12 Things I Learned from Stephane Cazeault at KILO Strength Society

By Chris Dellasega, MS, CSCS

We recently had the opportunity to go and work directly with Stephane Cazeault at his KILO Strength Society facility. Here is what we learned:

kilo strength society

1)  Structural Balance: Once someone has achieved structural balance, remedial shoulder exercises can be removed from programming for the next 12-weeks. However, some athletes will need continuous exposure to remedial work. In this case, exposing them to remedial shoulder exercises once per week is ideal.

2)  Time Under Tension: Total time under tension is the determining factor when periodizing body composition programs. By comparison, training intensity and the total number of reps dictate the periodization scheme when the objective is to improve strength.

3)  Beginner Response: Beginners typically respond well to full-body workouts. However, the stronger they get the less effective this approach becomes. At this point it is better to transition to an upper- and lower-body split.

4)  Weak Scapular Retractors: If someone has weak scapular retractors the focus of the first 12-week training cycle should be on unilateral rowing variations to improve the strength of these muscles. This will improve scapular stability and overall shoulder mechanics.

5)  One-and-a-Quarter Reps: One-and-a-quarter reps are the easiest modifier to implement to correct a strength deficiency in a lift by increasing the total time under tension per set at the weakest point in the strength curve.

6) The A series lift(s) dictates the training effect of the session: The primary exercise(s) in a workout dictates the overall training effect of a training session. The B series exercise(s) are assistance lift(s) that help improve performance in the primary lifts and the C series are remedial lift(s). Both the B and C series exercises should complement the primary (A series) lift(s) using different planes.

7) Eccentric Training: When using eccentric training methods they must be used two phases before strength is tested in a lift. Because slow eccentrics eliminate elastic energy a “faster” training method, such as myotatics, should be used in the following phase to regain elasticity and maximize the effectiveness of the eccentrics.

For example, a progression to peak the bench press over a 12-week cycle could look like the following:

  • Phase 1 – 1 & ¼ reps (quarter movement at the bottom)
  • Phase 2 – 6 second eccentrics
  • Phase 3 – Myotatic 1 & ¼ reps (quarter movement at the bottom)
  • Phase 4 – Peak

Stephane Cazeault

8) How much weight? The combined total of both dumbbells on a press should represent 90% of the load used when performing a barbell variation of the same exercise for the same number of reps. If not, more dumbbell work is needed.

9) Load: The load used in a single-arm dumbbell row should be the same amount used in a flat dumbbell press. For example, if someone is using 90-pound dumbbells in the flat dumbbell press they should also be able to perform the single-arm dumbbell row using a 90-pound dumbbell.

10) Developing an aerobic base: Developing an aerobic base is important for athletes and running for conditioning purposes (which is not to be confused with sprinting) can be useful to that end.

However, running as a form of conditioning should be confined to the General Preparation Phase. As the Specific Preparation Phase begins conditioning should be as specific to the sport as possible while developing the predominant energy system used in that sport.

11) Power is a product of strength and speed. Plyometrics improve the stretch-shortening cycle – a muscles ability to exert maximal force in the shortest time possible.

Therefore, when programming plyometrics sets should not take longer than 12 seconds to complete. Sets lasting longer than 12 seconds begin to eliminate the benefits of plyometric training and ultimately train the movement and athlete to become slower.

12) Loss of strength: In general, an athlete will begin losing the strength quality trained in the previous phase if the current training phase lasts longer than 4-weeks.