I noticed that you guys do a lot of explosive work with the legs as well as slow, grinding movements

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By: Gym Jones

I noticed - when reviewing your sessions - that you guys do a lot of explosive work with the legs (jump squats, resisted band jumps, split jumps, etc) as well as slow, grinding movements chased by explosive movements (Jonescrawl, iso/dynamic squats, etc). If you were rowing (instead of cycling) would you incorporate the same kind of "complex" training with pulling as you do with squatting/jumping/lunging/hopping? And if so, would power cleans be a suitable "pulling" exercise?

Answer

Good eye and analysis. For cyclists and runners, during the off-season and pre-season I prescribe slow strength work, and explosive efforts used alone or in combination with a preceding maximal or near-max effort to stimulate recruitment. We have found this effective at developing strength and power, with good transfer to reactive ability on the bike, and to address terrain/speed variations on foot. The training is easy to recover from, doesn't produce muscular acidity, and has no negative effect on concurrent sport-specific maintenance. I try to respect joint angles (similar in the gym as in the sport), this year, I am emphasizing more single-leg than bilateral effort to better match neurological patterns of the sports.

For rowing I think the slow, grinding efforts are as simple as the squat, front squat and deadlift. I would use a clean hi-pull: no need to confuse yourself with catching the bar, which makes the movement far more technical, i.e. once the second pull is done the effective work has been done. Or you could use 5-6 hard, fast pulls on the ERG. Even explosive pull-ups (4-6x singles with rest between) could provide a good reference.

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