THE EXPLOSIVE ATHLETE PROGRAM (EAP)
(download a PDF version of the EAP Overview HERE)
The Explosive Athlete program is for multi-sport athletes.
The program develops athletes that are strong, explosive, have a strong aerobic system, and are well-protected from injury.
The Explosive Athlete program should be implemented with every athlete at the school. The program affords coaches the opportunity to implement one program that every coach can support and implement with their athletes.
The Explosive Athlete Program (EAP) was designed by two Division I strength and conditioning coaches from the University of San Diego (Stephane Rochet and Matt Couch) and was built using the conjugate method (made famous by Westside Barbell).
The program is a 4-day split, with two days focused on the lower body and two days focused on the upper body. (See “adjustments” below to understand how to adjust the program to 2-3 days per week as needed.)
There is a max-effort day devoted to both the upper and lower body each week and a dynamic effort day devoted to both the upper and lower body each week. Max-effort days focus on moving heavy weight, and often times that means building to a 1,2,3, or 5 rep max.
Two days each week will be Dynamic-effort days, with a focus on moving sub-maximal weight explosively. Energy = Mass x Acceleration. With the Max-effort method the Mass is high while the acceleration is low. With the Dynamic-effort method the acceleration is high while the mass is lower. Both methods’ objective is to maximize energy and force and you’ll see the difference in your athletes by taking two approaches to doing so.
Both Max-Effort and Dynamic-Effort days are necessary for developing optimal power output and training the Central Nervous System to operate optimally for sports. Strength and speed are the name of the game.
Each Explosive Athlete Cycle is 8 weeks long, starting with the Prep Cycle. When looking at a traditional off-season, a coach should expect to start with the Prep cycle and only get through the first 4 cycles, each of which are 8-week cycles. You finish with the Finisher cycle before training camp and/or practices begin. As soon as athletes begin practicing regularly, the Explosive Athletes In-Season program should be utilized. The In-Season program is 2 days per week with a 3rd optional recovery workout. In a typical football season, the in-season program should be implemented on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
Each Cycle below is 8 weeks long:
- Prep Cycle
- Explode Cycle
- Power Cycle
- Finisher Cycle (typically the final cycle in an off-season)
- Grit Cycle
- Overtime Cycle
- Recovery Cycle (4 Weeks)**
- In-Season (16 weeks long)
**The Recovery cycle is optional and it can be used post-season as a nice transition into the Prep Cycle in the case that a coach doesn't feel comfortable giving the team a month off from training. We encourage you to give athletes the time off!
Warmup: Dynamic Activation
Prep: 4-Way Neck
Station #1: Explode
Station #2: Power
- Bench Press 4x8
Station #3: Strength
Station #4: Finisher
10 Rounds for time of:
The program always starts with a dynamic warmup to raise your athletes’ core temperature and to prepare the body for movement. Each training session will always end with homework that focuses on stability and mobility. The homework is designed so that athletes won't need equipment to complete that section and we encourage athletes to get the homework done on their own after their training session since each day's training will take 45-60 minutes without the homework section.
Following the warmup, there are 4 stations. Each station should take just about the same amount of time (10-12 minutes). If there are more athletes than there are space for barbells and racks, split athletes into 3-4 groups, placing one group at each station. Athletes will complete their station's sets and reps within the 10-12 minute time-frame before rotating to the next station. Ideally, athletes will rotate from station 1 to 2 to 3 before ending the workout with the Finisher as a team. If necessary, rotate between stations 1,2, and 3 before completing the finisher together as a team. If needed, use all 4 stations to rotate through the training session.
You'll notice that each station will use unique equipment, either barbells, dumbbells, or open space, and athletes should be spread throughout the weight room, fully utilizing the space.
Your athletes and your weight room should look like a well-oiled machine, with everyone working for 45-60 minutes.
Barbells, Dumbbells, and open space is all that is needed. There are movements that ask for a box (box jumps) and a speed ladder or bands, but there are alternatives for the few movements that require unique equipment.
Expect each training session to take 45-60 minutes. The homework can be done after the training session by each athlete individually to save time. To stay on task, expect the warm-up to take 5 minutes, and this should be completed as a team. There is often prep work or speed work and that should take 5-10 minutes. Each station should take 10-12 minutes and using a clock will help to keep athletes on task and to finish each workout on time.
The Finisher cycle will incorporate speed work and conditioning that is to be done on a field and that will extend the training session 15-20 minutes for 2 of the 4 sessions each week.
Your priority days are your max-effort days, Monday and Friday. If you can only get 2 workouts per week, those are your two days. If you can get a third, rotate between the dynamic effort days, getting one upper body dynamic effort one week and then the lower body dynamic effort the following week.
You have full control of each workout and any adjustments that you’d like to make to the program. This can be as simple as adjusting the dates, swapping one movement out for another, adding to, or removing from a day’s training. Although we discourage making changes unless you have a good grasp for why an element of the program exists and good reason behind manipulating it, it’s your program!
Get in touch with our team if you have questions. Email email@example.com.