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...
Must See
Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion
Views: 548,329
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,214,177
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 8,039,197

Featured Videos

Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Views: 1,018,026
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 15,983
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 70,834
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

Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,362,770
Paul Rabil's Box Jumps Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 851,480
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,577,083
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,333,163
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,499,164

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

The squat is without a doubt one of the most beneficial movements you can perform. Regarding improving athletic performance, muscle gain, increasing...

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

Why Every Athlete Should Do Farmer's Walks

Why Every Athlete Should Do Farmer's Walks

How to Build Arm Strength for Baseball Before Your Season

How to Build Arm Strength for Baseball Before Your Season

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

Advanced Anti-Rotation Core Strengthening Exercises

Advanced Anti-Rotation Core Strengthening Exercises

German Volume Training: How to Pack on Muscle Mass

German Volume Training: How to Pack on Muscle Mass

Build Explosive Strength with This Olympic Weightlifting Program

Build Explosive Strength with This Olympic Weightlifting Program

Improve Your Power With These Hardcore Methods

Improve Your Power With These Hardcore Methods

Is CrossFit Appropriate for Basketball Players?

Is CrossFit Appropriate for Basketball Players?

Why the Clean Pull is Perfect for Athletes

Why the Clean Pull is Perfect for Athletes

8 Cures for a Weak Grip

8 Cures for a Weak Grip

The Most American Workout Ever

The Most American Workout Ever

Battle Rope Workout That Will Get You Shredded

Battle Rope Workout That Will Get You Shredded

How to Get More Out of the Dumbbell Press

How to Get More Out of the Dumbbell Press

Duncan Keith's Stanley Cup MVP Training

Duncan Keith's Stanley Cup MVP Training

7 Trap Bar Exercises You Should Try

7 Trap Bar Exercises You Should Try

How to Perform the Farmer's Walk with Dumbbells

How to Perform the Farmer's Walk with Dumbbells

Why Your Instagram Box Jump Isn't That Impressive

Why Your Instagram Box Jump Isn't That Impressive

8 Ways to Use a Weight Vest in Your Workouts

8 Ways to Use a Weight Vest in Your Workouts

How to Fix Back Rounding When Deadlifting

How to Fix Back Rounding When Deadlifting

A Simple 6-Exercise Core Workout

A Simple 6-Exercise Core Workout

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

Are You Loading Barbells Wrong?

Are You Loading Barbells Wrong?

Everything You Need to Know About Using Farmer's Walk Handles

Everything You Need to Know About Using Farmer's Walk Handles

Strengthen Your Core With 2 Simple Anti-Rotational Exercises

Strengthen Your Core With 2 Simple Anti-Rotational Exercises

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

Why Everything You Know About Core Training is Wrong

Why Everything You Know About Core Training is Wrong

3 Barbell-Only, Full-Body Workout Programs for Any Fitness Goal

3 Barbell-Only, Full-Body Workout Programs for Any Fitness Goal

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

Know Your Row: The Pros and Cons of 8 Different Back Exercises

Know Your Row: The Pros and Cons of 8 Different Back Exercises

Austen Lane's Complete NFL Workout

Austen Lane's Complete NFL Workout

Build Strength with Kettlebell Sandbags

Build Strength with Kettlebell Sandbags

Keep Your Workouts Simple for Better Results

Keep Your Workouts Simple for Better Results

5 Training Ideas You Should Steal From the NFL's Best

5 Training Ideas You Should Steal From the NFL's Best

Wrestlers: Improve Double-Leg Takedowns With Sled Pushes

Wrestlers: Improve Double-Leg Takedowns With Sled Pushes

YardBarker