Omni Contraction Training System: A Well-Rounded Approach for Athletes and Non-Athletes Alike

Recently I have been learning about a variety of different training methods with guidance from my coworkers Myles and Matrixx. Over the last few months, one training method has stood out to me the most: the Omni Contraction Training System in St. Catharines (OCTS).

Omni Contraction Training System in St. Catharines

Omni contraction follows the principle of Cal Deitz Triphasic Training whereby you train all three types of muscle contraction: Eccentric (the lengthening of the muscle or the lowering of the weight), Isometric (no change in length of the muscle or a pause at the end range of the exercise), and Concentric (the shortening of the muscle or the lifting of the weight). In the OCTS, each muscle contraction is trained throughout the entirety of each training block instead of 3 separate training blocks.

The typical structure of an OCTS program follows an eccentric day, an isometric day, and a concentric day where I would typically program 3 full body training days. I believe that having the ability to train all three (3) phases of a muscle contraction in a mesocycle allows for a few things to happen, all of which I will discuss in depth below.

“Development doesn’t happen on a specific timeline: Athletes develop on different time frames, and take a variety of routes to their ultimate athleticism.” (Dechant, 2018) As strength coaches, our main goal is to help our athletes and clients improve their performance in strength and/or moving effectively and optimally in everyday activities. Applying specific tempos to their main exercises allows the individual to focus on mastering the basic movement patterns to improve their development.

In the example below, we follow the typical structure of a three (3) day program hitting all muscle contractions. This athlete does not have a very high training age and was in the off-season which made it a perfect time to implement OCTS. Having simple movements with tempos allowed this athlete to develop a solid base of proper movement mechanics, strength, and motor control. Using this method has helped to create a successful runway of progression to increase athletic development now and well into the future.

I have also been experimenting with different ways to implement OCTS into my programs for clients and myself. There have been a few alterations made to fit the client’s availability that I have used to elicit the adaptations that my clients have hoped for.  

Experimenting with a new template for one of my clients to help obtain his goals, I decided to program a mesocycle of eccentric and isometric phases with a small focus on concentric movements for accessories; I then followed this up with a mesocycle focused entirely on the concentric phase.

During this experiment with my client, our goal was to continue to improve upon his already well-established strength base and movement quality, all while keeping him healthy. As we progressed through the first mesocycle we saw the individual gain some serious strength increases throughout the concentric phase. This was supported by the eccentric and isometric mesocycle due to applying the right stimulus of intensity and volume to elicit such an adaptation.

In conclusion, there are many routes that you as a strength coach can use with OCTS to improve various qualities of athletic development or increase the quality of health with your athletes or clientele. As these examples are not the end all be all when it comes to using this method of programming, it can be a guideline or stepping stone to help get started.


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