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Bobsled Athlete Training Program Using Perfect Rep Scheme

I am currently training as a bobsled athlete and use a program based around explosive lifts such as olympic style lifts, and also exercises such as dip, pull ups,squats,walking lunges,good mornings,push press, bench press, weighted sled push, and various sprints. The try outs focus on the following critieria:15 meter sprint from a standing start
30 meter sprint from a standing start(3.80 or faster)
45 meter sprint from a standing start
60 meter sprint from a standing start
30 meter sprint from a flying start(3.10 or faster)
20 meter weighted (15k) sled tow
Vertical Jump
Shot Toss (16lbs-men’s Bobsled)
Clean
Squat

i have been in some type of sports training for about 12 years now(hockey,lacrosse,sprinting,football and weight training) and have decided to persue a dream in in the bobsled. I am in very good health and physical condition and have no injuries.

I seek your advice on prescribing a program for the power and speed a bobsled athlete demands. Your perfect rep program peaked my interest because motor unit recruitment is a huge part of accellerating a 463lb sled to 20mph plus before jumping into the sled. How would you arrange the excersises for a sport specific athlete such as myself using your principals. Thanks in advance. Anybody else on here, your advice is appreciated as well.

I actually trained a bobsleigh guy who competed in 2 olympics.

His training was fairly simple. I eventually called ‘Ascending-Descending complex training’ or something like that (been 10 years!).

I actually describe this system in my book ‘Theory and Application of Modern Strength and Power Methods’.

You basically have 4 strength sessions per week. 2 lower body sessions, 2 upper body sessions. The system is based on bulgarian complexes which used several movements of a similar pattern but with different types of loading. You would perform the exercises in circuit fashion but resting 90-120 seconds between exercises.

The ascending session starts with the lightest movements and works up to the heaviest, the descending session is the opposite.

For example…

LOWER BODY ASCENDING SESSION
A1. Vertical jumps 10 reps
A2. Depth jumps 5 reps
A3. Jump squat with 30% of maximum 5 reps
A4. Power clean from hang 3 reps
A5. Back squat 3 reps

You would wait 90-120 seconds between exercises and perform the circuit 3 to 6 times depending on the week. You would take 3 minutes between the end of a circuit and the beginning of the new one.

Assistance work and remedial work (hamstrings, lower back, etc.) was added at the end of the session as needed

LOWER BODY DESCENDING SESSION
A1. Back squat 3 reps
A2. Power clean from hang 3 reps
A3. Jump squat with 30% 5 reps
A4. Depth jumps 5 reps
A5. Vertical jump 10 reps

This set-up uses the same exercises for both session, but with a reverse order. But we also used different sessions… for example:

LOWER BODY ASCENDING SESSION
A1. Vertical jumps 10 reps
A2. Depth jumps 5 reps
A3. Jump squat with 30% of maximum 5 reps
A4. Power clean from hang 3 reps
A5. Back squat 3 reps

LOWER BODY DESCENDING SESSION
A1. Romanian deadlift 3 reps
A2. Power snatch from blocks 3 reps
A3. Jump goodmorning with 30% 5 reps
A4. Depth jump for distance 5 reps
A5. Broad jump series 5 reps

We had about 6 different complexes for the lower body and 6 for the upper body. Since they could be used in both orders (ascending or descending) it actually gave us 24 different complexes.

thank you, did you incorporate any sprint work or sled drag or push, or should i omit that with this work out.

[quote]oakey82 wrote:
thank you, did you incorporate any sprint work or sled drag or push, or should i omit that with this work out. [/quote]

Oh yeah, there was track work.

It used the same basic principle.

For example:

1 x 30m with sprint parachute
1 x 30m sprint
1 x 30m overspeed device

2-3 minutes between each sprint… repeat the series 2-4 times depending on performance.

The same was done for 60m sprints (on a different day).

2 intense speed sessions per week (1 session of 30m, 1 session of 60m) and 2 tempo running sessions per week.

great information thank you again

Coach Thib, in previous writings you said that exercises in this program are not supersets eg. http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/diet_performance_nutrition_supplements/canadian_ascendingdescending_ladder, could you clarify on this? Thanks

[quote]miljanmat wrote:
Coach Thib, in previous writings you said that exercises in this program are not supersets eg. http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/diet_performance_nutrition_supplements/canadian_ascendingdescending_ladder, could you clarify on this? Thanks[/quote]

They are not a superset, they are a complex (or circuit). You do one set of each exercise one after the other kinda like in a superset, but you rest between each exercise whereas in a superset there is no rest.

