Muscle Mass

2015 Summer Training Guide: Track

2015 Summer Training Guide: Track

Build Elite Strength With This Training System

Build Elite Strength With This Training System

9 Ways to Improve Your Squat Technique

9 Ways to Improve Your Squat Technique

2015 Summer Training Guide: Soccer

2015 Summer Training Guide: Soccer

Use Single-Leg Strength to Enhance Soccer Performance

Use Single-Leg Strength to Enhance Soccer Performance

The Squat Variation That Torches Your Core

The Squat Variation That Torches Your Core

Why Single-Arm and Single-Leg Training is Better for Athletes

Why Single-Arm and Single-Leg Training is Better for Athletes

The 10-Minute Grip Strengthening Workout

The 10-Minute Grip Strengthening Workout

A Modern Twist to the Original Burpee

A Modern Twist to the Original Burpee

Olympian Carrie Tollefson's Core Workout

Olympian Carrie Tollefson's Core Workout

YardBarker