Lately, we have had a ton of fun experimenting with the French Contrast Method in order to maximize power output and increase athleticism in our athletes. This method was developed by a French track and field coach named Gilles Cometti, but was really brought to life for S&C coaches by Cal Dietz at the University of Minnesota. The premise is to use 4 exercises all along the Force-Velocity curve in order to challenge the physiological responses of the athlete.
Our experimentation has not only been through manipulating sets, reps, exercise selection, and rest periods, but also considering the demands of each particular athlete. For example, a basketball and hockey player may be given less rest b/w exercises than a baseball player due to the demands of their sport.
- Compound Strength Exercise (Squat/Deadlift, Heavy sled march, Lateral sled drag) 3-5 Reps
- Plyometric (jump, 5-10 yard sprint, reactive shuffle/crossover drill) 4-6 reps
- Resisted Plyo (weighted jump/resisted Sprint/resisted shuffle/crossover) 4-6 Rep/Steps/Etc.
- Accelerated Plyo (Assisted jump/sprint/shuffle/crossover) 5-8 Reps/Steps/Etc.
REST: 20-30s between exercises, and about 3 minutes between sets!
SETS: We utilize at least 3 sets but have used upwards of 6.
Our athletes have not only enjoyed using the French Contrast, but also help us with feedback on how they feel depending on the manipulations we’ve made, and are showing tremendous results!