COMPLEXES: integrating eccentric strength training and explosive plyometrics

Behind the block is a segment we teach you about the science, design, and methods behind the Allegiate workouts. This stuff matters. Why do we do what we do? And what makes it work?

As a reminder, we have 2 central themes that we rotate between in our training.

1) Intensification (power, strength, speed) and

2) Accumulation (volume, body composition, work capacity).

You get both strength and conditioning in both training themes. But we design our training this way because it’s more sustainable, smarter, and gets a better ROI over the long-haul.

Complexes: Integrating eccentric strength training and explosive plyometrics

With complexes, we’re working to improve our eccentric strength and stay dynamic with explosive plyometrics.

This training is all about creating a shorter transition from the eccentric portion of a movement to the concentric portion of the movement. For this TEAM block, here’s what our main movements will look like:

  • Back Squats with a 5-second eccentric tempo, superset with countermovement, explosive jumps.

  • Incline Bench with a 5-second eccentric tempo, superset with explosive med ball slams

  • Trap Bar Deadlift with a 5-second eccentric tempo, superset with explosive KB swings

There is a concept in physiology called Strength Deficit.

Strength Deficit is the difference between concentric and eccentric strength. Naturally, we are stronger eccentrically. But if we train with a concentric focus, we can close the gap. And when we decrease the gap between concentric and eccentric strength, our relative strength improves.

The transition time between concentric and eccentric is also important. It impacts the force we can develop.

A faster change from eccentric to concentric yields a higher rate of force development. A more robust eccentric ability means you can generate higher concentric outputs. And as we look at strength deficit, a larger deficit means we will be more powerful and resilient.

You are about 1.5-2 times as strong eccentrically compared to concentrically.

People reach their ceiling concentrically rather quickly. It is a naturally weaker contraction type. At near maximal loads, people can always lower the weight under control but will fail when they try to lift the weight concentrically

A big reason to utilize eccentric training is this:

There is still a lot of potential energy to tap into if we shift focus from concentric to eccentric. Plus, by maintaining better positions, there is a decreased potential for injury.

In conclusion:

Most movements in the weight room are governed by concentric ability. But if your training is concentrically focused, you leave out a ton of potential for improvement. You will get far more out of your training if you develop efficiency and improve load in your eccentric movements.

cody romness