Understanding these terms will expand your knowledge and help you to train with intent.
Acceleration = change in velocity/change in time
Rate at which a body makes a change in velocity. Acceleration is measured in meter per second squared.
The time between the concentric and eccentric phases of the stretch-shortening cycle. A shorter time spent in the amortization phase allows for more use of elastic energy for power production.
Describes movement that involves both arms or both legs simultaneously. Examples include squat, deadlift, bench press, pull-up.
Concentric contractions occur when the muscles shorten as they exert force. Your bicep muscles are going through a concentric contraction during the lifting portion of a bicep curl.
Placed farther from the center of body or point of attachment; e.g. the knee is distal to the hip.
Eccentric contractions occur when the muscles lengthen as they exert force. Your bicep muscles eccentrically contract during the lowering portion of a bicep curl.
Force = mass x acceleration
Force is a push or a pull exerted by one object on another, and is measured in Newtons.
The force-velocity curve tells us that an increase in force results in a decrease in velocity, and vice versa. Shifting the curve to the right means that you will be able to lift heavier loads at higher velocities.
GENERAL PHYSICAL PREPARATION (GPP)
In the strength & conditioning world, this is the training phase where athletes work to lay down a foundation before moving onto more sports specific work, often taking place during preseason. This involves general strength training, mobility work, energy system training, etc. and can also be applied to general fitness. The length of GPP depends on the sport, competition level, and other factors but the idea is to work on your weak points and to be prepared for more specific training.
Isometric contractions means that the length of the muscles remain the same as they exert force. Holding the bottom of a squat for time is an example of an isometric contraction of your leg muscles.
KEY PERFORMANCE INDEX (KPI)
KPI's are measurable skills that can be progressed over time. It is important to know what skills to assess depending on the individual's sport or goals- they can be classed in different categories and range from general (e.g. squat to body weight ratio) to more sports specific skills (e.g. a soccer player's ability to cross the ball). Identifying and tracking KPI's are an important strategy required to bridge the gap from where you currently are to where you need to be.
Max. strength is the highest level of force production and can be defined by the heaviest weight that you can lift for 1 rep (1RM).
Max. velocity is achieved when you exert an internal force against an external force as fast as possible. Throwing a light medicine ball as hard as you can would be an example of training maximum velocity.
Mobility is flexibility combined with strength. You must address both soft tissue and the central nervous system to achieve long-term increases in your mobility.
The movement prep is warming up with intent- it is the time to prepare for the high intensity exercises that you are about to perform in your training session. Not only is this a great time to get your core temperature and heart rate up, but it also gives us the opportunity to acquire new skills and to address any weak points. Your movement prep should progress over time as you get stronger and discover new areas to work on.
Power = force x velocity
Power is the ability to lift something heavy with speed. Strength training alone will not increase your power so it is important to utilize specific exercises that target both force and velocity.
Placed closer to the center of body or point of attachment; e.g. the shoulder is proximal to the elbow.
The frequency of signals being sent from the central nervous system to the motor unit for muscle fiber recruitment. The higher the rate, the more force you can exert at a given time.
RATE OF FORCE DEVELOPMENT (RFD)
RFD tells us how fast one can develop force. Increasing this rate gives you more explosive strength. RFD is measured in Newtons per second squared.
RATE OF PERCEIVED EXERTION (RPE)
Using the RPE scale is a great way to measure the intensity of an exercise. After each set, ask yourself "how hard was that on a scale of 1 to 10?" We typically want to aim for an RPE@8- "I could have done 2 more reps in that set"- which is the sweet spot for making safe progressions in your training.
You should also measure your daily RPE (how good do I feel today on a scale of 1 to 10?) and your training RPE (how hard was that training session on a scale of 1 to 10?) to help manage your training intensity/volume. Recording your daily RPE is also useful for understanding why your performance was particularly high or low on a certain day.
SPECIFIC PHYSICAL PREPARATION (SPP)
After GPP, athletes will move onto more specific training. This involves working on movement that is specific to a particular sport, such as throwing for baseball players or grappling for wrestlers. SPP work can be done both in the weight room and out on the field. The best way to train a movement that is specific to a sport is through repetition with intent.
Speed-strength involves lifting sub maximal loads (30 to 60% of 1RM) at maximal speed. A banded bench press is an example of training that targets speed-strength.
Strenght-speed involves lifting heavy weights (80 to 90% of yoru 1RM) at a fast speed. The load should be heavier than when you are training for speed-strength.
STRETCH-SHORTENING CYCLE (SSC)
The SSC describes when a muscle rapidly transitions from an eccentric contraction to a concentric contraction, with a transitional/amortization phase taking place in between. Training your SSC can result in an improvement in both explosive and endurance based qualities.
How long you have been training for, or how experienced you are. Someone with a high training age is more experienced than a person with a low training age. This does not necessarily correlate to your chronological age.
Taking place in all 3 planes of motion- sagittal, frontal, and transverse. An example of a tri-planar exercise would be the Turkish Get-up.
Describes movement that uses one arm or one leg (or the combination of the 2) at a time. Examples include running, bounding, lunging, etc.