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Psychophysics in Functional Strength and Power Training

Review and Implementation Framework

IVES, JEFFREY C.; SHELLEY, GREG A.

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: February 2003 - Volume 17 - Issue 1 - p 177–186
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Functional training is considered to be training that attempts to mimic the specific physiological demands of real-life activities. Most approaches to functional training, though, omit important factors that contribute to physiological and neu-romotor adaptations. Cognitive factors related to sports influence physiological performance, and subsequently, physiological and neuromotor adaptations. We present a rationale and a theoretical framework by which to create effective functional training methods that incorporate cognitive factors. This framework draws upon recent developments and strong empirical evidence in the areas of dynamic systems theory, perceptual skills training, and motor learning/control. Emphasized within rigorous physical training are practice-related techniques and motor-learning strategies. In particular, mental effort, attention, and intention manipulated in a discovery-learning paradigm provide a framework for functional strength and power training. This framework is suggested to help maximize sport-specific physiological adaptations, and subsequently, sports performance.

Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Neuromuscular Control Laboratory, Ithaca College, NY 14850.

© 2003 National Strength and Conditioning Association