T Nation

Inno-Sport Questions


I was hoping some of you Inno Sport advocates could answer some questions of mine, as I'm a little confused and new to the system..

1st, Do I use the drop off % for all sets of a hybrid, or do I first do a 100% effort for one set and use the drop off for subsequent sets?

2nd, Are you actually able to do the sessions in a "circuit" fashion? I imagine it'd be quite hard for me to do that, since my gym is quite crowded, and the equipment is spread out in a lot of different parts.

My 3rd question pertains to the timing of the sets. How do you do it? Do you have a training partner or do you use a different approach?

Finally, how does the system take a jumpers knee condition in consideration, and how does it rehab the condition? There's a lot of talk about tendon health on the site, but I've yet to find anything regarding rehabbing patellar tendinosis/tendonitis.

Please share your experiences, and if there's some tweaks you've made that have turned out to be beneficial, I'd like to hear about them too.



I am by no means an InnoSport guru, but I might be able to help you along some. jtrinsey, squattin, and KB would be better off helping you I'm sure.

1) theoretically you should quickly find your 1RM for the day and then figure your dropoff (without inducing fatigue). This works great if you are a sprinter, jumper or throw fastballs. However, if you are resistance training your 1RM shouldn't really change so you can probably fudge this part by testing one day, and then applying those figures to your workouts for a "while".

2) Yes, the workouts should be done in circuit fashion. This allows you to do each exercise in a 100% effort fashion. This way you don't spend all your energy on the 1st exercise, and a little less on each subsequent movement. Then you perform each exercise until the given dropoff is achieved. The order may vary from day to day.

3) Timing your sets can be tricky. If alone, your best bet would be to bring a small timer with you and set it to go off incrementally so you know when to begin and end.

As for jumpers knee, this is up to you. Yes, tendon strength is talked about a lot, however, any resistance training program will strengthen tendons. Follow whatever prehab/rehab you feel you need and let pain be your guide. If it hurts (in a bad way), don't do it. Stretch your quads, ice, ibuprofen and don't jump onto hard surfaces.

  1. work up to your daily maximum. then assign your drop off. for weights you can drop the appropriate weight% or use reps. either work to failure on every set or drop the appropriate # of reps and keep doing sets there till you hit DO


bench 225x10,9/9/8/7 DO achieved


Bench 225x10, then set DO at 8 and continue 225x8/8/8/8/7 DO achieved

Drop offs are roughly

1-5 reps/set = 1-2 rep drop off
6-12 reps/set = 2-3 reps drop off
13+ reps/set = 3-4 reps drop off

  1. yes work in a circuit but make sure you rest between each exercise, this is not a cardio workout. For upper body I super set the chest/back since they are the "big" lifts and then finish with some "beach" work (delt raises, bi/tri)
    On lower body you'd superset the squat and the hamstring movement. Then I finish with abs and calves. So I do not actually circuit all the movements, just the main/focus lifts

  2. I used to time sets, but now I just use good ol fashioned common sense. So I know roughly how many reps on a movement that I can do to hit the varous time frame so I do not worry about it so much. Basically you end up doing fewer reps on lower body moves than upper body moves

  3. rehab? that's what they use their warm ups for. Use tons of restorative work. try the neanderthal no more GPP circuit, the feel better for 10 bucks articles, ice, heat, contrast showers, etc...

I wouldnt do any maximal work (plyos, heavy squats, etc...) until you take care of your knee. So take this time to learn the "system" with the upper body and focus on recovery work for the lower body. Talk to your therapist/doctor about your knee and get started on a solid rehab plan

hope this helps


I'll chime in with what I can help out with here. I can't really say I use the Inno-Sport system exactly to the "T", but I do try to incorporate a lot of their methods, especially fatigue managment.

1.) Deadgame pretty much hit this on the head as far as I see it. You should generally have an idea of what your "best performance" for the day is, and then drop-off from there. Also, don't overuse pinnacle work, I made that mistake and my progress was frustrating. Now I use prime drop-offs and I find it's much easier to apply. Pinnacle is good for fatigue cycles though. Testing your "best performance" works better for the AN-2 bracket, IMO. If you are trying to do AN-1 work, and you work up to a true 1RM, you often won't be able to drop the weight 6% and hit another rep- at least I usually can't. However, say you are doing bench in the AN-2 lower bound bracket, you might want to pick a weight that you know will be failure from 6-9 reps, then just rep that til failure. You'll usually be able to drop the weight (or reps) 6% (or whatever your desired fatigue is) and hit it for a few more cycles.

