One of the best ways to limit soreness from deadlifts and clean pulls is to drop the weight after lifting it. After all, it is “weightlifting”, NOT weight lowering. This can have a positive impact on performance and recovery for athletes training in season. Concentric only training ensures that there are only concentric muscle contractions (shortening of muscles used during the lifts). Concentric focused, in-season, training should be between 50-200% of body weight lifted, reps between 1-5, and sets between 2-4. The emphasis should always be lifting as explosively as possible.
Lowering weight slowly, or under time-specific-controlled-tempos, causes eccentric muscle contractions. This is known as “lengthening” the muscles and as a result causes soreness afterward.
Concentric contractions initiate movement for all athletic abilities and skills like lifting, running and jumping. Eccentric contractions slow or stop these movements. Concentric = Gas Pedal, Eccentric = Brakes. Concentric focused training is good for maintaining and gaining strength, power and speed. Eccentric focused training is best during the offseason because it is taxing on the central nervous system and harder to recover from mentally and physically. However, it is very useful at building strength, power and speed capacity over time.
Eccentric focused training causes stiffness and soreness for 24-48hrs post-training. This is due to micro-tearing that occurs to the muscular sarcomeres. These are the functional and contractile units of our muscle fibers. Eccentric training is best during the offseason and is useful in developing an athlete’s overall physical preparedness and capacity for explosive work. By understanding these training concepts athletes’ & coaches’ apprehension to lift weights in-season should dissipate. Then, in-season concentric focused training will become a priority for improved in-season sport performance.