Strength Performance Network

Karsten Jensen's Blog (97)

What is the best way to develop aerobic power?

Q:What is the best way to develop aerobic power?
A: That is a question that I often get from athletes and fitness enthusiasts. One of the big leaps in ways of thinking when one becomes a trainer is to embrace that there is no best way to develop anything. The statement that there is no best way to develop anything is surprising to many and also in contrast to some scientific studies that shows, for example, that HIIT is…
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Added by Karsten Jensen on November 5, 2015 at 7:29pm — No Comments

Are you equipped to educate your athletes on the long term approach?

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.” - Abraham Lincoln

Have you ever experienced athletes or fitness clients coming to you to become faster or more powerful for a certain activity?

They often bring the expectation that they will be spending the most time - beginning immediately! - training with the most obvious power and speed exercises, like Olympic lifting, sprinting etc.

However, taking into consideration how the body works…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on October 11, 2015 at 2:20pm — 1 Comment

What can Periodization Principles do for you?

I am excited and proud to be able to offer Periodization Simplified – How To Use The Flexible Periodization Method “on the Fly” as a downloadable resource.



We created Periodization Simplified – How to Use the Flexible Periodization Method on the Fly to be the most comprehensive coverage of Periodization Principles that exists today.



We created Periodization Simplified - How to Use the Flexible…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on February 18, 2015 at 4:45pm — No Comments

Finding the right start load

Below is the core of the method that we use to establish the right start load in resistance training programs (From Maximal Strength - How To Manifest Untapped Potential For Strength Using The Flexible Periodization Method)



1. Explain the concept of rate of perceived exertion (RPE) to the athlete or client.



2. Three or more sets with gradually increasing loads are performed to find the right start load



First…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on February 4, 2015 at 12:16pm — No Comments

Many strength coaches and personal trainers find periodization to be rigid, generic and complicated

Many strength coaches and personal trainers find periodization to be rigid, generic and complicated - and even irrelevant - that is why I am sharing Flexible Periodization Method.



Do you ever make changes to the training programs that you have created for your athletes and fitness clients? What do you do if your athletes/fitness clients stop making progress?



If you ever create ANY form of changes to the…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on January 29, 2015 at 3:45pm — No Comments

Periodization as the ultimate way to break through plateaus

Is the application of principles of periodization necessary in your training programs?



There are coaches and trainers who say no: "Periodization is not necessary". "We can't use periodization with our athletes."



I believe that these coaches base their statement on a misunderstanding of what periodization REALLY is.



Periodization is a division of a longer training cycle into different periods wi…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on January 20, 2015 at 10:08am — 5 Comments

Strength as a skill

The following is excerpted from Periodization Simplified.

It has been stated that “Strength is a skill.” (185)

The textbook definition of a skill is the capability to produce a performance result with maximum certainty, minimum energy, or minimum time, developed as a result of practice. (186) The definition of skill is almost synonymous with “Optimal technique (form)” that is defined as a way of moving that allow the athlete/fitness client to use his/hers…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on January 14, 2015 at 3:50pm — No Comments

Optimizing workout structure

When you program a session of any kind with more than one exercise, how do you determine which exercise to begin with?

Do you have a physiological rationale, practical/logistic rationale or a combination? (for example, “we start with what's available”)

Why does the priority system of exercise supersede that of decreasing neural demand with the FPM?

The potential disadvantage of exclusively structuring workout based on the principle of decreasing neural demand is that the…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on January 13, 2015 at 6:04pm — No Comments

The power of questions

I am a big believer in the power of questions to guide our thinking and open our minds. Here is from Periodization Simplified.

(The text is an exerpt, but the meaning should be clear)

In preparation for a particular mesocycle the following questions are inevitable. If you are not considering these questions consciously, you are doing so unconsciously.

The questions are inevitable for each of the program variables 2-10 and for all modes of training,…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on January 12, 2015 at 5:52pm — No Comments

The 7 “story lines” of Periodization

From Periodization Simplified - The 7 “story lines” of Periodization

The last seven sections covered the 7 ‘storylines of perodization that each has a “first, then” structure that speaks to the definition of periodization as different periods with different goals, structures and content of the training program.

Some of these shifts happen “early” in the macro cycle, others happen “later” in the macro cycle.

