Tailoring Power Training for Athletes: Understanding the Tissue Pivot Point Principle for the Tendon-Based vs. Muscular-Based Power Athlete. 

Triphasic Training Principle 16 –Principle discovered in 2006


Two decades ago, the introduction of Tendo units revolutionized the way sports coaches measured velocity and power outputs in athletes. However, this technological advancement brought to light a significant realization: not all athletes are created equal when it comes to power development. In the realm of power training, typically defined as working within the 78% to 45% range of one’s maximum load, there exists a substantial variation among athletes. This discrepancy led to the identification of two distinct categories: tendon-based power athletes and muscular-based power athletes. This article delves into the concept of these athlete types and how coaches can tailor their training programs to optimize performance.

Understanding Tendon-Based vs. Muscular-Based Power

The fundamental difference between these two types of athletes lies in the point at which they generate maximum power during exercises like the squat. Muscular-based power athletes tend to produce their peak power output at higher loads, typically in the range of 65% to 78% of their maximum squat capacity. On the other hand, tendon-based power athletes achieve maximum power at lower loads, typically between 45% and 60% of their maximum squat capacity.

The Power Zone Tissue Pivot Point Principle was discovered during this period of observation and analysis, has emerged as a crucial concept in power training. It became evident that within the traditional power training zone, typically ranging from 70% to 45% of an athlete’s maximum load, there exists a distinct tipping point – the Power Tissue Pivot Point. This point consistently falls within the range of approximately 60% to 65% of an athlete’s maximum load. What this signifies is that athletes tend to experience a shift in their power outputs, either falling below or rising above their maximum power output when operating around this pivotal range. Understanding the significance of this Power Tissue Pivot Point allows coaches to tailor their training programs more precisely, ensuring that athletes focus their efforts either above or below this critical range to achieve maximum results and optimize their performance in the power phase.

Identifying Tendon-Based Power Athletes

To identify tendon-based power athletes, coaches can look for specific performance characteristics. These athletes often exhibit exceptional explosiveness, as evidenced by high vertical jumps and the ability to apply force rapidly. They tend to excel in sports that demand quick bursts of speed and repeated sprinting, such as track athletes, wide receivers, defensive backs, running backs, and soccer players.

Identifying Muscular-Based Power Athletes

Muscular-based power athletes, on the other hand, may not demonstrate the same explosive abilities as their tendon-based counterparts, but they possess superior strength. These athletes are typically found in sports that require high levels of strength and power, such as Olympic throwers. Strong Men and NFL linemen. Their power output is optimized at loads between 65% and 78% of their maximum squat capacity.

Tailoring Training Programs

Coaches should leverage this understanding of tendon-based and muscular-based power athletes to design more effective training programs. While it’s essential to recognize that athletes aren’t restricted to one category, focusing on the predominant type can enhance their performance.

For Muscular-Based Power Athletes:

During power training phases, maintain a training load between 65% and 78% of their maximum squat capacity. This approach ensures that they develop muscular power, which is vital for sports that involve heavy resistance and slower movements.
For Tendon-Based Power Athletes:

In the power training phases, set the training load between 45% and 60% of their maximum squat capacity. This range allows them to harness their explosive capabilities, which are crucial in sports that demand rapid movements and agility.

Loading Guidelines for The Triphasic Undulated Block Method for the Tissue Pivot Point

Tendon-Based Power Athletes Undulated Loading Model in the Power Zone

1 Day Loading: 52.5% + or – 2.5%

2 Day Loading: 57.5%–60%

3 Day Loading: 45%

Muscular-Based Power Athletes Undulated Loading Model in the Power Zone 

1 Day Loading: 67.5-72.5%

2 Day Loading: 75%–77.5%

3 Day Loading: 652% to 65%


In conclusion, the differentiation between tendon-based and muscular-based power athletes is a valuable insight for coaches looking to optimize their athletes’ performance in the power phase. While athletes may not fit perfectly into one category, understanding their predominant characteristics can guide training programs to cater to their strengths. By utilizing the appropriate loading models, coaches can help athletes reach their full potential and excel in their respective sports, whether it be through raw strength or explosive agility. Ultimately, the goal is to empower athletes to perform at their best when it matters most.


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