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Croissant Anyone? French Contrast Training and What Matters

French Contrast training, originally created by track and field coach Gilles Cometti, is a method aimed at increasing an athlete's power over a longer duration. It is a complex of four exercises that utilize the phenomenon of post-activation potentiation(PAP) which is the short-term improvement of the contractile ability of a muscle to generate more force.


The layout is as follows:


Lower Session Example

Heavy Compound Lift ( Back squat )

Plyometric Exercise ( Hurdle Hops)

Weighted Plyometric ( Trap Bar Jump )

Assisted Plyometric ( Banded Assisted Jumps )


Upper Session Example

Heavy Compound Lift ( Bench Press )

Plyometric Exercise ( Plyo Pushup )

Weighted Plyometric ( Rotational Med Ball Throw )

Assisted Plyometric ( Assisted Plyo Pushup)


Should you use it and if so, when? This method is really more of a peaking method and should be used sparingly for intermediate to advanced athletes. The execution involved and high level of exercises require years of training in my opinion to receive the full benefits.

Does that mean you cannot try it? Of course not, but it is typically reserved for high-level athletes and those with years of training under their belt. If you do use it, again, understand it is meant for athletes who compete so you should really know what you are peaking for before doing it.


If you decide to take on this method as a novice, I would only do 2-4 sets of this a week because of the recovery required by the central nervous system. Again, typically you can perform this twice a week( lower / upper session) with 4 sets, 10 seconds rest between exercises, and 5 minutes between total sets.


It is fun and makes training a lot more engaging, if you are lacking either of those give it a try. Again, just my thoughts.


Happy Lifting.


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