Pulp Fiction: 5 Fitness Myths Never Explained Properly

Welcome to a number of themed articles based on popular media comments and preconceptions that continually are circulated in the popular press. The fitness and nutrition industry is a wacky world where science and opinion are blurred.



This means that opinion often leads fact when there is no relevant science or data. What I am going to do here is highlight where the rumor came from, how it has gained traction and then attempt to smash it with the hammer of fact.

1. Cardiovascular exercise makes you fat….

Where it came from? This myth has been proliferated in the last few years. The concept espoused by a number of American gurus is that cardiovascular exercise causes a fat storing environment. Indeed if you are not interval training you may be gaining body fat this very second. Knowing that you can wrap everything in science the idea is that cardiovascular exercise causes a catabolic, muscle wasting environment resulting in a lower amount of lean tissue meaning a lower metabolic rate and a crushed metabolism from circulating anti-muscle hormones.

The truth? Excessive activity may cause this to happen indeed holding on to lean muscle mass is a prerequisite in all our fat loss plans. However, a couple of hours a week of cardio though won’t cause your metabolism to fall of a cliff.

Does everything need to be an interval? Hell no. In fact steady state cardio can be a good recovery tool for other forms of intense training. What the above statement did is it sent out a negative message that goes against the grain of common sense. With a lot of trainers trying to stand out and be different it meant that the anti-cardio weight loss programme has prevailed even though if you look in to tapping in to different methods of burning energy the best method is always going to be a combined approach. The above approach was highlighted by comments like how many fat people do you see doing aerobics/ Zumba or how many fat joggers do you see? That does not necessarily dictate cause and effect and correlation rarely proves cause, if anything it highlight other aspects such as an individual’s approach to nutrition.

2. Weight training makes women bulky…

Where it came from? Fear, Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow’s personal trainer Tracey Anderson and in general women’s magazines.

With the Times now leading a campaign that strong is sexy and effectively now the new lean it confuses everyone. Some women don’t particularly care about being strong, they just want to look awesome. If strong is a side product of this then great!

Enter the celebrity trainers highlighting that weight training make your legs bulky. Tracey Anderson gets published in leading news papers highlighting that if you lift anything over 3kg you will be a female hulk- the journalists who write this should be ashamed of themselves and be made to live with Gwyneth Paltrow only eating from her cookbook. A side point this is from Amazon about Gwyneth’s book…

Last spring, after a particularly grueling schedule and lapse of overindulgence, Gwyneth Paltrow was feeling fatigued and faint. A visit to her doctor revealed that she was anemic, vitamin D deficient, and that her stress levels were sky high. He prescribed an elimination diet to clear out her system and help her body heal. But this meant no coffee, no alcohol, no dairy, no eggs, no sugar, no shellfish, no deep-water fish, no wheat, no meat, no soy, nothing processed at all!

Are you kidding me- no wonder she had such a small part in Iron Man- how did she even get to lunchtime. Anyone would look skinny avoiding that much food.

The truth? Weight training will build muscle and shape. If you have a layer of fat covering it you will look bulky. This is not weight training- this is your body fat. Females are in a position that their hormonal status does not promote muscle building as much as it does in males. Therefore you will not get big and bulky. In fact a kg of muscle is considerably smaller than a kg of fat in appearance (consider a tennis ball versus a football).

3. Protein shakes build muscle…. Right?

Where it came from? Look at the front of most sports nutrition products. They usually have a man who looks like a Greek god flexing as if his life depended upon it. It says eat this, look like me. Well done… you got fooled.

The truth? Weight training builds muscle drinking a shake doesn’t. It will give you the building blocks to build muscle as you adapt to training but so do a lot of other foods. It usually depends upon the nutrient breakdown of the shake and whether it is a pure protein shake or a mass builder containing carbs and protein. The take home point is that chugging three of these a day is a great way of getting fat if you are not training. But hey at least you can fill out those tight T-shirts now.

4. Eating fat makes you fat….

Where it came from? The low fat revolution pretty much demonized fat to the level where people preferentially avoid consuming it. Indeed making fat the bad guy meant that you could remove a massive amount of calories from your diet. That’s good isn’t it? Oh and pretty much eating low fat means my cholesterol levels will drop so it’s healthy as well. Saturated fat is bad for me etc. No it isn’t.

