The purpose of this paper is to highlight the increase in strength of muscle contraction following the individualized training of athletes, designed after determining the maximum strength for five muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, deltoids, pectorals and biceps brachii. Research hypothesis: The systematic use of individual programs allows increasing the maximum strength following the recruitment of a greater number of motor units. Work method: The program was applied during the competitive phase for one month, meaning that eight training sessions were held as part of further action on the aforementioned five muscle groups. It was used the flat pyramid method based on three different work intensities in order to obtain higher neuromuscular adaptation. Ten professional football players aged between 18 and 30 years participated in the designed program, working into the circuit training, therefore alternating one exercise for the upper body and one for the lower body. Conclusions: The maximum load with few repetitions leads to substantial adaptations of the nervous system, better synchronisation of the involved muscles and an increased ability to recruit fast fibers. The results of individualized strength training have increased the contraction strength by 40% after eight workouts and by more than 5% after every workout. In this regard, the research hypothesis is confirmed.
Keywords: Strength of muscle contractionindividualized trainingfootball
The maximum load method is the only type of strength training that recruits all motor units.
Malo (2014) thinks that maximum loads with few repetitions lead to significant adaptations of the nervous system, better synchronisation of the involved muscles and an increased ability to recruit fast fibers (p. 146).
1 RM – One Repetition Maximum – represents “the maximum amount of weight that a person can lift in a single repetition for a specific training exercise” (Williams, Groves, & Thurgood, 2009, p. 248).
Some experts (Fleck & Kraemer, 1998) have found that strength is tested by one to ten repetitions, and over twelve repetitions test the muscle endurance (p. 87). In this regard, there are some warnings that the personal coach should know in 1 RM testing.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this paper is to highlight the increase in strength of muscle contraction following the individualized training of athletes, built after determining the maximum strength.
The systematic use of individual programs allows increasing the maximum strength following the recruitment of a greater number of motor units.
Ten professional football players aged between 18 and 30 participated in the designed program.
It was determined the maximum strength for five muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, deltoids, pectorals and biceps brachii.
Maximum strength was determined according to Brzycki formula:
Once the maximum potential for each player and each muscle group has been determined, we designed an individual training program for increasing the contraction strength.
This type of calculations may not always produce accurate results, but can be used as starting points (Brzycki, 1998, p. 92). The weight can then be changed as needed to perform the number of reps called for by the training protocol.
A one-month program was organized, with 8 training sessions (2 training sessions per week in the gym, aiming for work at intensity of over 80%, going ever closer to 100%).
The pattern of the proposed load is the flat pyramid. This type of load pattern starts with an intermediate series of 80-85%, then 3 series with a stabilisation load of 95-100% (Figure
Each player worked according to the individual file designed after the data interpretation. The designed program was applied in the competitive phase, and the training took place as an additional part.
Players who followed the designed program have evolved less or at all in the recent games. The individual file was divided into three workloads:
65 to 70%, 12 to 15 repetitions are performed as a series of transition between general warm-up and the work to be done;
80-85%, 6 to 8 repetitions are performed and the goal of this area is to have an intermediate series and get closer to the maximum area, and the involvement of motor units is valid. When some units get tired, others get into action;
95-100%, 1 to 3 repetitions are performed, and the involvement of motor units is total.
Players worked into the circuit training. It alternated one exercise for the upper body and one for the lower body. Only after all five exercises were performed, the following series was executed. The rest between exercises was 1 minute and a 3-minute rest between series. The interval between the two exercises in the week was at least 48 hours.
In the final testing - after achieving the average for the 6 muscle groups, each player had a general progress. The results of individualized strength training have increased the contraction strength by 40% after eight workouts and by more than 5% after every workout. In this regard, the research hypothesis is confirmed.
The physiological advantage of using the flat pyramid is that, by using a load for a single intensity level, it is achieved the best neuromuscular adaptation (Kenney, Wilmore, & Costill, 2015, p. 117). The maximum load with few repetitions leads to substantial adaptations of the nervous system, a better timing of the involved muscles and an increased ability to recruit fast fibers.
- Brzycki, M. (1998). A practical approach to strength training. McGraw-Hill.
- Fleck, S. J., & Kraemer, W. J. (1998). Repetition maximum methods for monitoring your weight training intensity. Strength and Health Report, 2, 1-2.
- Malo, J. (2014). Periodization fitness training. Soccer Tutor.com Ltd.
- Kenney, L., Wilmore, J., & Costill, D. (2015). Physiology of sport and exercise (6th edition). Human Kinetics.
- Williams, L., Groves, D., & Thurgood, G. (2009). Strength training. The complete step-by-step guide to a stronger, sculpted body. London: Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
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05 March 2018
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Sports, sport science, physical education, health psychology
Cite this article as:
Stoica, M., & Blejan, C. (2018). Increasing the Muscle Contraction Strength after the Individualized Training in Football. In V. Grigore, M. Stanescu, & M. Paunescu (Eds.), Physical Education, Sport and Kinetotherapy - ICPESK 2017, vol 36. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 339-342). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.03.45