Christian Thibaudeau - Training the Three Types of Contraction


Coach Chris explains how slow eccentrics can benefit the training of a beginner lifter by improving technique.


Each type of contraction has it’s own benefits. So, for example, if I’m training duration eccentrics, so slow eccentric : great for motor learning. If I’m squatting down slowly, I agree, it’s not « good » for athletic performance, it does not transfer as well to sport performance, because there’s no stretch reflex while I’m going down slowly, but in the grand scheme of things, doing a slow eccentric can teach you to stay tight, have better coordination, better technique. Remember, we use duration methods only in the general physical preparation stage, and the role of that phase is not to make you a better athlete : it’s to prepare your body to be able to train to be a better athlete. So the duration methods will not transfer well to better performance but it will make your body better adapted at being able to handle the high tension, high force, explosive methods. If you don’t already have the muscle tissue, the tendon thickness, the technical efficiency, you will need those methods to do the other methods safely and effectively.

Once you have an athlete who’s been with that system, with that approach, for years and years, he has large amount of muscle mass, he has thick tendons, he has good lifting mechanics, yeah, you don’t need to train the duration methods, because he already has all the benefits from these methods. But with a beginner athlete or high school athlete, these methods are very important. An advanced athlete will be able to use the more high tension methods right from the start, but everybody else, they will need the duration methods.

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