Coach Thib,

Thanks for clarification. Could you tell something more about warming-up scheme you used. Eg. my max back squat is around 500lbs, and I need much more warm-up sets until I reach work weight.

[quote]miljanmat wrote:
Coach Thib,

Thanks for clarification. Could you tell something more about warming-up scheme you used. Eg. my max back squat is around 500lbs, and I need much more warm-up sets until I reach work weight.[/quote]

Read all the stuff I wrote about ramping, practice/feeler sets, etc. Basically ramp up to your first working set on the heavy lift then start the complex/circuit

Thanks again Coach Thib.

Does the %'s change from week to week?

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I actually trained a bobsleigh guy who competed in 2 olympics.

His training was fairly simple. I eventually called ‘Ascending-Descending complex training’ or something like that (been 10 years!).

I actually describe this system in my book ‘Theory and Application of Modern Strength and Power Methods’.

You basically have 4 strength sessions per week. 2 lower body sessions, 2 upper body sessions. The system is based on bulgarian complexes which used several movements of a similar pattern but with different types of loading. You would perform the exercises in circuit fashion but resting 90-120 seconds between exercises.

The ascending session starts with the lightest movements and works up to the heaviest, the descending session is the opposite.

For example…

LOWER BODY ASCENDING SESSION
A1. Vertical jumps 10 reps
A2. Depth jumps 5 reps
A3. Jump squat with 30% of maximum 5 reps
A4. Power clean from hang 3 reps
A5. Back squat 3 reps

You would wait 90-120 seconds between exercises and perform the circuit 3 to 6 times depending on the week. You would take 3 minutes between the end of a circuit and the beginning of the new one.

Assistance work and remedial work (hamstrings, lower back, etc.) was added at the end of the session as needed

LOWER BODY DESCENDING SESSION
A1. Back squat 3 reps
A2. Power clean from hang 3 reps
A3. Jump squat with 30% 5 reps
A4. Depth jumps 5 reps
A5. Vertical jump 10 reps

This set-up uses the same exercises for both session, but with a reverse order. But we also used different sessions… for example:

LOWER BODY ASCENDING SESSION
A1. Vertical jumps 10 reps
A2. Depth jumps 5 reps
A3. Jump squat with 30% of maximum 5 reps
A4. Power clean from hang 3 reps
A5. Back squat 3 reps

LOWER BODY DESCENDING SESSION
A1. Romanian deadlift 3 reps
A2. Power snatch from blocks 3 reps
A3. Jump goodmorning with 30% 5 reps
A4. Depth jump for distance 5 reps
A5. Broad jump series 5 reps

We had about 6 different complexes for the lower body and 6 for the upper body. Since they could be used in both orders (ascending or descending) it actually gave us 24 different complexes.

[/quote]


Good day,

My name is Rosario Rositani and just signed up today. I have been an athlete my entire life and have endured a few injuries causing surgery. I train four days a week and after 30 years of training, you come up with a training regimen that works for you and eliminates many wasted hours. I used to ski and continue to love snow sports. I am relocating back home to Connecticut with my family.

I have worked with the CIA for many years and learned how to cope with danger; all missions were dangerous. My dream at my young age of 50 is to prove to the world that age is not a factor if you want to compete and if you have been an athlete your entire life.

I have three children under the age of 12 (12, 11, and 9) who love sports but here in Florida to get them into training of a sport, is like pulling teeth. No one is ever available and it has taken me two years to find a tennis coach for my daughter, but she decided not to train kids this year. My other daughter loves swimming and my son football and again, the county I reside in is backwards and my kids are hurting, thus moving back home where I have contacts that will provide my kids with training.

I come to you today because I have a dream, a hope to start bobsledding and to eventually try out for an Olympic Team. It may seem far-fetched, but who would have ever known that a son of Italian immigrant parents would one day work for the greatest spy agency in the world. A book about my years with the CIA will soon be published and this could help me with bobsledding and the Olympics because of exposure.

I am looking for someone to take me to the level I need to be in order to become a great bobsledder and prepare me for the Olympics. I want to compete in a two and four man team. Your help would be valuable to me. Thanks, Rosario

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I actually trained a bobsleigh guy who competed in 2 olympics.

His training was fairly simple. I eventually called ‘Ascending-Descending complex training’ or something like that (been 10 years!).

I actually describe this system in my book ‘Theory and Application of Modern Strength and Power Methods’.

You basically have 4 strength sessions per week. 2 lower body sessions, 2 upper body sessions. The system is based on bulgarian complexes which used several movements of a similar pattern but with different types of loading. You would perform the exercises in circuit fashion but resting 90-120 seconds between exercises.

The ascending session starts with the lightest movements and works up to the heaviest, the descending session is the opposite.

