If you’re looking to enhance your power and maximize your athletic performance, French contrast training is a method you should consider incorporating into your workout routine. By integrating heavy lifting and power exercises, this approach allows you to target the entire force-velocity spectrum in a single comprehensive giant set consisting of four exercises with similar movement patterns.
The key to French contrast training lies in the strategic alternation between exercises that vary in load and velocity demands. This technique stimulates your nervous system and promotes greater recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibers, enabling you to unleash more power during your workouts.
To effectively implement French contrast training, it is recommended to follow a 2-4 week training block while maintaining consistent movement patterns.
Here is the sequence of exercises involved in French contrast training:
Heavy Compound Lift: Perform 2-3 reps using 80-90% of your one-repetition maximum (1RM). The weight should be heavy but not maximal, allowing you to maintain proper form and technique.
Force-Oriented Plyometric: Execute 3-5 explosive reps that emphasize power and force production.
Speed-Strength: Complete 3-5 reps using a moderate load with the intention of moving explosively. Focus on maximizing speed and power during each repetition.
Over-Speed: Perform 3-5 reps either using your bodyweight or with band assistance, aiming to move as quickly as possible. This exercise emphasizes speed and explosiveness.
Remember to rest for 20-30 seconds between each movement and 2-4 minutes between sets to allow for proper recovery and maintain intensity.
For a better understanding of how French contrast training can be applied, let’s explore a couple of examples:
Example 1 – Upper Body Focus:
Close Grip Bench Press: Perform 2-3 reps using 80-90% of your 1RM, focusing on maintaining proper technique.
Plyometric Push-Up off Bench: Execute 3-5 explosive reps, emphasizing power and force production.
Light Horizontal Med Ball Throw: Perform 2-5 reps using 10-20% of you’re your close grip bench press, concentrating on generating explosive power.
Over-Speed Plyometric Band-Assisted Push-Up: Complete 3-5 reps, utilizing band assistance or your bodyweight, with a strong emphasis on speed and explosiveness.
Example 2 – Lower Body Focus:
Box Squat: Perform 2-3 reps using 80-90% of your 1RM, ensuring proper form and technique.
Bodyweight Box Jump: Execute 3-5 explosive reps, aiming to generate maximum power and height, do not worry about the height of the box, jump as high as you can, land softly!
Loaded Pop-Squat: Complete 3-5 reps with a load suitable for your ability, focusing on explosive movement and power generation.
Over-Speed Band Assisted Plyometric Squat Jump: Perform 3-5 reps with band assistance, emphasizing speed and explosiveness during the jump.
Incorporating French contrast training into your routine can be a valuable tool for improving power and enhancing athletic performance. Remember to adapt the exercises and weights based on your individual capabilities and consult with a qualified fitness professional if needed.