The Inno-Sport Training System There are a lot of training methods out there, but those are not training systems. Some training methods will work for some but not for others, or sometimes it’ll work for a bit then stop working. What a good training system needs to be able to do is explain why it works when it does, and what to do instead when it stops working. A year and a half ago I stumbled upon the site www.inno-sport.net which is a universal training system for all sports. It is based on a havinsolid and complete understanding of training principles involved in sport and movement, not just specific exercises or simple protocols. Their focus is on training the nervous system, so that it does what you want it to do. When the nervous system is giving the right commands, the body will follow. Main Concepts A key concept is assessing the athlete and individualizing their training. Everyone has their own distinct needs, and focusing in what they need the most is what leads to the most improvement overall. Two expressions are commonly used: Train the needs of the athlete’s present needs with respect to the future. The body adapts the quickest to what it needs the most. The training you do today has implications on the training and performance you do in the future. If you’re not constantly improving at something, then you might be concentrating on the wrong thing. There are seven principles to keep in mind when organizing training. They are bracket, modality, toleration, capacity, arrangement, method and direction. I’ll explain these below. Performance and Potential All training either produces potential ability, or closes the gap between actual and potential. Suppose exercise A develops the potential for exercise B which develops the potential for exercise C which develops the performance you want. If you train C, then your performance will increase up to the limits of its potential. Then you need to train B to raise that potential before you can go back to C to work on your performance again. You repeat this until B stops improving, then you go back and train A to raise the potential for B, which allows for more improvement in C. So, a basic arrangement that takes this into account would be BCBCA or BCBCBCAA. We call these 4:1 and 6:2 toleration cycles, respectively. What toleration refers to is the balance of training frequently to low fatigue and training infrequently to high fatigue. What you want to do is train the qualities you want to improve frequently, and train the qualities you want to maintain infrequently but to high fatigue. It is important that you keep track of the relationship between the fatigue and frequency. In conventional strength training, you prescribe sets & reps ahead of time, figure out how much fatigue that is, and use that to figure out what to do next time. Inno-sport works the other way around: prescribe a certain amount of fatigue, training until your performance drops a certain percentage from your top performance of that day. That way, you’re able to track your top performances over time, as well as the number of sets. Once you do it that way, you can play around with your training frequency to see how many days of rest it takes to maximize improvement in performance and sets in the next training session. The starting point for strength training is around 2/3 of your percentage drop: so a 6% dropoff needs 4 days of rest. Proficiency and Efficiency There’s a concept known as balancing proficiency and efficiency. Proficiency is your tendency to go all out in intensity, whereas efficiency is your tendency to hold back the intensity so you can last longer. To understand this, group your training sets into the following time brackets: 0-9s, 10-40s, 40-70s and 70+s. We call these the anaerobic response (an-1), anaerobic reserve (an-2), aerobic response (ae-1) and aerobic reserve (ae-2) brackets, respectively. For each bracket, your top performance ability is known as pinnacle capacity and your ability to sustain a high level performance (e.g. how many sets you can maintain at a certain intensity) is known as your prime capacity. As you go into higher brackets, your pinnacle and prime capacities will go down. So, your training has to optimize proficiency-efficiency for your activity. Badminton, with the average rally lasting 6-10 seconds, requires prime capacity in mostly the an-1 bracket. Long distance running, on the other hand, is pinnacle capacity in the ae-2 bracket, which is quite different. There are two methods to shift your balance in proficiency and efficiency. The first would be to focus on either pinnacle for proficiency or prime for efficiency when training within your bracket. The second would be to train within a second bracket on a separate training session – a lower bracket for proficiency and a higher bracket for efficiency. Don’t go overboard, if you need efficiency try 30 second sets instead of 30 minutes – you’re fine tuning your abilities here. Also note that the body adapts to efficiency preferentially over proficiency. This is why many coaches adopt a short to long progression where they build up speed and then extend it to the distance required. Static-Spring Proficiency Developing proficiency is not as easy as developing efficiency. You need to understand how the body generates force and power. It can come from either muscular contraction, or from elasticity of your muscles and tendons. The tension in the muscle can be rapid fire on-off (we call this ability rate) or it can be sustained (we call this duration)I there’s also a magnitude to the force generated. For the rate dominant activity, the elastic contribution to force production should be dominant. For a duration dominant activity, the muscular contribution is dominant. For a magnitude dominant activity, which lies between rate and duration, both muscle and elastic work to give the most power. What does this mean? To optimize power, you need strength with speed, and speed with strength. It’s a continuum: ß-----------------------------------------------------------------------à rate magnitude duration speed power strength elastic force muscular force OSP-RFI-RA-ADA-…………etc…………REA-FDA-OI-PIM-ISO What does the fourth row mean? These are different methods of creating/absorbing/transferring movement. You select a method on the side you need to shift your static spring proficiency. For example, suppose that most of your training involves quick foot contact movements, which is RFI work. Someone who’s super springy might supplement that with PIM or ISO work. Many professional athletes fit into that category. Someone less springy might do REA or FDA. Someone who’s not springy (“muscle-bound”) might stay on the left side altogether, and use RA or ADA. In all cases, you’re selecting the method to get the optimum static-spring balance for power. To help you out, here are some definitions for some of the basic methods: Pliometric: also known as eccentric, this is resisting a movement Isometric: when you resist a movement to the point that it stops moving Miometric: also known as concentric, this is generating a movement PIM: put all three together and you get…. conventional down-up reps FDA: force drop absorption. Instead of lowering a weight, you freefall and “catch” it at the bottom REA: reactive method. instead of just catching it at the bottom, you use that force to spring back up ADA: amplitude drop absorption i.e. depth drop landing off a box. Unlike FDA you increase load via drop height instead of weight RA: reactive acceleration. i.e. depth jumps, sprint acceleration, etc OSP: overspeed method. Use an elastic to slingshot yourself so you accelerate faster. Use relative motion in another limb to accelerate faster. You can apply the OSP method on top of any of the other methods, though whether you need to is another matter. OI: oscillatory isometric. Start in an isometric hold, release all tension then spring back up, repeat. This teaches good “spring” technique when working in the DUR. RFI: reflexive firing isometric. Any fast firing exercise: running, agility. It’s the opposite of OI, maximum relaxation followed by a burst of tension. Movement and Position The final of the 7 principles is the direction in which all of these forces work – in other words, movement and position. Take any movement, and you can break it down into a sequence of positions driven by the different methods discussed above. So you want to make sure your body can maintain the proper postures for generating/transferring/absorbing force using the appropriate methods. This is the functional approach to technique development – fix flaws and imbalances in your system so that using good technique comes naturally. As for movements themselves, there are only a few key ones: jump, cycle, push, pull, forward throw, backwards throw. Just play around with the positions to change the emphasis from one thing to another. You can do exercises bilaterally or unilaterally. Conclusion So, that’s my primer to the Inno-sport system. In this thread I’m going to follow up with what you’re all interested in: how to get started with this system, how to approach power training for strokes, how to make sure you develop stamina/intensity, etc. Reread this several times, check out their website, it's worth it. The first time I started reading this stuff, I understood very little, but as I reread and thought about it more, the more insights I got into how to train athletes.