For example…

LOWER BODY ASCENDING SESSION
A1. Vertical jumps 10 reps
A2. Depth jumps 5 reps
A3. Jump squat with 30% of maximum 5 reps
A4. Power clean from hang 3 reps
A5. Back squat 3 reps

You would wait 90-120 seconds between exercises and perform the circuit 3 to 6 times depending on the week. You would take 3 minutes between the end of a circuit and the beginning of the new one.

Assistance work and remedial work (hamstrings, lower back, etc.) was added at the end of the session as needed

LOWER BODY DESCENDING SESSION
A1. Back squat 3 reps
A2. Power clean from hang 3 reps
A3. Jump squat with 30% 5 reps
A4. Depth jumps 5 reps
A5. Vertical jump 10 reps

This set-up uses the same exercises for both session, but with a reverse order. But we also used different sessions… for example:

LOWER BODY ASCENDING SESSION
A1. Vertical jumps 10 reps
A2. Depth jumps 5 reps
A3. Jump squat with 30% of maximum 5 reps
A4. Power clean from hang 3 reps
A5. Back squat 3 reps

LOWER BODY DESCENDING SESSION
A1. Romanian deadlift 3 reps
A2. Power snatch from blocks 3 reps
A3. Jump goodmorning with 30% 5 reps
A4. Depth jump for distance 5 reps
A5. Broad jump series 5 reps

We had about 6 different complexes for the lower body and 6 for the upper body. Since they could be used in both orders (ascending or descending) it actually gave us 24 different complexes.

[/quote]

CT

Would this still be your recommendation? your training knowledge and methods seem to grow and adapt all the time.

[quote]GmG-II wrote:
CT

Would this still be your recommendation? your training knowledge and methods seem to grow and adapt all the time.[/quote]

It’s still a very effective program (it was the foundation of the 6-weeks to superhero program, but with longer rest intervals).

Another good one could be:

LAYER WORD

  1. Power clean layer 1 ramp to 1, 2 or 3RM
  2. Power clean layer 2 clusters with 90% of ramp for 3-5 sets

COMPLEX

  1. Snatch-grip high pull 4 reps (1 from blocks, 3 from hang)
  2. Front squat 5 reps
  3. Jump Squat (30% of bodyweight) 10 reps
  4. Depth jump 5 reps
  5. Vertical jump 10 reps

For 3 rounds

and…

LAYER WORK

  1. Bench press from pins layer 1 (ramp to 1, 2 or 3RM)
  2. Bench press from pins layer 2 (cluster with 90%) 3-5 sets

COMPLEX

  1. Bench press (not from pins) 3-5 reps
  2. Push press 3-5 reps
  3. Speed bench (ideally with chains or bands) 3 reps with 50-60%
  4. Med ball throw from chest 10 reps
  5. Plyo push ups 10 reps

Do 3 rounds

The layer would always stay first in the workout. The order of the complex would reverse every other workout (workout 1: 1,2,3,4,5; workout 2: 5,4,3,2,1)

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]GmG-II wrote:
CT

Would this still be your recommendation? your training knowledge and methods seem to grow and adapt all the time.[/quote]

It’s still a very effective program (it was the foundation of the 6-weeks to superhero program, but with longer rest intervals).

Another good one could be:

LAYER WORD

  1. Power clean layer 1 ramp to 1, 2 or 3RM
  2. Power clean layer 2 clusters with 90% of ramp for 3-5 sets

COMPLEX

  1. Snatch-grip high pull 4 reps (1 from blocks, 3 from hang)
  2. Front squat 5 reps
  3. Jump Squat (30% of bodyweight) 10 reps
  4. Depth jump 5 reps
  5. Vertical jump 10 reps

For 3 rounds

and…

LAYER WORK

  1. Bench press from pins layer 1 (ramp to 1, 2 or 3RM)
  2. Bench press from pins layer 2 (cluster with 90%) 3-5 sets

COMPLEX

  1. Bench press (not from pins) 3-5 reps
  2. Push press 3-5 reps
  3. Speed bench (ideally with chains or bands) 3 reps with 50-60%
  4. Med ball throw from chest 10 reps
  5. Plyo push ups 10 reps

Do 3 rounds

The layer would always stay first in the workout. The order of the complex would reverse every other workout (workout 1: 1,2,3,4,5; workout 2: 5,4,3,2,1)[/quote]

are the two patterns done in one workout?

why alternate ascending and descending pattern?

[quote]iron addict wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]GmG-II wrote:
CT

Would this still be your recommendation? your training knowledge and methods seem to grow and adapt all the time.[/quote]

It’s still a very effective program (it was the foundation of the 6-weeks to superhero program, but with longer rest intervals).

