Do You Know Cat Training

Hello there…
Harry C here, your online Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist.

A little bit about my backgroung:

I was born in Athens, Greece on 1978 and as I grew up it was obvious to me and others that I was crazy about anything that had to do with sports or athletics. I’m 2 times World Champion at Tang Soo Do martial art, and played Basketball, Gymnastics, Dancing, you name it. When my college age came I studied and graduated on sports sciences and sports nutrition. So, I became a certified sports nutritionist and fitness trainer. The thing I want to talk about in this article is a concept, a factor that enhances your bodybuilding and weight training and thus, your strength, power and fat burning.

This “Repetition Method” as i call it is my favourite and my clientel’s favourite for the past 4 years with tremendous results.
The method is called Compensatory Acceleration Training (aka CAT) method.
It is the perfect method to make the most out of your valuable time in the Gym.

A little bit of a background on this:
In 1982 Dr. Frederic C. Hatfield talked about the concept of compensatory acceleration training or CAT. Dr. Hatfield claimed the following benefits for CAT: greater efficiency, fewer injuries and greater explosive power. Hatfield defined compensatory acceleration as “pushing as hard as possible throughout the movement” , i.e. a high action velocity. Interestingly, years later a study by Jones et al. supported Hatfield’s contentions by finding that CAT was superior to traditional standard weight training for developing upper body strength and power.

However, it is generally agreed that a major shortcoming of both CAT and traditional standard weight training is the large negative acceleration phase that typically occurs, especially when lighter weights are used. For example, Elliot et al. revealed that during 1-RM bench press, the bar decelerates for the final 24% of the range of motion. At 81% of 1-RM, the bar deceleration occurs during the final 52% of the range of motion. Some years before the compensatory acceleration article was written by Hatfield, Dr. Gideon B. Ariel had recognized the problem with the deceleration phase and had designed and developed his Dynamic Variable Resistance exercise machine to compensate for it.

“Repetitions should be performed as fast as possible with maximal mental concentration for recruitment of the maximum firing levels of muscle fibers as required in maximal human performance.”  Gideon B. Ariel, PhD

The above quote from Dr. Ariel was in a twenty page booklet that was written almost thirty years ago introducing Universal’s new Dynamic Variable Resistance (D.V.R.) weight machine. The name of the booklet was “Understanding the Scientific Basis behind our Universal Centurion”. The booklet and subsequent research study done by Ariel are of particular interest to me because of my patented free-weight variable resistance system that I have been working on since 1996.

The section I pulled the quote from was entitled “Resistance Exercises and Ballistic Contraction”. In this section Ariel laid out his two central variable resistance training principles…..

1. The resistance exercise should be performed using multiple joint motion.

2. The resistance exercise should be performed with explosive repetitions.

It was very clear in this publication that Universal and Ariel, knew, understood and appreciated the importance of explosive strength for athletes and centered their scientific presentation and marketing efforts around that need. Many variable resistance machines have come and gone since, but to the best of my knowledge, this was the only one that advocated “explosive repetitions” and “variable resistance” as a superior way to train.

However, does this work with Free Weights?

Explosive repetitions or maximal voluntary contractions performed with a free-weight variable resistance system like the BNS Bands System clearly meets the criteria for an “explosive strength training exercise” as defined by Stone (9) in his Position Statement and Scmidtbleicher in Strength and Power in Sport……

Stone  “Exercises used to develop explosive strength are defined as those in which the initial rate of concentric force production is maximal or near maximal and is maintained throughout the range of motion of the exercise.”

Scmidtbleicher  “Explosive strength can be defined as the neuromuscular system’s ability to generate high action velocities.”

Just as Ariel and Hatfield have stated, the individual should make a willful effort to push the weights as hard and as fast as possible throughout the range of motion on every repetition. Because of the additional resistance provided by the bands as they stretch in a linear fashion, the action velocity, muscular contraction speed and the resulting force production can be kept at a high level throughout the range of motion. Without the variable resistance provided by the bands, the deceleration phase of squats and benches etc. would adversely impact the effectiveness of those exercises as explosive strength exercises – as defined by Stone et al.

Ok Here’s how Cat Works in action: lets’s take the Bench Press For Example.
You want to lower the bar in controlled movement and just before the bar touches your chest you explode it back up as fast as you possibly can BUT make no mistake here this will be compensatory acceleration ONLY is 2 factors are present.

1. You should work at 65 – 85% of RM in order fo this to work because with less weight than that, you won’t have CAT you will have just momentum speed! and that could be hazardous to your joints. The muscle explosion doesn’t show in the naked eye, it is just happening in the muscle as you try push a relatively big weight in high speed.

2. The weight must never stop in either phase of a repetition! Nore the eccentric or the concentric phase the bar or leg press ot cable must always be on constant motion and never pause at a repetition.

That’s it! Just lower the weight slowly and WITHOUT PAUSING at the bottom of the movement, explode back up as fast as you can again without pausing at the top of the movement. All that must take place in full range of motion.

This method of training can take your workouts to an all new level and be stronger, build more muscle, be leaner and burn more fat, and burn much more caloried because of the increased muscle fiber recruitment.
For more info and products that can help you improve your health and fitness visit my website at

Till Next Time…