T Nation

Do You Know?

Do you know how long it takes until maximal strength training won’t increase power output anymore. I’m wondering this because we all know we need a good base to start from with considerable numbers perhaps in the deadlift, bench and squat. Perhaps clean and jerk, and snatch also. Or just powerclean. Besides that though. After all that how do you begin to gain power…keep working on O-lifts?, add in some plyo-pushups, med ball throws in your program…depth jumps…if you play basketball you get great motor recruit so that would help and you probably wouldnt neeed jumping from boxes and stuff.

AFTER ALL THAT though…not too much is covered on how many reps and setes for depth jumps, plyo pushups…what about depth plyo pushups also…That kinda shit confuses me…Also training the repition way won’t get you “slow” will it?? I’m all about getting great strength and power…Does anyone know what decreases power output? I’m pretty confused over this, but like the term: just keep it simple. doesnt always work you know


It depends on how long you have been training. Most beginning athletes lack pure strength so that’s obviously something you will need to work on to begin with. My advice would be to keep getting stronger until you start to plateau. Use a performance measure (such as vertical leap) to measure this. After that you’ll want to get into a power template.

You should always try to auto-regulate plyometric work. Personally, I think you should always use some form of auto-regulation for all lifting, but with plyometric work it is especially important. I could give you some links or try to explain it to you if you want. I am also sure there are a couple other guys on here who could do a better job of it than me because I am still pretty new to the wonderful world of AREG.

That’d be great if you could give me some stuff. Auto-reg…are you referring to DB Hammer?..also ALL THE HELP I can get on this is greatly appreciated. Does anyone also know how to measure vertical leap??
One more thing…does vertical leap improve based on gaining maximal strength…compared to your body weight (being relative strength)??


You’re on the right track dl-

Measuring your vertical is as simple as jumping as high as you can and touching something that you can then measure the height.

Another good way to tell if you would benefit more by speed work or ME work would be to time your 1RM PR. If it takes you 5 or more seconds you can actually benefit more by doing speed work than max strength work regardless of training age… sort of… your past that point though so don’t worry about it.


google up higher-faster-sports and read everything on Kelly Bagget’s site, Q&As and articles etc

raw strength can help if your weak since the body is pretty heavy, so you need to be strong to throw it up.
More so in a standing or VJ than a running one, but it helps in all since you need to be strong to improve force absorbtion in running jumps

but once you start to improve the jump, then at a certain point where your bodyweight is about 33% or less of your strength levels, which will mean your also dipping down and jumping faster, then then rate of force development, force absorbtion, reactivity become more important

picture thowing a heavy ball. Making it lighter will allow you to throw it further, but at a certain point it will get light enough where strength doesn’t make much of a difference. Then the limiting factor is how fast your limbs can move (CNS firing speed), and how much fast twitch muscle you can turn on quickly in that time. That’s where the genetic ceiling lies. That’s why not everyone can vertical jump 40 or more inches with double bodyweight fullsquat or more and under 10% Bodyfat :slight_smile:

Nice nice guys. Very interesting information. Mmmm. What about punching though…Producing more power in a punch. I havent maxed out in a squat in a while so I’ll time it…I’m pretty sure it wouldnt be 5 seconds though…probably somwhere around high 2 seconds, low 3 seconds (i.e. 2.87 seconds or 3.20 seconds). How much strength do you guys think one should have before moving onto those kinda methods? Double bodyweight or 2.5 BW squat and deadlift, and double bodyweight bench before it would be good to move onto such methods and all?? Cause it’s always good to be strong:)


I also like CoolColJ’s take on the ball thing…definaetly makes sense.


ALSO everyone should go to the site CoolColJ gave…some very good information there!!


Yeah Kelly Baggett’s stuff is definitly great- he’s a real smart man. Check out his article on Inno-Sport entitled “Inno-Sport Basics.”


Maximum strength… Vertical leap… Strong punch…

Are you training to take over for Superman? Be honest now. Are you?

You betcha Caine!!! lol
No, it’s for MMA actually :slight_smile:


about that ball throw example, you can see why someone who has a very fast CNS would be able to throw a lighter ball further

that’s why the caber toss test is used to predict athletic potential - as per this text by Poliquin.
And on that note since the arm is pretty light when punching, punching speed has a large genetic component. Even if you get strong, if you don’t have that speed and snap, your not going to hit as hard as someone who does


Q: I’d like to test the natural athletic ability of my child, age 12. I’ve heard that there’s a test performed by tossing a ball behind you in an explosive manner that’s eerily accurate. I believe that it has something to do with the firing of the nervous system. Do you know of this technique and, if so, could you outline it for us?

