If you asked every athlete who enters the weight room what their goals are, I’m 99% sure they would answer - jump higher, run faster and become more explosive. What if there was a proven method to obtain those goals and could be completed without any special equipment or fancy exercises? Enter the french contrast method.
WHAT IS THE FRENCH CONTRAST METHOD?
Once an athlete has a solid base training level, adding in complex methods such as french contrast is a great way to build speed and explosiveness. The french contrast method pairs:
- Heavy Compound Movement or Isometric
- Plyometric Movement
- Weighted Jump
- Overspeed/Assisted Jump
To implement these movements into an actual workout, here are the guidelines to follow:
- Heavy compound movement should be in the 60-90% of a 1RM range for 1-3 reps. If doing an isometric, the hold should be roughly 5 seconds.
- Plyometric movement should be done after a quick (10 second or less) rest after the heavy move. Rep range should be 2-5 and done with bodyweight.
- Weighted jumps can be a bit daunting, but it’s important to keep the load light. Don’t exceed 30% of a 1RM depending on the given exercise used for jumps. Aim for 3-5 reps.
- Overspeed or assisted jumps are simple. Attach bands to a rack and hold on to them as you perform a vertical jump. You could sub this with a sprint or bound if you don’t have access to assisted jumps. If jumping, go 3-5 reps. Sprint or bound should be done for roughly 10 yards.
EXAMPLE WORKOUT 1:
- Back Squat x3 reps @ 80%
- Standing Broad Jump x5 reps
- Dumbbell Squat Jump x3 reps
- Band Assisted Vertical Jump x5 continuous reps
EXAMPLE WORKOUT 2:
- ¼ Rep ISO Back Squat x3 reps with 3 count pause @ 70%
- Standing Triple Jump x3 reps
- Trap Bar Jump x3 reps @ 30%
- 10 yard sprint
I like to do 4-6 rounds of each circuit and rest 4-5 minutes between each round. Feel free to rotate exercises and find what works best for you!
Max Effort Muscle Director of Sports Performance
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