2.) It depends where I'm at. Usually, I too can't do a few circuit. A lot of times I can if I'm doing lower body, I can just get in there and hog the power rack, but I usually wind up splitting into 2 circuits. What I do is split up into "important" and "less important" circuits. The important circuit is no more than 2 lifts and the less important is no more than 3 usually, maybe 4 if I'm in a higher bracket. The "important" circuit gets more fatigue than the "less important" circuit.

Here's what I mean:

Upper Body, DUR An-1/An-2
"Important" ~5% fatigue
A. PIM Bench, N x 1 rep
B. ISO Bench, N x 5-9 seconds
"Less Important" ~2% fatigue
A. PIM Dumbell Bench, N x 6-8 reps
B. OI Triceps, N x 15-20 seconds
C. ISO Pull-Up, N x 15-20 seconds

Basically there is no drop-off on the "less important" circuit. If I get 8 reps on the first set of dumbell bench, and I have to really really strain on the 8th rep, I'll only do one set. If I feel like I can get another set or two of 8, then I will. Remember that the supplemental stuff is just gravy, especially for athletes.

3.) I'm lucky enough that both of the gyms I train at have a clocks that are visible from pretty much every machine. As squattin said, don't worry so much about the time, have a buddy time a couple of warm-up sets of a few different exercises and you'll pretty much be able to know what brackets you're working in for just about any combination of exercise and reps.

As an overall, I still feel like I'm generally basing my training off the WS4SB template, only I've tweaked it in terms of exercise selection for my sport (volleyball), and I try to use the Inno-Sport principles to guide fatigue management. Remember that the goal for athletics is always to raise your "MAG" proficiency or magnitude of force manipulation, you do that by:

1.) Training your CNS to send a more powerful signal, through max-strength and MAG work.
2.) Being able to output a signal more quickly, with rate work.
3.) Being able to hold onto the tension longer, with dur work.

It's generally not that complicated, if you're weak, do DUR+MAG, if you're slow, do RATE+MAG.

Alright, that was pretty rambling. Feel free to ask me questions and I'll try to clarify whatever I can.


as a side note

my first example was a pinnacle arrangement and the second was a prime


About the tendinosis, one of the concepts of the inno-sport methodology is that to be able to produce force, you have to be able to absorb force (eccentrics). Recent research has pointed to eccentrics as a method to strenghten connective structures.


Guys, Thanks for the replies, I'm still learning.. I'm hoping to start implementing the concepts next week, asthis week was a back off week.

Like you said jt, I imagine I'd have a hard time going for a 1RM every time, so I guess I'll have to figure it out some other way.

As for the circuits, I might be able to split the circuits in two, I'll have to see how it works out.

How long do your workouts usually take?


In Brad Nuttal's article "Training Templates", he suggests starting General prep with DUR An-2 and RATE An-2 work. Did any of you start this way, and if yes, what did your workouts look like?

Or, how did you get started anyway? I'm interested in seeing how you set up your training.

When, e.g. in General prep, there's two different types of work, DUR and RATE, how do you structure that phase? Do a frequency RATE cycle and a fatigue DUR cycle? How about when there's more than two?
Did I just get too caught up in the system?:slight_smile:

I'm merely looking for a way to construct a plan that caters to my needs, and be able to adjust it accordingly when I improve.


So far I've read Kelly Baggett's Inno Basics article, all of Brad Nuttal's articles, couple of Korfist's articles and a few of DB's articles a while ago.
While I intend to read all the articles as soon as I can, could you guys recommend any articles other than the ones mentioned above, that would be helpful?


Thanks, I'll have to look into that.


If you are interested there is a DVD that we are selling that really explains the Inno-Sport way. It gives example routines and exercises the way they are suppose to be done. The video covers things from Auto-Reg to strength training for speed.


Dan Fichter


Yeah, that DVD might be a good idea to pick up.


