This is part 2 of 2 in Alan Janzen’s Strength Training for Ultimate series. Part 1 provides a detailed warm-up plan.
Ultimate players need to learn to produce force quickly and efficiently. To execute an explosive movement, your body must first develop the ability to decelerate and stabilize efficiently. By decelerating efficiently, you will reduce the risk of injury and find yourself in a more powerful position. Power exercises are a great addition to any strength program because it will teach you to use your strength in a more athletic and explosive manner. Use a combination of progressive plyometric drills, olympic lifts, and medicine ball drills to develop multi-directional speed and power. Here is an example of a linear, single-leg plyometric progression you can use to get started:
Strength building relies on proper technique and proper recovery to allow you to stay injury-free during training. If you have any questions about technique be sure to refer to our videos or ask a professional for help.
The benefits of progressive strength training are many. Strength training will quickly improve your neuromuscular efficiency through an increase in muscle activity, faster activation of that muscle tissue, and better coordination of the muscle. Strength training will make you a more efficient athlete by allowing you to utilize a larger percentage of your body’s muscle fibers for movement.
To make this happen, you only need do two things:
1. Progressively load movement – To improve strength levels, you must use a high percentage of your max strength during training. 70% or more of your one-rep-max should be sufficient for developing strength
2. Increase the speed of movement – Force is an application of mass and acceleration. Strength and power improvement relies heavily on the nervous system’s ability to recruit a large number of muscle fibers in a short period of time. You must have the intent to move every weight you lift at a high rate of speed.
The program is broken down into three sessions per week: A lower body, upper body, and a full body training day. Please allow at least one full day between sessions to maximize recovery and results (If needed, you could train lower body and upper body on back-to-back days). To track progress over time I recommend taking at least two performance tests; the vertical jump and the broad jump, as they are two excellent ways to measure power development.
Make sure you keep a log of the weights you use in every training session. It is extremely important to track progress over time, and it can help take the guesswork out of your training.
Wrapping It Up
I hope you enjoy this 4-week program for Ultimate athletes. As you progress through the program make sure you increase weight each week and keep the intensity high. At the end of 4-weeks, retest, take a few days off, and then get back to the grind.
Feature photo of Furious George’s Morgan Hibbert by Andrew Davis