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What is contrast training?

Contrast training refers to a type of resistance training that alternates the use of heavy and light load exercises in order to improve muscular power.  To improve power through your training program, you should focus on trying to produce more force or velocity with your exercises. Contrast training accomplishes both by requiring you to perform two exercises back-to-back. The first exercise is a traditional strength exercise, and the second exercise is an explosive exercise that challenges the same muscles and movement pattern. Because the resistance in the first exercise is heavy, this will create more activation of the muscles involved in the movement.  Then, by following the first exercise with a more explosive, lighter load exercise that works the same muscles, you will not only teach your body how to activate more muscle, but how to activate that muscle or groups of muscles more quickly resulting in improved power. An example of a contrast training set that will help make your legs more powerful would be to perform a set of 1 to 5 heavy barbell squats followed immediately by a set of 8 to10 squat jumps. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.