Kelly B, Reactive and Relaxation Drills

  1. What are some good ones?

  2. I ask because it appears to me that DB’s idea behind improving speed and agility are improving its individual componants…relaxtion and reactivity among them.

  3. And basically force application is what is trained via magnitude and rate training, and force application being the key to athletic movements

  4. Limit strength is basically the ceiling for force application, the higher it is, the greater potential for force application there is, resulting in a potential for greater speed and athletic movements.

  5. Relaxation and reactivity so that muscles relax and contract with great speed and coordinate with each other is really the key element that seperates those at the top from each other.

  6. So would development of limit strength, force application, and relaxation/reactivity lead to great increases in speed without sprinting? And if done in conjunction with, would this lead to better results?

  7. Am I correct in assuming that the oly lifts are force application exercises? As well as most plyometrics?

  8. Would tuck jumps, without worrrying about heigh of the jump, just very quick contact times and tucking the knees high, be a good drill for relaxation/reactivity?

  9. As well did u read the barry ross article? I kind of agree with it, except that it is more the persons ability to apply force for their bodymass, and obviously increased limit strength opens the ceiling for this?

I’ve had success with these drills. They really improve your first few steps.

This is where RFI work comes in - my first time doing em has been fruitful

CCJ, or KellyB
Could I structure workouts like this?

Day 1
Reactive Exercise for upper and lower(Plyometric, RFI)-3x4
Limit(D/L Variation)-3x1
Power Exercise(Power Clean Variation)-3x1
Weighted Pull Up Variation-3x1

Day 2- Recovery
Tempo like workout, bodyweight push ups and sit ups between sets
Gymnastics exercises

repeat for six days…

I found that doing the limit pull before the power clean(because of the low volume) give a nice potentiation effect, but I think the reactive drills must be first as they require the most coordination. Would this work to enhance speed/strength(I dont need to worry about size, that why I picked such a low volume, and for the most part, concentric only move).

RFIs are low intensity things that are quiet rapid, so 3x4 is not gonna cut it. You would want to see how many you get in say 10secs for example and try improve on that over time etc. I have been doing RFI 2 legged hops on and off a 5inch inch step for 20secs. First session I averaged around 25 and I was having problems doing it, I was trying to muscle it up. 2nd session I hit 30 hops and peaked at 32 etc. I did these just before sprints in the rotation and they helped my sprint form a lot and probbaly help me avoid a hammie pull :slight_smile:
That’s what it’s all about rapid firing and relaxation to avoid hammie injuries from “muscling” the movement. Judging how I was trying to muscle up the RFI hops intially. I probably would have pulled a hammie, since I hadn’t sprinted at max speed in quite a while. Next session I’ll see if I can hit 33+ hops in 20secs

Make sure you know the difference between RFI work and reactive work/mag type work.
Also it’s not a good idea to do rate work with strength work, it’s ok with power/explosive/mag stuff though. With rate your trying to teach your CNS to fire rapidly and release tension just as fast, whereas with strength work, your telling the CNS to strain and hold tension for longer periods. So that’s a conflict of interest as far as your CNS goes. Possibly injury potential as well, maybe…

So far I have noticed a big difference in quickness, agility and just plain athletic qualities since I dove into mag and RFI work in a structured approach :slight_smile:

What kind of structure are you using? How are you measuring and varying (increasing) intesity? What kinds of volumes? Can you put down a sample micro-cycle here? Thanks!

im sorry but im in the dark can someone help me??

im lost as to where this conversation started from…

…a link would help??

thanks - because this looks interesting

What are the best RFI exercises? There’s so many of them… Maybe a recommended progression?

anyone thanks…

Well in the last microcycle I finished - as far as the lower body goes my main training goal was to increase my force and power absorbtion (main difference between the two is load and velocity) and RFI ability. Plus I was a bit hit and miss on frontsquats, lacking strain ability so I wanted to address this.

I trained 3 times a week, alternating upper and lower body.
For lower body I had 2 workouts I alternated between. 6 workouts of lower fatigue dropoffs with 4-5 days rest between each, followed by 2 workouts of higher fatigue dropoff with 1 weeks rest between each. Volumes are autoregulated to % fatigue dropoffs as per DB Hammer and everything is circuit rotated with 2 to 2.5mins rest ebtween each.

