contra;ateral agonist/antagonist training

I am a fourth year student in the university of limerick in Ireland studying a BSc in sports and exercise science. As part of our course we must do a sports applications project. We have decided to do one comparing two modalities of strength training, one being regular concentric/ eccentric training, and the other using the contra-lateral agonist/antagonist method which I read about in one of your articles. Below is a summary of what we propose to do.

Aim Test whether or not training contra-lateral agonist and antagonist at the same time is a superior method to training both agonists and then both antagonists at the same time i.e. in one group we will have them perform the regular dumbbell curls using right and left arms at the same time, (for say 3 sets) and then train the triceps using some form of dumbbell tricep extension (also for 3 sets). The second group will perform the contra-lateral agonist antagonist method, 3 sets each side.

Theory: A strength increase of 10% should be seen in both muscles when training with the contra-lateral agonist/antagonist method as opposed to the regular training method. This is due to the fact that there is a n apparent 10% crossover in the medulla oblongata of the nerves that enervate the agonist and contra-lateral antagonist.

Method We will have 2 groups of 6 subjects and will test them pre and post training on the contrex isokinetic machine in order to determine if there is an increase in maximal strength as a result of this type of training.

We will need to come up with an appropriate training plan
The observation was noticed in elite athletes but due to resources we may be forced to use beginners. We are not sure whether or not this would be appropriate.

We are now in the second week of our semester and have just began to work on this project. I would greatly appreciate any insight that you may be able to give us on how worthwhile this project is (have you found anything else since) , and any input that you may be able to give us to help us with this project.

Yours sincerely,
Pat Butler

Contralateral training was included in one of Ellington Darden’s books. He made great claims for it. As does Charles Poliquin.