 “Early in the macro cycle”

Principle # 5 First…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on January 7, 2015 at 5:12pm — No Comments

Cybernetic adjustment

Case Study:  Tweaking a standard hypertrophy protocol to accommodate for client readiness and progress.

A standard hypertrophy protocol for a fitness client in the third (or more) year of systematic training might be 4-6 sets of 8-12 repetitions with 60 seconds of rest in between sets.

The training should begin with a load that allow the client to perform 8 repetitions (the lower number in the bracket) with good form and a rate of perceived exertion of 4 out of…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on April 17, 2014 at 3:07pm — No Comments

Simplification of Periodization Tips #15 + 16

Simplification of Periodization Tip # 15: Recent studies show that even stabilizer training must be specific to the target movement that the program aim to develop.  It is through the needs analysis that we understand the role of the stabilizing musculature in each movement pattern.

Simplification of Periodization Tip # 16: Instability in the landing can slow down the contact time during jumps that is one reason for emphasizing stability in landings before power in…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on April 11, 2014 at 11:56am — No Comments

Major Characteristics of Periodization Systems

Last year I finished a book called Performance Optimization with Periodization for the Danish Sport Federation (my home  country - now living in Canada). Part of the task was comparing well known periodization systems to find out which one is "best".

After reviewing a large amount of studies (linear periodization, reverse linear periodization, daily undulating periodization, flexible nonlinear periodization, conjugate periodization and block periodization) I felt that I reached an…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on April 4, 2014 at 10:56am — No Comments

Have you seen the abdominal wheel with vertical handles?

Extreme Ab&Arm Wheel vs Traditional Ab Wheel – Elbow Joint

Abdominal roll outs should be considered a medium to advanced exercises.

After the necessary flexibility is developed (see the previous blog post), the bird dog and plank type of exercises can be used to prepare…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on April 1, 2014 at 11:30am — No Comments

Dumbbell vs Barbell Snatch

Lauder MA, Jake JP. Biomechanical Comparison of Unilateral and Bilateral Power Snatch Lifts. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 22(3):653-660. 2008

The study was motivated by the rationalization that securing a single dumbbell overhead in a snatch or jerk requires great trunk strength and shoulder girdle strength. Further, it is believed that the dumbbell…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on March 4, 2014 at 1:34pm — 2 Comments

Periodization Quick Tip # 8:

There is no “best” periodization system. What approach that works best at particular point in time is determined by a range of factors including training age, immediate training experience and competitive schedule.

 PS: If you are not quite sure, why periodization is so great then take a look at our free video course “The Most Useful Definition of Periodization and The 4 Reason that you MUST base your programs on Periodization if you want to see the best possible results for…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on March 3, 2014 at 2:35pm — No Comments

Periodization Quick Tip # 7 (Part IIII):

 After developing static active flexibility the athlete can now control the end range position isometrically and is ready to work on developing dynamic flexibility. 

 PS: If you are not quite sure, why periodization is so great then take a look at our free video course “The Most Useful Definition of Periodization and The 4 Reason that you MUST base your programs on Periodization if you want to see the best possible results for your athletes/clients”. Get it at …

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Added by Karsten Jensen on February 27, 2014 at 12:53pm — No Comments

Periodization Quick Tip # 7 (Part III)

 Periodization Quick Tip # 7 (Part III): Static active flexibility = The ability to assume and maintain extended positions using only the tension of the agonists while the antagonists are being stretched ( Science of Sports Training, Thomas Kurz)

PS: If you are not quite sure, why periodization is so great then take a look at our free video course “The Most Useful Definition of Periodization and The 4 Reason that you MUST base your programs on Periodization if…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on February 26, 2014 at 9:16am — No Comments

Periodization Quick Tip # 7 (Part I):

 The first form of flexibility to develop in a periodized program is optimal levels of static passive flexibility (the range of motion is produced by force from a muscle group other than the agonist or from an external source).  

PS: My recommended introduction to periodization is our free video course “The Most Useful Definition of Periodization and The 4 Reason that you MUST base your programs on Periodization if you want to see the best possible results for your…

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Added by Karsten Jensen on February 24, 2014 at 3:28pm — No Comments

Periodization Quick Tip # 5(Part II):

Periodization Quick Tip # 5(Part II): If you gave two different programs for different athletes to a colleague that you did not know, would (s)he recognize that the programs were created by the same person? (Disregarding that the templates would be the same)

Added by Karsten Jensen on February 20, 2014 at 12:02pm — No Comments

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