The Lactate Retention Method: Enhancing Adaptation through Lactate Utilization – Triphasic Training Principle 23


In this educational video and article, we will explore a training method called the lactate retention method. This method, also known as the triphasic super method, has been used for several years to optimize training preparation. The Concept was introduced to me by World renowned Coach and Sports Scientist Henk Kraaijenhof.  By understanding how lactate is utilized for adaptation purposes, we can enhance cellular responses and achieve greater lactate adaptation. In this article, we will delve into the details of this method and its application in training.


The Yin and Yang of Lactate Utilization:

Typically, after completing a 20  to 120-second set, the common practice is to flush out the lactate that has accumulated in the muscles. However, the lactate retention method takes a different approach. Instead of flushing it out, this method focuses on keeping lactate in the muscles to promote adaptation. By retaining lactate in the muscle, we stimulate the cells to undergo greater lactate adaptation, resulting in improved performance in the weeks following the use of this method.


Application of the Lactate Retention Method:

To implement the lactate retention method, athletes are required to stop immediately after completing a 20 to 30-second set, rather than continuing with movement or activity. They hold the lactate in the muscle by assuming a deep squat position for an additional 30 to 40 seconds. This mechanism of squatting down to the deepest position prevents blood from leaving the muscle, allowing lactate to accumulate and promoting adaptation. During this time, they focus on their breathing while allowing the lactate to work on the muscles. This extended duration of lactate present in the muscle enhances lactate adaptation.

Exercise Options and Duration:

The lactate retention method can be applied to various exercises that induce lactate production, such as running, sprinting, biking, stadium stair runs, squat jumps, or leg presses. The duration of these exercises should range between 20 to 40 seconds to effectively promote lactate adaptation. It’s important to note that this method is commonly used during base training, typically lasting two to three weeks to maximize adaptations.

The Bulgarian Lactate Jumping Method:

In the absence of stadium steps, an alternative exercise called the Bulgarian lactate jumping method can be utilized. This method involves performing three sets of 33 jumps while aiming to reach a heart rate of 110 beats per minute. The rest period between sets can be adjusted based on individual needs or coaching preferences, ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 minutes.

Understanding the Graph:

The provided graph (on slide 7) showcases an athlete’s heart rate during the lactate retention method. When the athletes squat down after the set, their heart rate decreases significantly, indicating the retention of lactate in the muscles. However, upon standing up and moving, there is a sudden spike in heart rate as the byproducts of lactate are flushed into the bloodstream. This pattern of heart rate fluctuations confirms the effectiveness of the lactate retention method.

The Source and Sequence:

This method emphasizes adaption over performance. Therefore, it is incorporated during the GPP (General Physical Preparedness) phase in the triphasic training model. This phase typically lasts two to three weeks to attain optimal adaptations. Subsequently, a four to six-week performance phase follows, where the benefits of the lactate retention method can be fully realized.


Yin-Yang Performance-Adaptation Sequencing:

The lactate retention method can be understood as a yin-yang performance-adaptation sequencing approach. By utilizing this method for two to four weeks, athletes focus on adapting their cells to set the stage for optimal performance. The subsequent performance phase, lasting three to eight weeks, enables athletes to capitalize on the adaptations gained during the lactate retention phase. Combining these phases effectively requires approximately nine weeks, but it can be compressed to six weeks for athletes who wish to expedite the training process. This sequencing approach allows for a systematic progression from adaptation to performance, optimizing training outcomes.

Implementation in the Triphasic Model:

In the classic triphasic model, the lactate retention method finds its place during the GPP phase, specifically in weeks three and four. This phase, known as the General Physical Preparedness phase, focuses on developing foundational qualities for athletes. By incorporating the lactate retention method during this period, athletes can enhance their lactate adaptation and prepare their bodies for the subsequent phases.

For those following the compressed model, which condenses the training timeframe, the lactate retention method can be integrated during the eccentric phase. This phase emphasizes controlled muscle lengthening movements. By incorporating the lactate retention method during this phase, athletes can reap the benefits of lactate adaptation while minimizing the risk of excessive training volume.

Benefits and Considerations:

When implementing the lactate retention method, it is important to note that athletes can achieve significant results with reduced training volume. By retaining lactate in the muscles, adaptations can occur without excessive fatigue or mechanical damage. This method also promotes a faster lactate clearance post-training, enabling athletes to recover more efficiently.

Additionally, the lactate retention method enhances body awareness and muscle activation. The isometric component after the exercise interval forces athletes to focus on their body positioning and muscle engagement, leading to improved movement patterns and reduced risk of injury.


The lactate retention method, incorporated within the triphasic training model, offers a unique approach to enhancing performance through lactate utilization. By retaining lactate in the muscles, athletes stimulate cellular adaptations that improve lactate clearance and tolerance. Whether implemented during base training or in a compressed timeframe, this method can optimize training outcomes and prepare athletes for peak performance. By understanding the principles and sequencing of the lactate retention method, athletes can unlock their potential and achieve greater athletic success.

Lactate Retention for MMA