Another good one could be:

LAYER WORD

  1. Power clean layer 1 ramp to 1, 2 or 3RM
  2. Power clean layer 2 clusters with 90% of ramp for 3-5 sets

COMPLEX

  1. Snatch-grip high pull 4 reps (1 from blocks, 3 from hang)
  2. Front squat 5 reps
  3. Jump Squat (30% of bodyweight) 10 reps
  4. Depth jump 5 reps
  5. Vertical jump 10 reps

For 3 rounds

and…

LAYER WORK

  1. Bench press from pins layer 1 (ramp to 1, 2 or 3RM)
  2. Bench press from pins layer 2 (cluster with 90%) 3-5 sets

COMPLEX

  1. Bench press (not from pins) 3-5 reps
  2. Push press 3-5 reps
  3. Speed bench (ideally with chains or bands) 3 reps with 50-60%
  4. Med ball throw from chest 10 reps
  5. Plyo push ups 10 reps

Do 3 rounds

The layer would always stay first in the workout. The order of the complex would reverse every other workout (workout 1: 1,2,3,4,5; workout 2: 5,4,3,2,1)[/quote]

are the two patterns done in one workout?

why alternate ascending and descending pattern?
[/quote]

No, only one pattern a day. So it could look like:

Day 1. Power clean 1
Day 2. Bench 1
Day 3. Power clean 2
Day 4. Bench 2
Day 5. Power clean 1
Day 6. Bench 1
Day 7. off

The different order… honestly that’s what I did 14 years ago when I first developed the program and it worked great. I could explain the physiological reason, it’s just one of those things that work.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]iron addict wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]GmG-II wrote:
CT

Would this still be your recommendation? your training knowledge and methods seem to grow and adapt all the time.[/quote]

It’s still a very effective program (it was the foundation of the 6-weeks to superhero program, but with longer rest intervals).

Another good one could be:

LAYER WORD

  1. Power clean layer 1 ramp to 1, 2 or 3RM
  2. Power clean layer 2 clusters with 90% of ramp for 3-5 sets

COMPLEX

  1. Snatch-grip high pull 4 reps (1 from blocks, 3 from hang)
  2. Front squat 5 reps
  3. Jump Squat (30% of bodyweight) 10 reps
  4. Depth jump 5 reps
  5. Vertical jump 10 reps

For 3 rounds

and…

LAYER WORK

  1. Bench press from pins layer 1 (ramp to 1, 2 or 3RM)
  2. Bench press from pins layer 2 (cluster with 90%) 3-5 sets

COMPLEX

  1. Bench press (not from pins) 3-5 reps
  2. Push press 3-5 reps
  3. Speed bench (ideally with chains or bands) 3 reps with 50-60%
  4. Med ball throw from chest 10 reps
  5. Plyo push ups 10 reps

Do 3 rounds

The layer would always stay first in the workout. The order of the complex would reverse every other workout (workout 1: 1,2,3,4,5; workout 2: 5,4,3,2,1)[/quote]

are the two patterns done in one workout?

why alternate ascending and descending pattern?
[/quote]

No, only one pattern a day. So it could look like:

Day 1. Power clean 1
Day 2. Bench 1
Day 3. Power clean 2
Day 4. Bench 2
Day 5. Power clean 1
Day 6. Bench 1
Day 7. off

The different order… honestly that’s what I did 14 years ago when I first developed the program and it worked great. I could explain the physiological reason, it’s just one of those things that work.[/quote]

so i assume why this program works great is because you work your stregnth/power and explosivesness in a fatigued state?

[quote]iron addict wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]iron addict wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]GmG-II wrote:
CT

Would this still be your recommendation? your training knowledge and methods seem to grow and adapt all the time.[/quote]

It’s still a very effective program (it was the foundation of the 6-weeks to superhero program, but with longer rest intervals).

Another good one could be:

LAYER WORD

  1. Power clean layer 1 ramp to 1, 2 or 3RM
  2. Power clean layer 2 clusters with 90% of ramp for 3-5 sets

COMPLEX

  1. Snatch-grip high pull 4 reps (1 from blocks, 3 from hang)
  2. Front squat 5 reps
  3. Jump Squat (30% of bodyweight) 10 reps
  4. Depth jump 5 reps
  5. Vertical jump 10 reps

For 3 rounds

and…

LAYER WORK

  1. Bench press from pins layer 1 (ramp to 1, 2 or 3RM)
  2. Bench press from pins layer 2 (cluster with 90%) 3-5 sets

COMPLEX

  1. Bench press (not from pins) 3-5 reps
  2. Push press 3-5 reps
  3. Speed bench (ideally with chains or bands) 3 reps with 50-60%
  4. Med ball throw from chest 10 reps
  5. Plyo push ups 10 reps