One of the tenets of the Inno-Sport system is companion sessions. Actually, I'd say that any good system has companion session (ex: Westside, they pair an ME day with a DE or RE day). So when you are doing general prep, you are pairing DUR An-2 with RATE An-2. Basically this means pairing one day of moderate to high volume lifting with one day of short to medium distance sprints.

Here's a good beginner block, IMO.

6:2 Frequency:Fatigue
Week 1:
Monday- Total Body DUR An-2, ~5-7% DO
Wednesday- Total Body RATE An-2, ~3-4% DO
Friday- Total Body DUR An-2, ~5-7% DO
Week 2:
Monday- Total Body RATE An-2, ~3-4% DO
Wednesday- Total Body DUR An-2, ~5-7% DO
Friday- Total Body RATE An-2, ~3-4% DO
Week 3:
Monday- Total Body DUR An-1, 8-12% DO
W/F- Recovery methodics and some mod intensity "GPP" type stuff
Week 4:
Monday- Total Body DUR An-1, 8-12% DO
W/F- Recovery methodics and some mod intensity GPP.

A total body DUR An-2 day might be:
A. MIO Deadlift, N x 6-8 reps
B. ISO Pull-Up, N x 15-20 seconds
C. OI Bulgarian Squat, N x 20-30 seconds
D. OI Bench Press, N x 20-30 seconds

A total body RATE An-2 day might be:
A. Light overhead med ball throws, N x 3 (drop-off by total distance)
B. 150m sprints, N x 1 (drop-off by time)
C. RFI hops, N x 15-20 seconds (drop-off by reps)

A total body DUR An-1 day might be:
A. PIM Squat, N x 1 rep
B. PIM Bench, N x 1 rep

The length of my workouts vary. RATE workouts are going to take longer to drop-off, even at a lower percentage, at least for most, that might push to the hour and a half range. Any An-1 workout should probably take around 45 minutes since you'll probably drop-off pretty quickly, at least I tend to.


as a side note, and i dont know if the video contradicts this, but jt's example is good. However, personally i'd cut the drop offs by 1/3 - 1/2


I have one point question about this, and it is the definitions of 'Rate' and 'Duration'. Rate work refers to the Rate of Force development (I am guessing), however, this is not accomplished by improving the coding rate of individual motor units. Instead, it is done by improving the ability to recruit more motor units. This doesn't seem to be addressed in the writings on that sight (unless I missed something).

From this, I see the duration work as actually improving the 'rate' of an individual motor unit. End result is the same, I just wish terminology was standardized.



I just threw those drop-offs out there as an example. I tend to like to error on the high side, and then take an unload week if need be. But definitly the drop-offs are very individualized.

Actually I believe by the Inno-Sport "definition" RATE refers to the rate of nervous system contraction, not so much rate of force development. I guess "true" RATE work would be something like tapping the fingers as rapidly as possible. Many debate whether it's actually possible to improve this nervous system rate of contraction, but I know that some of the guys who have gotten more advanced into the system claim to have been able to drastically cut ground contact times, as measured by a jump pad. I can't make a comment personally as my main weaknesses are just a flat out lack of strength, so I haven't really delved into the RATE methodics as deeply as some others have.


I greatly appreciate your reply. I'll probably use this as a starting template and make modifications as I learn more about the system. How long do you think I should stay in this general prep phase? I mean should I repeat it or just do once?




For me it would depend on a few things:

1.) Initial level of preparedness
2.) Performance objective
3.) How long you have to obtain that performance objective.

Generally one cycle would be good enough IMO, it really depends though. What are you training for and where are you at right now?



Basketball is my sport, so I train for that. Right now it's off-season, the actual season starts around september/october.. I'm trying to shake my jumper's knee condition right now, haven't really been succesful with it though..




I started thinking, as I was looking at the template example you gave..

Simplified, RATE work is done to improve the rate at which power is produced, and DUR is done to improve the length of time that power is produced, have I understood correctly?

In your example, you wrote 150m sprints for a RATE day, but wouldnt those be more DUR work than rate? I don't know, I'm confused, that's why I'm asking.



Still trying to understand the system, is the example you provided kind of like a accumulation/intensification type thing, where you first have higher volume for a couple of weeks, then lower the volume and increase the intensity (or weight)?
I've found from my experiences that, as opposed to the 4 week cycles usually recommended, I have to use 3 week cycles (2 weeks on, 3rd week back off) in order to avoid overreaching.