Workout one consisted of -

Low volume of Olys during the warmups
ISO frontsquat - lower down to the bottom and come up 3inches and hold for time at the sticking point, max load for 6-8secs (plus a squat up in the worksets)
Reactive speed squats (divebombed explosive) for triples with 70% AW --> 225-235lbs in my case
ISO Snatch grip deadlift held an inch of the floor - max load for 6-8secs

I later added reactive GHR for sets of 5 after the ISO snatch grip deadlift to help fix a glute to hamstring firing imbalance

Last higher volume workout was done with regular reps rather than ISO
work capacity blew up here, I was able to do 15 sets of frontsquats (mostly singles, but a few doubles to tire me quicker) before failing to the dropoff %, after setting a new 1RM PR

workout two consisted off -
altitude drops off 1 metre for 5 reps (later changed to triples) with heels off the floor, able to land with much smaller leg bend by end of the microcycle - just a 1/4 squat with a bounce
2 legged RFI hops on and off a 6inch step - max reps in 20secs
max speed sprints - width of park, length unkown.

I lated added depthjumps off an 18inch box on the last high volume workout, when I tested a reactivity weakness. Which will be my next training emphasis in the next microcycle
That’s what its all about, constantly working at bringing up your weakness. I currently have decent strength levels, and force/power absortion levels as well. So reactivity is my big weakness now. A depth jump off an 18inch box is 2 inches lower than my standing Vertical Jump

next microcycle will be different to reflect this new weakness, and also train different exercises on the strength side. I will still do the reactive GHR thing until my hammies start to fire on the same level as my glutes

Go to and take a look around :slight_smile:

as far as progression goes, think about how plyo progressions are based on intensity and use common sense.

Start with 2 legs and low heights and progress up to single leg ones etc

Also what is training goal and your weakness --> that will determine what types you do. For example RFI work targeted to agility is different for sprinting or jumping etc, ie more side to side and out to angles rather than just up/down, or forwards

CoolcolJ, what sport are you training for? My bad if you already stated this and I missed it.

Also, how long are the micro cycles which you are performing, and how are you transitioning from one to the next. More specifically, are you structuring the programming so as to make seemless transitions between cycles or are you simply constructing one cycle to the next entirely based around new found weaknesses without much concern for how abrupt the change in training may be?

I think he trains for fun

thanks a lot man

I’m just a genetically average person with a fairly fast CNS trying to maximise their potential :slight_smile:

either 5 workouts or 8 workouts for either upper or lower body. Since I alternate between the 2, training 3 times a week. Each upper or lower body microcycle is about 4-5 weeks long
I described the dropoffs above

These are abrupt cycles. I will chop and change things on a week by week basis as well sometimes, if anything comes up. I drop and detrain lifts on a regular basis, and when I come back to em, I am weaker at first but soon PR very soon after. When I train my lower body for power, I do more strength work on my upper body and vice versa. a bit of Yin and Yang :slight_smile:

Anyway I started my new lower body cycle targeting my reactivity weakness, and have made some nice gains already. In 3 workouts, I drop my sprint time by 0.5 secs, and added 2 inches on VJ!!! Which surprised the hell out of me! :eek:
Depth jump off an 18inch box is now only an inch lower than my VJ, so an inch gain there.

Lower 1

some Olys during warmups, low volume

Rotating between each exercise

  1. Vertical Jumps - to measure gains and measure fatigue dropoff for the entire workout, once it drops 4% I stop everything
  2. Full Back Squats - explosive - 80 to 85% AW x 2
  3. Reactive Full Back Squats 65-70% AW x3
  4. Jump Squats - with a reset between each jump - 50% AW x 3
  5. Lat Machine Situps - controlled - dumbell on chest - submaximal sets of 10
  6. Reactive Natural Glute Ham Raise - BWx5

Lower 2

VJ at home to measure gains and then a depth jump of an 18inch box to measure reactivity

Then I head to the local park - Rotating between each exercise

  1. vertical jumps to measure fatigue of depth jumps
  2. depth jumps off 18 inches x 5 -----> 5 reps is too much, will switch to 3 reps
  3. 2 legged RFI hops on and off a 6 inch step - max reps in 20secs
  4. max speed sprints - width of park