Do 3 rounds

The layer would always stay first in the workout. The order of the complex would reverse every other workout (workout 1: 1,2,3,4,5; workout 2: 5,4,3,2,1)[/quote]

are the two patterns done in one workout?

why alternate ascending and descending pattern?
[/quote]

No, only one pattern a day. So it could look like:

Day 1. Power clean 1
Day 2. Bench 1
Day 3. Power clean 2
Day 4. Bench 2
Day 5. Power clean 1
Day 6. Bench 1
Day 7. off

The different order… honestly that’s what I did 14 years ago when I first developed the program and it worked great. I could explain the physiological reason, it’s just one of those things that work.[/quote]

so i assume why this program works great is because you work your stregnth/power and explosivesness in a fatigued state?[/quote]

From my current experience that i part of it… but also do not forget that the physical activity you did just prior to a set, influence the performance of that set. So changing the order makes you produce force with varying pre-set activities.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]GmG-II wrote:
CT

Would this still be your recommendation? your training knowledge and methods seem to grow and adapt all the time.[/quote]

It’s still a very effective program (it was the foundation of the 6-weeks to superhero program, but with longer rest intervals).

Another good one could be:

LAYER WORD

  1. Power clean layer 1 ramp to 1, 2 or 3RM
  2. Power clean layer 2 clusters with 90% of ramp for 3-5 sets

COMPLEX

  1. Snatch-grip high pull 4 reps (1 from blocks, 3 from hang)
  2. Front squat 5 reps
  3. Jump Squat (30% of bodyweight) 10 reps
  4. Depth jump 5 reps
  5. Vertical jump 10 reps

For 3 rounds

and…

LAYER WORK

  1. Bench press from pins layer 1 (ramp to 1, 2 or 3RM)
  2. Bench press from pins layer 2 (cluster with 90%) 3-5 sets

COMPLEX

  1. Bench press (not from pins) 3-5 reps
  2. Push press 3-5 reps
  3. Speed bench (ideally with chains or bands) 3 reps with 50-60%
  4. Med ball throw from chest 10 reps
  5. Plyo push ups 10 reps

Do 3 rounds

The layer would always stay first in the workout. The order of the complex would reverse every other workout (workout 1: 1,2,3,4,5; workout 2: 5,4,3,2,1)[/quote]

CT, did this yesterday and i had a great workout. question could i replace 1 day of power clean layer ramp/cluster in exchange for squat layer ramp/cluster?

example:

Day 1. Squat 1
Day 2. Bench 1
Day 3. Power clean 2
Day 4. Bench 2
Day 5. Power clean 1
Day 6. Bench 1
Day 7. off

[quote]iron addict wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]GmG-II wrote:
CT

Would this still be your recommendation? your training knowledge and methods seem to grow and adapt all the time.[/quote]

It’s still a very effective program (it was the foundation of the 6-weeks to superhero program, but with longer rest intervals).

Another good one could be:

LAYER WORD

  1. Power clean layer 1 ramp to 1, 2 or 3RM
  2. Power clean layer 2 clusters with 90% of ramp for 3-5 sets

COMPLEX

  1. Snatch-grip high pull 4 reps (1 from blocks, 3 from hang)
  2. Front squat 5 reps
  3. Jump Squat (30% of bodyweight) 10 reps
  4. Depth jump 5 reps
  5. Vertical jump 10 reps

For 3 rounds

and…

LAYER WORK

  1. Bench press from pins layer 1 (ramp to 1, 2 or 3RM)
  2. Bench press from pins layer 2 (cluster with 90%) 3-5 sets

COMPLEX

  1. Bench press (not from pins) 3-5 reps
  2. Push press 3-5 reps
  3. Speed bench (ideally with chains or bands) 3 reps with 50-60%
  4. Med ball throw from chest 10 reps
  5. Plyo push ups 10 reps

Do 3 rounds

The layer would always stay first in the workout. The order of the complex would reverse every other workout (workout 1: 1,2,3,4,5; workout 2: 5,4,3,2,1)[/quote]

CT, did this yesterday and i had a great workout. question could i replace 1 day of power clean layer ramp/cluster in exchange for squat layer ramp/cluster?

example:

Day 1. Squat 1
Day 2. Bench 1
Day 3. Power clean 2
Day 4. Bench 2
Day 5. Power clean 1
Day 6. Bench 1
Day 7. off [/quote]

I don’t see a problem with that at all.