The Eternal Triangle of Sports Weight Training – Elite FTS

What is the shape of the eternal triangle for athletic weight training?

While it is likely not an equilateral triangle where all training variables are given equal time, it is either an isosceles triangle (two sides of the same length) or a graduated triangle. As isosceles, two aspects of development are given equal time. A stepped triangle has three unequal sides. Therefore, one type of training is given priority because the other types have importance in the general synchronous training pattern. The Scene Triangle is, in my opinion, the best programming approach for team athletes.

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Keep in mind that as the player develops, special focus may be required on each of the three sides of the triangle, taking into account speed, strength, and size. Hence, balanced development prioritizes aspects that require work while developing strength. As Louis Simmons says, “Whatever we don’t train, we lose.”

Although it can be argued that power underpins all other kinetic qualities, without speed, the transition from the weight room to the field would be incomplete. What sport or game was played in the weight room? As Joe Kane says, we train (insert your sport here) players, not weightlifters, and the only thing that goes from the weight room to the field is confidence. As Louie Simmons has often said, weight is lost because you weren’t fast enough, and not necessarily strong enough. As individual sticking points will come into play, you can work your way through these biomechanical flaw points to finish a maximum or near maximum lift.

Speed ​​Training Zones

Hence, the triangle approach and application of velocity-based training (VBT) to ensure that what you intend to train is objectively trained and measured. I group these accelerometers into three areas after GYMAWARE’s work in developing this easy-to-read bookmark. Although there are five areas in this, I will cut it down to three areas for this particular program:

Zone 1: >1.0 m/s (speed force and starting force)

Zone 2: 0.5 – 1.0 m/s (velocity force and acceleration force)

Zone 3: <0.5 m/s (absolute or maximal force)

Using these three areas, I try to take advantage of the strength and velocity curve aspects to optimize training for the area that is most important to a particular player. The most viable starting point is the percentage of 1RM. 1RM will be carried out by VBT to measure the velocity and then the load will be reset accordingly. So this would look like this:

Zone 1: <60% of 1RM

Zone 2: 60 – 85% of RM1

Zone 3: >85% of 1RM

force program shot


  • hip movement
  • Hurdles – 10 reps forward and backward, 10 reps under. and more
  • Lunge set – Back, forward and side, 2 x 10 on each side


  • Core Peak Strength Movement (Squat): 4-10 reps at 90+% super set with 3 x jump box
  • Core Peak Power Movement: 6 x 3 reps @ 70-80% ultra-contrast set with 3 x long jump repetitions per set
  • Minor Peak Strength Movement (Detailed): 4-10 reps at a 90+% super-varying set with 3 knee-to-toe jumps per set
  • Hamstring specific movement: 3 x 6 reps

Weighted basic circuit (3 times through)

  • ½ Turkish Get Up with KB x 5 each side
  • Barbell Band x 10
  • Farmer Walking Bag, Deadlift Bag x 5 on each side
  • Windmill x 5 each side

Energy Program Snapshot


Neural Activation Protocol (Leaps, Leaps, Boundaries)

It was done as a three set for 5 total sets:

  • Basic Strength Exercise of Choice (Speed ​​Force Direction) x 3, 60%
  • Depth jump x 3
  • Run 10 meters through the timing lights

It was done as a three-set for four total sets:

  • Secondary Selection Strength Exercise (Speed ​​Steering Force) 6 x 4, 80%
  • Man’s jump x 3 in a 20-meter rawl push
  • Initial peak strength movement (usually a squat or deadlift) 4-10 reps @ 90%

Looking at a four-week training set in place of the above shots, I’d consider the following depending on the player’s training age. It is very important to look at each player individually to make sure if they are ready for this type of loading which is why using the Prilepin chart and Intensity Number of Lifts (INOL) allows the coach to adjust accordingly.


  • Below 2: Easy, doable, good to do after more stressful weeks and before climax
  • Between 2 and 3: challenging but doable, good for loading stages
  • Between 3 and 4: Brutal, a lot of fatigue, good for a limited time and shock mini bikes
  • Above 4: Have you lost your mind?

INOL . Workout Guidelines

  • Less than 0.4: Too few repetitions, not enough motivation?
  • Between 0.4 and 1: Fresh, doable and ideal if you don’t have accumulated fatigue
  • Between 1 and 2: Tough but good for loading stages
  • Above 2: Violent

Please note: The above INOL guidelines are from the excellent article, How to Design Strength Training Programs Using the Prilepin Schedule? Author: Hristo Hristov, Publication Date: 02-10-2004

Download cycles

Initial loading exercises:

  • Week 1: 6 x 6 @ 75% INOL of 1.44 (36 reps)
  • Week 2: 6 x 4 @ 85% INOL of 1.6 (24 reps)
  • Week 3: 6 x 5 @ 80% INOL of 1.5 (30 reps)
  • Week 4: 6 x 3 @ 90% INOL 1.8 (18 reps)

I will use the initial load cycle in:

  • Olympic lifts
  • squat
  • Lower Back / Hamstrings
  • Iron moves UB

Minor loading exercises (especially to use if inflation is required)

  • Week 1: 5 x 8 @ 70% INOL of 1.3 (40 reps)
  • Week 2: 5 x 10 @ 70% INOL of 1.67 (50 reps)
  • Week 3: 5 x 12 @ 70% INOL of 2.0 (60 reps)
  • Week 4: Not using secondary loading exercises this week

You can also use the RM method, which I mentioned earlier if you need a boost in inflation, using a four-week loading cycle that would look like this:

  • Week 1: 40 reps at 8RM (rest 30-45 seconds between sets until 40 reps are complete)
  • Week 2: 30 reps @ 6RM (rest 30-45 seconds between sets until 30 reps are complete)
  • Week 3: 50 reps at 10RM (rest 30-45 seconds between sets until 50 reps are complete)
  • Week 4: No secondary loading exercises are used this week

If inflation isn’t a huge issue and the player needs an extra loading workout, I’d use the following:

  • Week 1: 2 x 12 @ 60% INOL of 0.6 (24 reps)
  • Week 2: 3 x 10 @ 67.5% INOL of 0.9 (30 reps)
  • Week 3: 4 x 8 @ 75% INOL of 1.3 (32 reps)
  • Fourth week: Not using secondary loading exercises

I will use the secondary load cycle in:

  • single leg movements
  • Minor lumbar / hamstring
  • DB / KB
  • machine exercises

If I want to offer a mini shock loading course, I can choose any of the patterns below as they all have INOL of 2:

  • 5 x 1 @ 97.5%
  • 5 x 2 @ 95%
  • 5 x 3 @ 92.5%
  • 5 x 4 @ 90%
  • 5 x 5 @ 87.5%
  • 5 x 6 @ 85%
  • 6 x 6 @ 82.5%

By integrating VBT with the Prilepin chart, INOL, and Force-Velocity curve when programming for team sports players, you can ensure the integration and synergy of speed, strength, and volume relationships to optimize the training program for transfer and success on the actual playing field.

My thanks to Nick Lumley and Mark Keys for opening my eyes to new styles of programming to improve moving the weight room into the field.

Title image credit: antishock

Ashley Jones has worked in three professional sports across 30 years and four continents. NSCA Professional Coach of the Year Award in 2016. Ashley has been a CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) since 1988.


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