The truth? Fat is used to make hormones, hormones tell your body what to do and when to work and when to slow down. Fat plays a role in the maintenance of a number of the body’s systems therefore cutting large amounts of fat out of your diet then can have a negative effect on your health.  It also helps absorb and store vitamins which are vital. As a side note eating any macro-nutrient excessively will cause fat gain but it depends upon your whole nutrition make up over a period of time.

5. Eating carbs makes you fat….

Where it came from? In short carbs produce insulin. Insulin causes fat storage. Therefore, carbs = fat gain. This has been popularized recently in varying diets from the Paleo diet, high fat/ low carb as well as Gary Taubes author of the Diet Delusion highlighting that carbohydrates are the root cause of fat storage.

The truth? It’s a compelling case however fat storage is not a singular event, there is an ebb and flow dictated by a number of other things including hormonal activity as well as energy demands from movement. There are a decent amount of studies on low carb diets versus lower fat diets. The issue with a lot of the studies is that protein intake is rarely matched meaning that it is hard to compare. This quote from Alan Aragon highlights a recent study…

Another recent trial compared two 1500 calorie diets, a non-ketogenic diet and a ketogenic one [Johnstone CS, et al. Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over nonketogenic low-carbohydrate diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 May;83(5):1055-61.]. Insulin sensitivity was equally improved between the groups. No inhibition of fat loss was seen in the non-ketogenic diet (carb based) despite the fact that it was moderate in both fat (30%) and carbs (40%). In fact, the non-keto group lost more bodyweight and bodyfat than the keto group, although neither of these effects was statistically significant. It appears that any threat of fat/carb combining slowing fat loss is imagination-based.

It appears that carbohydrate restriction can cause fat loss but eating carbs appears to help fat loss. Pretty much highlights a few misconceptions there!

In my next article i’ll answer why “I have a bad back because it is weak” and why your metabolism probably isn’t slow.



Exercise of the Month: Glute Bridge

This post sees the start of a new feature for my blog detailing some of the reasoning behind the use of certain exercises. There is a lot more that goes in to certain training programmes beyond run, squat, bench press etc. These posts detail why we use certain exercises.

The glute bridge is sometimes called a hip lift and predominantly works the muscles that extend the hip (the glutes and hamstrings). There obviously is more muscular recruitment needed in the torso but this exercises is an entry level movement that trains what we call the “hip hinge” which can be categorized by a stable lower back during extension of the hips.

This exercise is a good warm up drill. Can be loaded as an accessory exercise or indeed may also be a primary exercise for strength if loaded sufficiently.

There are a number of good reasons to develop strong glutes. Not only to strengthen the hip hinge movement and the ability of the hips to extend but also during hip extension we want the glutes to be pulling their weight from a strength perspective. If they don’t we end up with tight overworked hamstrings which quite frankly helps no one.

The glutes play a role in stability of the femur (upper leg). Whilst blaming weak glutes has become a bit trendy due to the advance of rehab based training in to exercise in a lot of cases the diagnosis should be generally poor lower body strength. That said their role in frontal plain stability is important. Weakness of the glute medius and minimus and excessive strength of the  adductors and tfl mean that the knee may fall in leading to excessive pressure being put on the inside of the knee and possibly unnecessary movement at the lower back.

This goes to show that well developed gluteals are fundamental to joint health of the lower back and of the knee. The hip bridge while still floor work is a good introduction to lower body loading and lifting for those who have tender backs or problem knees. In advanced individuals it may be an exercise utilized under load but at Results FAST we predominantly use it in our warm ups. The picture below pretty much sums it up…..

The Tabata Lie

Tabata training is an example of how science has been used to skew a training protocol in to a weight loss regime- even though they are not related.  Tabatas are based upon a study where the participants performed a programme of high intensity/ low volume training peaking out at 170% of their VO2 Max. The original abstract is here for the science geeks. In summary, performing high intensity work over a six week period resulted in an improvement in maximal aerobic power and indicated that  intermittent high intensity training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supply systems. That would be okay if the study stayed in cycling highlighting that a short period of high intensity work can bring about improvements in your performance.

However this study has been bastardized in to main stream fitness and “rebranded” as a fat loss protocol. Fundamentally though if you are not working at 170% then you are not performing a tabata. You may be perfroming a set of hard exercise but it is not a tabata.

