I posted this in an earlier thread…
1.) Force Output / Power Output Test
A lot of trainers talk about this test. Basically it is a test to see if you need more work on force (maximal strength) output or power (more towards the speed end) output. To do this test you do a maximal squat jump. Basically you dip down like you are going to jump up, pause for a full 3 seconds, then explode up into a full jump. Then you compare this to a maximal vertical jump. The barrier is right at about 85%. That is, if your vertical leap is 30" and your squat jump is 26", that’s pretty normal. The bigger the difference, the more you need to focus on force production/absorbtion. If there is hardly any difference, you aren’t using power as efficiently as you could be and you need to work on that.
2.) Power Absorbtion/Production Test
This is another pretty widely used test. Basically what you are going to do is test your vertical leap and compare that to your depth jump of boxes of various heights. Basically, up to a certain point, your depth jump should be higher than your vertical leap. It might look something like this:
Vertical Leap- 30"
4" Depth Jump- 31"
8" Depth Jump- 33"
12" Depth Jump- 33.5"
16" Depth Jump- 33.5"
20" Depth Jump- 33"
24" Depth Jump- 32"
30" Depth Jump- 28"
Usually there will be a pretty noticeable drop-off at one point. Make sure you get plenty of rest (about a minute between jumps) though, so you are not tiring yourself. Remember, it’s testing, not a workout.
Basically this test shows you a couple of things. First of all, it shows if you have a weakness in power absorbtion. If your depth jump is not markedly higher up to a height pretty close to your vertical (20" box or so), you probably have a power absorbtion weakness. This is because when you do a depth jump you are giving your body extra energy to use in the subsequent jump, but if you can stabilize and absorb that power, you won’t see an increase. If this is the case, you need to work on power absorbtion. This test will also set the guidelines for doing depth jumps. Typically you can do depth jumps from two heights. The first will be at the height where you attained the highest jump and the second will be the box height before the “drop-off”. In the example I showed you, it would be 12" and 24" boxes.
It sounds like you need to do depth drops. Reactive squats are also a great way to do this. A reactive front squat will also improve your clean. To do an REA front squat, start with the bar in the catch position. Weight should be about 60% of your 1RM. Pick your feet off the ground and rapidly descend into the squatting position. Your feet do not have to leave the ground entirely, but the bar’s weight should not be on your feet, it should be falling freely (make sense?). Then, you quickly make contact with the ground and absorb the impact as quickly as possible. You can either catch in the full squat (again, think the catch in the full clean) or at the depth that you would make your countermovement to jump from (a little lower than a power clean).
When doing these it is important to couple the volume with another exercise so you can regulate it and don’t kill yourself- it’s very easy to over-do plyometrics.
Here is a quick and dirty program to get your reactivity up.
These exercises are all done in a rotation, meaning you do a set of exercise A., then you do a set of exercise B, then start again with A, etc.
A. Regular Back Squat (parallel or full)
Hit a 3RM (or close to it for the day- make sure you get 3 reps!) for your first set. Say you get 345 x 3. For future sets you will take 20 pounds off the bar and do sets with that.
–Rest 3 minutes–
B. REA Full Front Squat
3 reps with 60% of your max weight. Focus on quickly dropping and then absorbing.
–Rest 3 minutes–
Repeat this rotation until you can’t get 3 reps with the dropped off weight in the squat. Most likely it’ll be less than 5 sets. After you hit that drop-off, do one more set of REA front squats and you’re done.
Do whatever you want for upper body, but don’t kill yourself. Remember that your body only has certain reserves so don’t “waste” them on upper body right now. I would suggest a fairly hard (but definitly not maximal) 5x5 for bench and chin or row. Make sure not to hit failure!
A. Depth Drops
I think your vertical and a half is a good height (about 48" for you), but you have to be able to absorb that so it could and probably will be lower for you. Basically you want to use the highest height you can land quietly from. Land in an “athletic” stance, not in a full squat. Do 5 reps with minimal rest in between them.
–rest 3 minutes–
B. Vertical Jumps
You will perform 5 vertical jumps with little rest in between them. These mainly are here to gauge the effects of depth drops so make sure you can measure how high you are getting accurately.
–rest 3 minutes—
Stop this rotation when your first vertical leap in B has dropped 2-2.5".
This is just a quick example, but should show you some of the methods behind improving your power absorbtion.