A: What you’re referring to is the caber toss. This throw was chosen as the best predictor of general athletic ability by the physical education systems of all of the Germanic countries. My own tests verified this concept with sports as varied as luge, volleyball, sprinting, and judo. I even know of a study in which it correlated strongly with the ability to learn windsurfing skills.

The test involves throwing balls of three different weights backward and measuring the shape of the curve of the testing results. Depending on the age and level of qualification of the athlete, the weight of the balls will vary, but they’re always spread apart evenly. For example:

? 2 pounds, 4 pounds, 6 pounds
? 8 pounds, 12 pounds, 16 pounds

Theoretically, you would throw the two-pound ball further than the four-pound ball, and the four-pound ball further than the six-pound ball.

One national team hired me to help trim off the fat of their budgets. They wanted to know exactly which athletes had the most potential and, consequently, in which ones should they invest their time and money.

The first test that I administered was the caber test. It turns out that many of their senior national team females had no distinct differences in distances between the different loads. These same athletes, despite having improved their strength dramatically, couldn’t show improvement on their track start times. If you score poorly on this test, your athletic potential is rather limited. Therefore, we saved the government plenty of money and allowed them to devote resources to younger athletes who eventually turned out to be Junior World Cup medals winners

more on that toss test

Q. Could you please explain how to perform the Caber Toss test? I have read that it is a great test to determine the athletic potential of an athlete. How exactly is the test scored?

Thank you for your assistance!

Justin K

A. In order to do the ‘Caber Toss’ test you actually use three different weight shot putts. It is called the caber toss test due to the overhead delivery used by the athlete. The test should be done with the athlete standing with his/her back towards the landing area, preferably an outdoor grass area. The athlete should be standing on a solid surface such as concrete. He/she then cradles the shot with both hands, raises it overhead and then lowers the shot between the legs by bending at the waist and knees. From this position, the athlete forcefully extends ankles, knees, hips and finally flings the shot backwards, over head out into the landing area. It is acceptable to use the edge of a long jump board or a shot putt toe board as long as each throw is executed in exactly the same way.

To conduct actual testing, start with the heaviest shot and work towards the lighter one. After an appropriate warm-up, give the athlete 5 attempts with the heavy shot and then move to the middle weight shot, take 5 more attempts and then move to the lightest shot and repeat. Measure all throws from the point of take off. Because it is possible to really “hit a big one” with any of the shots, especially when dealing with a beginner, I would take an average of the 5 distances. If the athlete is like the majority of the population and is roughly a 50% mix of fast and slow twitch fibers, the difference between each of the shot distances with be roughly the same. For example, there may be a 4-5 foot difference between the heavy shot and the middle shot and a similar difference between the middle shot and the light one.

If you see a disproportional increase in the distances as the shot gets lighter, this is a good indicator for a fast-twitch fiber athlete. Those with slower fibers will not be able to generate much more speed over the same line of force no matter what the weight. The superior athletes, with the fastest fiber make-up will be able to generate considerably more force against the lighter loads. In general, the more skewed the distances are at the lighter end of the scale, the faster the athlete and hence, the more potential.

For a high school level athlete, I recommend using 8 pound, 12 pound and 16 pound shots, for more advanced populations, such as collegiate football players, 12 pound, 16 pound and 20 pound shots would be more appropriate. For females, drop all the weights 4 pound.

– Art McDermott, CSCS

This program is off the Kelly Bagget website:

Lower Body I

Box Squat - 50-60% x 3-5 (drop quickly to parallel with your butt off the box, sit back and explode up - use bands for increased effectiveness)

Jump Squat (full) - 30-40% x 3-5 (drop into the bottom and immediately rebound out and jump)

Speed glute ham or Dimel Deadlift x 5-15 (drop into the bottom of a glute ham and rebound up)

Upper Body I

Drop and Catch Dip x 5 (Add enough additional load to make the movement challenging)

Speed Bench - 50-60% x 5

Drop and Catch Row x 5 (70-80%)

Explosive row x 5

Lower Body II

Depth Drop into squat x 3

Depth jump x 3

40 yard dash x 3

Hang snatch (or underhand medicine ball toss) 80-85% x 3-5

Upper Body II

Med ball chest pass x 5

Upper body pushup depth drop x 5

Push Jerk (80-85%) x 3

Explosive pullup x 5

bicep curl barbell throws x 8-10

It looks pretty good if you ask me…perhaps after a few strength phases I’ll try it out. It says to keep the sets between 4-8 also. What do you guys think?? It also says it’ll make you faster, more explosive and stronger. Would this program be ideal for gaining explosive, etc etc.??


it will after a strength and hypertrophy block

do 8 weeks of strength and hypertrophy and then unload with the above workout for 3-4 weeks to peak power output

there that’s conjugate block sequencing for you :slight_smile: