Programming For Success Part 2: Specify

by David Howatson-Begg

After reading the previous article (part one on programming) and becoming more familiar with Power Plate, it's time to ask yourself a couple of questions: (1) How do we know when to move up to the next level of programming? (2) At what point do we move from a beginner to an intermediate Power Plate user?

The answer to both of those questions lies in your ability to identify the improvements you have made thus far. It could be that you're beginning to vary your movement routine or increasing the vibration frequency. Perhaps you've begun training on high amplitude or extending the number of exercises you perform. At this point in programming the next stage reveals itself. Specification.

Making the workout specific to your needs sounds obvious, but in many instances people stick to the same program for far too long. More importantly they miss the mark when it comes to training in a way that fits their goals. To get this right we must have a clear understanding on what it is we want to achieve.

Plug In

Step one is to plug into a specific type of training protocol: Strength, Speed, Endurance, Power, or Agility/Skill Specific. Tagging your goal onto these categories provides a clear strategy for training. Lets take power for example. If we climb onto Power Plate on a low frequency, low amplitude and do slow, static or low impact exercises then it's unlikely that our power would increase. Instead we'd want to be explosive, fast and reactive.

Sample Power Exercises: Medball Slams, Clean and Jerk, Kettlebell Swings and Squat Jumps.

Settings: Frequency 35+, Amplitude High, Duration less than 30 seconds for 3-5 rounds.

The higher intensity needed to develop power means that the duration should be shorter. Focusing on sets and reps might make more sense than simply setting up the plate for time. A 60 second round of squat jumps is likely to result in a loss in form and a big drop in performance. That fatigue causes poor technique and has to be factored in. When performing truly explosive movements on Power Plate, 10–15 seconds might be enough.

The opposite would be true for building endurance or fat burning. Jumping around the surface of Power Plate in a HIIT style session will burn a lot of sugar but not much fat. Get that training protocol wrong and the goal will get further and further away. Nail the protocol that matches your goals and things will fall into place.