To explain this consider the original protocol. The Tabata protocol consisted of a 10 minute steady state warm up followed by 7-8 sets of 20 seconds at 170% VO2 Max with 10 seconds of rest between each set. They performed this 4 days a week and performed a slightly modifed version on the 5th day when they did 30 minutes of steady state work followed by 4 intervals.

The control group did 60 total minutes a day at 70% of VO2 Max 5 times a week.

The study was performed on a stationary bike and is an interesting, perhaps a landmark study, showing a clear improvement in performance with high intensity work over a short period of time (even though they did 70mins a week of steady state exercise).

The key for me though is to perform a tabata you have to be working at 170% of your VO2 Max. Simplified this is beyond the point that you can readily replace oxygen in your body. For trained athletes this is a vomit inducing intensity. Performing squats, lunges, burpees or any exercise under the pseudonym of a vaguely threatening animal will not illicit an effort similar to 170% of your VO2 Max. It will be hard, your last set may be tough, this is not 170% of your VO2 Max- instead it is a hard interval for 20 seconds. In essence it is like comparing a hill to Mount Everest- it’s not the same thing.

But welcome to world of fitness and nutrition where we can make things up and alter parameters.

Science doesn’t matter if it works right?

Tabata’s apparently burn more fat don’t they?

Well no.

Tabata’s were created as a performance enhancement tool. Will they enhance energy usage- well the study indicated enhancements in aerobic measures of power for the steady state group as well as improvements in aerobic and anaerobic measures of power in the Tabata group. What does this mean though? Well both groups improved performance. The Tabata group though enhanced their ability to work at a higher intensity. This study has no mention of fat or fuel utilization though inferences can be drawn from this. This indicates perhaps either (A) an increased in efficiency of energy utilization or (B) the ability to mobilize more energy to maintain a higher intensity. The assumption from the fat loss crowd would be option (B) and that is good enough for them- however (A) is just as likely.

Common sense dictates that if you work at a higher intensity for a longer time then you will consume more fuel (unless there is a saving in efficency) than someone working at a lower intensity. The key is this is related to performance and not body composition.

This leads to the re-entering of the Tabata protocol and different high intensity interval protocols last year popularized on the BBC by a Horizon documentary  This particular programme boasted a range of improvements in physical markers perhaps predominantly though an improvement in insulin sensitivity (if you are resistant to insulin you require larger amounts of insulin to metabolize carbohydrates which has been linked to a number of conditions such as elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure- also elevated insulin plays a role in fat storage importantly).

What was interesting though is that the general media took the message of Tabata and high intensity interval training on with headlines of “Fit In 3 minutes a Day.”

On the BBC Horizon programme, Timmons (part of the research team) told Mosley (the presenter) the problem with the current guidelines is they don’t take into account the variation in individual response to exercise, so there is no guarantee that following such a regime will actually give you the right results. The programme highlighted that the link between exercise and health is an individual thing.

But what does all the research highlight?

Very high intensity exercise elevates markers of performance. The question is a 6 week study is fine but in the long term do we see improvements. Well no- in fact other studies on high intensity work performance plateaus after 3 weeks.

It also enhances insulin sensitivity. It does not burn more body fat in preference to other methods of training but high intensity exercise can aid improvements in body composition by playing a role in managing fat storage or the body’s utilization of dietary carbohydrates.

This highlights that energy management is the key to fat loss as is fuel utilization (in essence what you put in to your body). A greater review is here remember though this encompasses all interval training and isn’t specifically Tabata style 20 second blasts. The role of interval training is well documented as a training aid but the key point is that Tabata’s are a specific type of interval.

If you are not working at 170% of your VO2 Max it isn’t a Tabata- if you have ever done it you will know.



Fixing the Flaws: Part 1

It doesn’t really matter if you are an elite level athlete or a beginner. There are always going to be areas in your fitness that you need to work on. You are not Mr or Mrs Perfect….. Sorry….

Be it whole body strength, the transfer of your physicality in the weight room to your sport or small fiddly, subtle drills that you need to work on while the guy next to you totally dominates the exercise with 5 times as much weight.

It’s hard to break it to people that their 200kg deadlift, extreme yoga position or their 3 hour marathon is actually the limiting factor on why their back hurts or their knees are giving in.

Don’t get me wrong- strengths are there to be trained, great performance is impressive. No one is great without “strengths”.

