I've always enjoyed strength training. At the age of 13, I started strength training at World's gym as part of my USS swim team dry land training. When I was in college, I did a strength and conditioning internship with the UK basketball and cheerleading team, writing strength plans for the respected sports. I learned a lot in that internship! I have had several certifications in personal training and if I wasn't pursuing a career in dietetics, I could easily see myself coaching athletes full-time. When I moved to Florida for graduate school, I was pursuing my masters in exercise physiology in order to become a Strength and Conditioning Coach. I guess you could say that my heart was in strength and conditioning when I was in grad school but after training for my first marathon in 2004, I quickly developed a love for endurance sports and most of all, sports nutrition. Even though athletics have always played a major part in my life (since my early years as a competitive swimmer) I really do love to exercise. Living in a world where people don't make the time to exercise and/or don't understand what exercise can do for the body (and for life in general) doesn't really frustrate me. Since my career path is ultimately health and wellness, I hope that I can inspire others and work hard to motivate and help people to get out the door and get moving.
I recently read an article in Triathlete magazine (April '10, pg 34) titled "Power Gains in Cycling with Plyometrics". To quote from the article, here's a little bit about plyometrics: Plyometrics refer to the greater tension that muscles develop when a quick stretching phase in followed by a fast contraction. The goal of plyometric training is to train the nervous system to react quickly to the lengthening of the muscle by rapidly shortening the same muscles with maximum force. This process is typically referred to as the "stretch-shortening cycle". Plyometric training develops power in the lower extremities through various jumping movements and bounding.
The article in the magazine cites a 2005 study (Paton, C.D. & Hopkins, W.G.) regarding explosive and high resistance training and performance in competitive cyclist. This study is often sited in articles and on the internet because the results are clear and concise and demonstrate gains in 1K power, peak power, lactate threshold power and reduction in total oxygen cost. I did a little research after reading this article and there are several other great studies out there demonstrating significant results in cyclist and endurance runners. Several recent studies show that explosive training and high intensity training (HIT) improve performance (compared to control groups) due to changes in the muscles, allowing them to respond more efficiently during training.
I've been doing plyometrics for several years (typically once a week, in addition to 2 strength training sessions). 2 years ago I introduced Karel to Plyo's and he is really noticing results. Of course, you have to start slow (these video's are extremely advanced), not do too much too soon and you have to give yourself proper rest so that you do not injure yourself.
Here is a link to a few basic plyo exercises on Beginner Triathlete Plyo video (There are safety tips and recommendations on this link as well)
As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently completed a whole new set of beginner and advanced plyo/circuit training exercises on Beginnertriathlete.com and I will let you know when they are edited and published. Also, I'm sure I will be doing something with these video's and creating "alternative" exercises that aren't as advanced.
Enjoy the video's. Let me know if you have any questionsKarel's routine*80 toe taps *40 side-jumps *40 crunches *40 box jumps *40 Medicine ball push ups *40 Tricep dips *1 min wall sit *40 explosive knee lifts (alternating) *Bosu push-up (instead of medicine ball) *Box jumps w/ medicine ball (instead of regular box jumps) Rest 1 minute. Repeat entire set 2 more times (3 times total)
Marni's basic Plyo routine1 minute each on Bosu (continous) *Side to side *Single leg knee lift *Side knee raise w/ squat Rest 1 minute. Repeat entire set 2 more times (3 times total) (I also do some of Karel's exercises but on a box that is about knee height)