Mixed-Model Training for Females

“Sex Difference in Strength and Power Support the Use of a Mixed-Model Approach to Resistance Training Program.”

John D. Mata, BS, Jonathan M. Oliver, PhD, Andrew R. Jagim, PhD, and Margaret T. Jones, PhD. (2016) Sex Difference in Strength and Power Support the Use of a Mixed-Model Approach to Resistance Training Program. Strength and Conditioning Journal. 38/2; April 2016.

Is there a difference in strength between sexes? Is there a better way to train?

Short answer is, yes there is a difference. The interesting part is that women actually produce a greater amount of velocity when lifting over their male counter parts. So when we look at elite men and women weight lifters, we see that men create more absolute strength but lack the velocity that a woman can create. So now the question raised is: how can woman train to get maximal benefit? The answer according to the Strength and Conditioning Journal is Mixed-Model Training Approach (MMTA).

The basis of the MMTA is to train strength and power in conjunction. Typical training regimes use only one modality at a time focusing on absolute strength for a period of time then moving onto power for a period of time. This is typically incorporated into what is called a periodization program. Lets look at a given example of a MMTA from this study:

We see the use of plyometric power training in the first three choices then back to conventional strength training. Another point to be made is that we see the plyometric movement performed first. This will help to ensure that proper form is used prior to exhaustion. This allows the type II muscle fibers to be worked maximally for these movements. Here is another example that would have less complicated movements, but it would also fall under the MMTA:

The frequency for training MMTA would be 2-4 days a week, for 3-6 weeks as part of a periodization program based on approximately a 6 months time span. These are just two examples to show how MMTA would be accomplished. These do not necessarily reflect the best options for all individuals. This study was also based on elite athletes; meaning these workloads may be too intense for some individuals. With that being said, there is no reason why an individual cannot take bits and pieces, and alter the working loads whether it is sets, reps, or the percentage of weight used.

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