Getting large numbers or quick times are a product of training. They are there to be celebrated as achievements. In turn though they can also lead to becoming your limiting factor when it comes to enhancing your health and overall fitness.

If you want to become a champion deadlifter or marathon runner then you may need to lift heavy things and run long distances. However, managing your recovery is also key. Looking after your mobility, muscular and joint health are tantamount to keeping you performing at high level, at times this needs to be prioritized.

But what about other “specialists” such as the desk jockey. The guys who specialize at being seated for unusually large amounts of time. You see their body adapts chronic overuse patterns reflective of their overall lifestyle be it running, sitting or cycling. In essence the changes in muscular balance mean less joint stability and or muscular tightness.

Weight room weights are vanity. “How much do you bench?” should be reserved to people who bench regularly. In fact the only guy who asks how much you bench is the guy who bench presses every session.  My answer is how much do you deadlift/ single leg squat/ run 1km in. At the end of the day he rates himself as a “specialist” bench presser and with that he will see all the chronic overuse issues that people without a well rounded programme of development will see.

In strength and conditioning for sport a lot of the time we perform training to counter balance the excessive strains and demands of overuse, just as we do for everyday people looking to keep their posture tip top. We do this as well with the detrained- we want to put enough strength and stability in the right areas to allow good balanced movement. We want to put enough mobility and flexibility in the areas that need to be moved.

The take home point is this.

Strength is overemphasised as a facet of fitness as we always lean towards our strengths. We perform more of what we are good at or have to do. What matters more in overall development of “fitness” and long term performance are the balance of strength and mobility.

“Specialists” occur as a product of their own training/ physical build. Balance in their programme is key to optimum performance over a period of time. Ask yourself the question what are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Do your weaknesses hold you up from achieving your ultimate fitness goals? Do they limit your strengths? Does your back hurt when you deadlift too heavy? Does running hurt your knees? Are your shoulders sore after press ups? In the next post we will look at some specific examples….

Diet Review: The Dukan Diet

So far I have been quite reserved in my writings on certain types of diet. But as all superheroes have the nemesis all personal trainers I guess have an industry pet hate. Now the reasons for this hatred are not jealousy- I understand that marketing is involved to sell things. When someone though is in a position of authority and has a title such as “Dr” people will listen to this and consider that persons advice “true.” Regardless of the positive and negative of a product stick a doctor on the front and it will sell. Why? We all believe what doctors say. Twin it with a few celebrity clients and a marketing budget and we have a diet to sell!

Described as a breakthrough diet book the Dukan diet has bee perched at the top of the diet section book shelf for sometime. Indeed with over a million copies sold someone must be losing weight!

The diet consists of 4 phases. First phase, limited carbs and high protein. Second phase, high protein with a few choice vegetables- though you can only eat them every other day. Third phase, add fruit- but not too much. Phase 4 is a maintainance phase and you can eat normally but on a Thursday repeat phase 1 and just eat protein (Thursday must be really bad for fat storage or something). You can drink water, tea and coffee and talk a multivitamin do brighten things up a little


So does it work? It is a high protein, carb restricted diet so you will lose weight quickly early on. This will be muscle glycogen and water (I have seen people lose up to 10kg with this approach- it isn’t permanent). As the diet maintains a high protein intake it has a tick in the box for maintaining lean muscle tissue. Body carbohydrates are depleted and in turn you will look elsewhere for energy and you are likely to increase fat burning as part of the process. Great! The negatives are as follows. On all low carbohydrate diets ultimately your metabolism will adjust to a lower consumption level over a period of time. Therefore, you can tolerate less carbohydrates. Starvation over time can lead to metabolic slow down and decreased hormonal status- again a negative for long term fat loss and maintenance  The programme encourages disordered eating- avoiding certain vegetables on certain days makes no sense. 95% of the time it isn’t over consumption of spinach that is the issue so the strict phases initially are not necessary.


There are a few other critiques, food choice is severely limited- this plan takes it to the N’th degree. You can only eat to this restrictive list-assigning foods to certain days is impossible in the long term. This can result in nutritional inefficiencies and in turn lead to health issues. The Dukan diet is near enough impossible if you don’t eat meat, fish or eggs. While this plan will lose you weight it is unnecessarily harsh, twinned with the fact (that the author even admits) that you will see an immediate bounce back in weight with normal carbohydrate consumption it could be considered that it is a diet that creates a false economy of fat loss.


