In practical settings, coaches are interested in knowing what the minimal effective dose of training is to stimulate meaningful improvements in physical performance qualities. In terms of resistance training, doing more than necessary can add unnecessary fatigue, soreness and recovery requirements while taking away from valuable on-field training time. Knowing the minimum volume, intensity and frequency of training needed allows for more efficient training. Studies comparing training protocols that differ by the aforementioned variables (i.e., intensity, etc.) on performance qualities are required to guide training practice. This will provide coaches with a better understanding of what movements to perform and at what volume and intensity to transfer over to performance.
A new study published ahead of print in the European Journal of Sports Science investigated the effect of incorporating a single eccentric-overload training session per week on athletic performance variables in team-sport athletes. Eighteen male handball players were divided into an experimental group (n = 11) and a control group (n = 7). The experimental group performance a single workout each week for 7 weeks comprised of 4 sets of 8 reps of half-squats and lunges with an eccentric overload. The control groups performed their normal weekly training structure. Performance tests included throwing velocity, maximum dynamic strength, lower body 1RM, countermovement jump, 20 m sprint, triple hop for distance and both eccentric and concentric power in half-squat and lunge exercises.
The results showed that half-squat 1RM, 20 m sprint time and countermovement jump performances improved similarly among groups. However, the experimental group should greater improvements in left and right triple hop distances. In addition, the eccentric overload training resulted in greater power outputs during both eccentric and concentric phases of the half squat and unilateral lunge exercises between by 6.5 – 25%. Neither groups improved throwing performance. These results suggest that the addition of a single eccentric overload workout can improve lower body power output and unilateral reactive ability in team-sport athletes. This may serve as a time efficient training strategy to improve these performance qualities.
Sabido, R., HernáNdez-Davó, J. L., Botella, J., Navarro, A., & Tous-Fajardo, J. (2017). Effects of adding a weekly eccentric-overload training session on strength and athletic performance in team-handball players. European Journal of Sport Science, 1-9.