Photo taken at: Welland International Flatwater Centre
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Endurance based sports attract a lot of confusion on a weight-training program design perspective. It seems logical at first glance to write a weight-training program that favors Strength Endurance, but it may be somewhat redundant considering the immense volume of endurance work they do practicing their sport.
To this effect, I like to alternate between phases of Hypertrophy and Functional Hypertrophy during the General Preparation Phase to help regain lost hypertrophy during the competitive season, as well as focusing on bringing up body parts that might have been underused during sports practice.
As we get into the Specific Preparation Phase, I will switch the focus of the alternating periodization between phases of Functional Hypertrophy and Relative Strength. This allows the athlete to maintain a healthy level of functional muscle mass for the rigors of the season, but also allows for superior strength levels.
Its important to know that strength is the mother of all strength qualities, with everything else being equal, a stronger athlete will always perform at a higher level.
One particular method that I find very effective during the Specific Preparation Phase is the use of an incomplete recovery Functional Hypertrophy rep scheme.
Here is an example:
A Pull-up 5 x 7 3010 90
With this set-up, assuming a 1RM of 100kg, loading would look like this:
Set 1: 7 @ 80kg
Set 2: 7 @ 78kg
Set 3: 7 @ 75kg
Set 4: 7 @ 73kg
Set 5: 7 @ 70kg
Because of the accumulative fatigue created by the shorter rest period, the athlete will need to decrease the load by 2-3% with each set. It is important to note that this system works better with advanced lifters, as weaker athletes will often have enough rest with 90 seconds at this rep range.
The advantages of using this method with an endurance athlete in the Specific Preparation Phase is that on top of improving strength and hypertrophy (because you're staying above the minimum strength threshold of 70% of 1RM), you are also improving Anaerobic Lactic Capacity, which is the key to performance in endurance sports. Pictured above is his online client at #wdbrc2015