Diet Review: Low Fat Diets

Low fat diets are as much part of the dieting landscape as bad behaviour is to premiership footballers. That is that there is a perception that fat is bad and consuming a diet low in fat is good. But is that true?

Low fat diets really are a product of the 1980’s- a bit like bad hair and electronic music, it doesn’t make it right. This came from the want to quantify nutritional intakes which in effect resulted in judgments being placed on consumption of everything from protein to vitamins and even salt. This was followed up by a number of other reports focusing upon saturated fat consumption and cardiovascular disease. Further to this recommendations where then given for the consumption of different types of fats from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats through to trans fats.

As always the diet industry jumped on the band wagon with low fat diets with many products you will recognize from today including Rosemary Conley and the Pritkin diet. As weight loss requires the body to utilize body fat as an energy source then reducing fat is the quickest and easiest way to reduce total energy consumption. Also, the negative links with coronary heart disease and arterial blockages as well as links with cholesterol (a type of fat) explain why the general consensus is that fat is a negative and consumption of fat equals storage.

What do we need for adequate health- well we can reduce fat heavily and I will talk about the negative implications of this. As a general recomendation fat consumption is widely recommended to be between at least 20 to 30% of total daily calorific consumption. Most low fat diets result in this being reduced to 10% though research highlights moderately low-fat diet with varied fat consumption, where 20 to 30 percent of calories come from fat, is more likely to keep the weight off in the long term.

Most foods contain some form of fat and for good reason. We need it to survive. Our body needs fat to make cell walls as well as the production of hormones. Without which we cannot maintain our metabolism. Vitamins are also absorbed and stored in body fat meaning long term restriction of fat can severely damage your nutritional status. We also need certain fats for the upkeep of our body- omega 6 and omega 3 are probably recognizable to most people. It is not surprising that the health message has become confused as on one hand fat is bad for your health but science simply refutes that you need a consistent fat consumption for the maintenance of your body and health.

Even the negative argument about saturated fat consumption is being challenged- as I have stated before correlation does not denote cause. Finding arterial fat does not mean that saturated fat is solely responsible for heart disease. Indeed we can process it and we do not a certain amount for the maintenance of the body these studies also interestingly correlated increased obesity with increased fat consumption, discounting an increase in sugar and carbohydrate consumption which occurred as well during this time frame.

The one negative for fat consumption is trans fats which are made made through the hydrogenation of oils to improve shelf life- most processed foods will contain these fats. Our body cannot use these and they should be avoided.

But the 100 million dollar question…. They work…. don’t they? Well yes because a lot of the time you are reducing net food consumption so it can help with weight and fat loss. However the negative implications may be reductions in your hormonal health and therefore your long term ability to maintain your metabolic rate, immune system etc.

So what happens if I overeat fat? The same things as protein and carbohydrates. It will be stored as body fat. The key is to work out what you need and balance your intake so it is consistent  Metabolically it is easier to convert consumed fat in to body fat but as we need it for so many vital purposes it is important to maintain a sensible level of consumption as opposed to reducing it heavily.





Diet Review: The Alkaline Diet

This is the start of a review of a number of mainstream and celebrity based diets. The fitness and nutrition industry is awash with various plans backed with flaky science. In this series I am considering the positives and negatives of each of these plans.

Not only do diets now promise weight loss. They also promise to “detox” us, reset our body’s metabolism and make it abundantly clear that we do not have a clue how or what to eat. One such diet suggests that not only will this diet cure cancer but it will reset the bodies pH and allow the immune system to regain control of the body before it consumes you in one big anti-human explosion which clearly you didn’t stand a chance of staying alive or even functioning if you didn’t consume predominantly alkaline food.

The premise behind this type of plan is that pH is a measure of the balance of acidity and alkalinity (think back to school science). A pH of 0 is extremely acidic, 14 is extreme alkaline. Therefore a pH of 7 is neutral. Now our body has a number of different areas that are separate to each other which need differing levels of acidity and alkalinity. For instance, the stomach has a pH ranging from 1.3 to 3.5, in turn blood has to remain slightly alkaline between a pH of 7.2 (during exertion) and 7.45.

The idea behind the diet is that you can influence the pH of your body by undertaking the consumption of alkaline foods. This in turn leads to in the diets description enhanced function of the body- meaning a loss of weight and a detox from an acidic state in turn putting your body “back in to balance.”

