T Nation

Jumps and Throws Before Main Lifts


#1

First off, I really enjoy 5/3/1. If it ever becomes legal to marry a workout program, I um, won’t, but if I did it would be 5/3/1. After a year on the program, mostly switching between BBB and SST, my lifts have either increased significantly or increased slightly while my form has improved. I’ve lost body fat and my old ass can also almost dunk again. (A basketball, not toast. I never lost the ability to dunk bread.)

My question is mostly to build my knowledge. I have mostly followed the program as written except for a few mistakes I made in reading, like combining the main lift pyramid with BBB for 2 cycles. That said, I like to know WHY things work.

Why is it suggested to do the explosive power building jumps and throws before the main lift? I’m an athletics coach. I coach the throwers during track season. We warm up, then throw, then lift. We do because as throwers, our goal is to throw far. Lifting helps that greatly, but it is secondary to actually throwing.

My personal training goal is to improve my overall athleticism, so the format works and makes sense for me. But if someone didn’t care about explosiveness and only cared about their lifting numbers, would it be better for them to lift then jump/throw?

My theory is that lifts don’t suffer from reasonably light throwing first, and/or the body responds better to developing power before fatigue sets in and/or if you try jumping and throwing after the main lift you’ll use lousy form and won’t benefit as much from it.


#2

I have understood that the fatigue is the one of the reasons explosive work is usually done before main lifts. You just can not perform so good with the explosive stuff after heavy lifting and losing the speed kind of misses the point of doing them at the first place (to improve speed).

Also, it really wakes up your nervous system before lifting. I have also heard that there is better muscle stimulus in lifts after doing something explosive (or after Oly-lifts at least).


#3

“Why is it suggested to do the explosive power building jumps and throws before the main lift?”

To make this simple, because it “turns on” your body and gets you ready to lift heavy, strong and explosively.

“But if someone didn’t care about explosiveness and only cared about their lifting numbers, would it be better for them to lift then jump/throw?”

This is like saying “Well mobility and warming up doesn’t make me stronger…” Well not directly but in the long run it will. But the jumps/throws DO make a huge difference in getting stronger. Even the same day.

Doing 15-20 jumps or throws will NOT fatigue you before lift - if it does, it means one is horribly out of shape. Disgustingly out of shape. At the end of the day, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want. It’s just been my experience that a strong, explosive, mobile, well conditioned person is far superior physically to someone who just lifts weights. It’s about the TOTAL program, not just chasing numbers. Just like life isn’t just about work or whatever - when there is balance, there is a better life. Or at least it puts you in a better position.

This is why we have NOV challenges that challenge both strength and conditioning - and why the conditioning we do now in my gym is so vastly different than what most preach. We have evolved! We are blurring lines.


#4

[quote]Jim Wendler wrote:
It’s just been my experience that a strong, explosive, mobile, well conditioned person is far superior physically to someone who just lifts weights. It’s about the TOTAL program, not just chasing numbers.[quote]

Awesome. That’s an eloquent way to put it. For me it is more fun to be an athlete than talk about the numbers, which may be why the whole program works for me mentally.

Thank you. For what it is worth, I showed this to two of the people I train with that thought I was silly for jumping and throwing before lifts. Today they tried it and both felt better doing their main lifts and one of them even hit a bench PR. This after months of saying it was counterproductive.

I also want to thank you for the program overall. I use 531 principles to train my athletes. I don’t have them lift the heavier percentages, since many of them are early teenagers. We work on their form and like I said, follow the training principles. (Don’t worry, I don’t call it 531) Last spring they broke four throwing records throughout the season and in the championship meet finished 1st, 3rd, and 5th in discus and 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in shot put. While much of the credit should go to them and their hard work, I wanted to bring it up to you to give you another reminder of this has a positive impact on people’s lives, especially kids. So thank you and good job, again, for what it is worth.


#5

In terms of ‘turning on’ your body before lifting, nothing has worked better for me than jumping rope. I read somewhere Jim would do 500 - I do 300-500 and love it. Have been doing it for about six months now, and have lost some body fat and feel much lighter on my feet these days, too.


#6

[quote]Tepford wrote:

[quote]Jim Wendler wrote:
It’s just been my experience that a strong, explosive, mobile, well conditioned person is far superior physically to someone who just lifts weights. It’s about the TOTAL program, not just chasing numbers.[quote]

Awesome. That’s an eloquent way to put it. For me it is more fun to be an athlete than talk about the numbers, which may be why the whole program works for me mentally.

Thank you. For what it is worth, I showed this to two of the people I train with that thought I was silly for jumping and throwing before lifts. Today they tried it and both felt better doing their main lifts and one of them even hit a bench PR. This after months of saying it was counterproductive.

I also want to thank you for the program overall. I use 531 principles to train my athletes. I don’t have them lift the heavier percentages, since many of them are early teenagers. We work on their form and like I said, follow the training principles. (Don’t worry, I don’t call it 531) Last spring they broke four throwing records throughout the season and in the championship meet finished 1st, 3rd, and 5th in discus and 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in shot put. While much of the credit should go to them and their hard work, I wanted to bring it up to you to give you another reminder of this has a positive impact on people’s lives, especially kids. So thank you and good job, again, for what it is worth.[/quote]

You are welcome - I grew up learning/admiring and “researching” throwers: Mac Wilkins, Ulf Timmerman, Brent Noon, Brian Oldfield, the great Randy Matson, Randy Barnes, John Godina, Kami Keshmiri and others. So to see me having any kind of positive impact on you and your throwers makes me VERY happy.

It’s worth a lot to me.