What is CAT training? and what can give you?


If I would have to point two important rules of a complete training program which would be successful I would say two things:

  • Training plan have to be individually tailored to ability and goals of trained person
  • Plan needs to include progression

When we talking about lifting weight we usually think that progression is to gradually put more weight on every set. Not always have to be like this, there are many different forms of progression within we don’t really need to put another ring to the bar, we can do pause in the repetition, increase time under the tension, or use resistant belts, there are many options. Today, I focused on absolute classic Compensatory Acceleration Training introduced by Dr Frederick Hatfield known as Dr Squat.



Compensatory Acceleration Training involves trying to move the weight as quickly as possible throughout the lift. If we take the simple equation of force equals mass x acceleration, the more we accelerate, then the more force we can put into a movement. Thus, we need to move lightweight quickly in order to equal the force we put into moving heavy weight.

High-intensity explosive movements are responsible for a chain of biochemical reactions between two proteins Actin and Myosin which is the prototype of a molecular motor a protein that converts chemical energy in the form of ATP to mechanical energy, thus generating force and movement. Increasing reactions between this two result in increasing the strength of the muscle.

I need to mention an interesting experiment perform by J. Wilcox (here) which show that the men who performed 30-second explosive pushups before bench press, recorded final result averagely 4kg better the men who did not take extra warm up.

However, that’s not most interesting here. We all know that fast twitch fibre have better potential to generate the force and growth, then slow twitch fibres. Regular stimulation of the first one has a direct effect on look and tone of our muscles. Science was excluded opinion that there is possible to change slow twitch fibre to fast switch fibre till not so long time ago when series of experiments like one performed by Y. Liu (here) change this opinion and show new evidence (oh mighty science).

So as you can see the CAT can be an effective method to achieve our goals and progression, of course when we understand their specific conception and know how to use in practice.  Fast but controlled movements can not only change slow to fast twitch fibres but make us stronger and progress better.



Adrian Scibor






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