May 07, 2015 | John Paul Catanzaro
Is it best for athletes to perform strength and power training on the same day or on alternate days? The answer depends on the goal. If the goal is to improve power, research suggests alternate days is best. If the goal is to increase strength and size, then same day may be a better choice.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, short-term strength and power training on alternate days is more effective for enhancing lower-limb and whole-body power whilst training on the same day may induce greater increases in strength and fiber hypertrophy.
The chart below demonstrates a microcycle (i.e., a one week training plan) where maximum strength (MS) training is alternated with power (P) training in the mornings and various restorative techniques are used in the evenings. Sunday is a day of rest.
Electronic Muscle Stimulation
For same day training, maintain the restorative methods in the evenings as shown above, but combine maximum strength and power training in one morning session and train only three days a week on non-consecutive days (e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). A great plan to follow for this purpose is the three-day contrast training split shown on page 150 of The Elite Trainer.
Take-Home Message: Training strength and power on the same day is a good strategy to use with athletes early in the off-season to build a solid base of strength and size. Switch to training strength and power on alternate days later in the off-season as the competitive season approaches.