When & Why to Use Micro-Dosing with Strength Work

by Max Effort Muscle

WTF is Micro-dosing? 

Micro-dosing is the practice of using sub threshold doses of training to elicit adaptations.  

Let's expand that thought... 

At multiple levels we are handcuffed with how to train athletes due to lack of time, scheduling or attention spans.  

Keeping that in mind what is the best way for us to train athletes when we are faced with one or more of these conflicts? Let's take a high school basketball player, for example. This particular athlete may play 2-3 games per week while practicing 2-3 days as well.

Ex: 

Sunday: Off

Monday: Practice

Tuesday: Game

Wednesday: Practice

Thursday: Game

Friday: Practice 

Saturday: Game

 

If you were the strength coach, which day would you train this athlete? 

What would this workout look like? 30 min? 45 mins? 

How many exercises are we hitting? Set? Reps

 

Now let's introduce this concept of Micro-dosing. 

Ex:

Sunday: Off

Monday: Practice

Tuesday: Pre-Game: Broad Jumps & Accelerations (8-10mins) – Post Game: Deadlift/Overhead Press (8-10mins)

Wednesday: Practice 

Thursday: Pre-Game: Vertical Jumps & Max V Sprints (8-10mins) – Post Game: Split Squats/Pull-ups (8-10mins)

Friday: Practice 

Saturday: Pre-Game: Extensive Hops Vectors & Change of direction work (8-10mins)– Post Practice: DB Bench/KB Swings (8-10mins)

 

The Thought Process

Instead of dedicating 2 days a week to training and causing more soreness, what if we just touched our big rocks weekly at high intensities and very low volume. 

Would we be able to get the same strength/speed/power adaptations as a normal 2 day a week lifting approach?

I pose this question because there isn’t a right or wrong answer. You need to find what works best for your team in your situation. I have micro-dosed speed and strength work with a Division 1 Lacrosse team and got great feedback from the athletes as well as the coaches. Our athletes understood the goal of each day and really bought into the approach. We had zero soft tissue injuries in fall ball and in the spring season.

Two of the main reasons I am choosing to train pre and post games is to sync up the stimulus.

  1. Keeping the high days high and the low days low. If the volume is low enough pre game we are essentially “priming” the CNS. Post game the CNS is taxed so we add additional strength training on the back end so the next day can be a low day.   
  2. If you don’t use it you lose it. We need to continue to train speed and power. If you look at the chart the speed doesn’t last long. Continuing to micro-dose speed work and high intensity, low volume training we may be able to replicate similar 2 days per week strength gains and prioritize recovery.  

As always thank you for taking the time to read. If you found this informative or would like to discuss further please DM me @CM1_Performance.  Always looking to discuss.

Thank you,

Colin Masterson

Performance Coach – Entrepreneur


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