The issue is that the body is pretty good at doing this. The body’s pH has to stay a different ranges in it’s different places for a number of reasons. Mainly that certain reactions need to take place. Stomach acid for one needs to be acidic to break down consumed proteins. Blood needs to be slightly alkaline as to filter waste products from the body, the increase in carbon dioxide during exercise is a good example of how increase in pH results in an increase in the amount of oxygen released. Large fluctuations in blood pH are dangerous so therefore the body keeps a tight reign on them, too far either way and you are probably looking at multiple organ failure.

The diet in itself is mainly vegetarian (a swear word in my presence). It is made up of certain types of vegetables, soy products, certain fruits and limited grains. Acid foods are to be avoided including meats, lentils (they have been wanting to get on a naughty list for some time), dairy foods, fats, oils and anything else fun including alcohol and caffeine.

So what are you left with? Lots of fruit and vegetables with zero processed food. Simply, a low protein, vegetable based carbohydrate diet with limited fat.

What effect will this diet have on the pH of the body- well it will have limited effect on blood pH but you may see a change in urine pH. It has been shown that diet can effect urine pH so therefore the line has been drawn between urine pH and the acidity of the body. The key with this is two organs are mainly responsible for blood pH- the lungs and the kidneys. The lungs as stated earlier regulate carbon dioxide (acid) the kidneys reabsorb bicarbonate from the urine and also excrete hydrogen ions- hence the increase in pH is related to hydrogen ions. This would indicate that hydrogen ions are negative in relation to health rather than what they are- products related to the process of protein and amino acid turnover.

A diet rich with citrus fruit and vegetables increases alkalinity of the urine while meat creates an acidic environment hence higher protein consumption equals more acidic urine. Is this a negative in a normal healthy individual? Possibly it could be indicative of other issues or conditions but this article contests that that is it necessary to eat this diet for enhanced health/ weight loss etc. Well not really. Food enters the nutritional tract with an acidic pH due to stomach acid anyhow so regardless it really matters what it is carbohydrate, protein or fat. These stomach acids are neutralized by juices from the pancreas turning the food alkaline. Certain foods leave something called ash which affects the acidity of your urine in the bladder but as the bladder is a storage compartment for urine it plays no role in pH of the body.

On the positive side- encouragement to eat more fruit and vegetables is always a good thing. However, there are a number of caveats in this nutritional programme. Firstly, it minimizes protein consumption. Secondly, quality fat consumption becomes hard. Thirdly, it limits food choices (which may be necessary for weight loss) but ignoring one fruit or vegetable for another is lunacy.

It will work for weight loss in the same way that a lot of diets work. It limits consumption and food choices. The body will not get sufficient protein to maintain lean muscle mass. Therefore the body starts to use it’s own muscle mass for energy. As the body is crying out for energy it will still burn stored body fat but the ultimate result is that the weight loss creates a smaller but fatter proportionally individual.



Shock Training…

Methods to stimulate the body to attain a higher performance level in training are regarded as an effective way of lifting functional performance. The principal of gradual progressive loading over a period of time sometimes needs a little bit of a kick to enhance strength and progress. Indeed when performance hits a plateau it is necessary to shake things up in order to avoid staleness and also to give a training effect.

While most of the time we look for consistent progress, shock training lifts intensity and develops overloading beyond what the individual is used to. Below follows some of the methods we use.

Plyometrics- Characterized with a short eccentric (lowering phase) and a fast explosive movement. An example would be repeated jumps or bounds.

Forced Repetitions- Using a heavy weight then your rep range target and being helped to lift the weight by a spotter for a desired number of repetitions.

Repeated Singles or “Clusters”- Repeating a maximal lift is hard on the body but as a strategy to gain confidence at lifting maximally it is unsurpassed. We commonly use this method with deadlifts.

Restricted Range Movements- Limiting range can be a useful strategy to work on form and also bar speed through a certain part of a movement. Board pressing for bench press and rack pulls for deadlifts are a good example.

Maximal Eccentrics- This is often considered to be controlled lowering under a heavy load. We mainly employ this method with pull ups.

The method that may translate more successfully to sporting movements may be plyometrics as they are usually performed under body weight or low load conditions. However each if these methods is an effective way of changing changing stimulus and developing your physical abilities.