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Jumps for Explosive Power (Westside Barbell)


Bonjour CT,
I would really like to hear your advice on 2 topics, both are referring to westside barbell!

1.)jumps + plyomeyrics for explosive power

-what's a good way to start with jumps and when / how to progress with the difficulty of the jumps? I don't have a box- I am in a commercial gym, so only a bench, dumbells as weight, or barbells.

I would start with
- normal jumps in the air, or jumps on/to the bench.
-than maybe jumps for distance
-than loaded jumps with a barbell or dumbells
-and in the end depth jumps (when my body is ready)

Louie has mentioned that he uses the preplin chart, so I will too?

For upper body, I will do plyometic push ups , and at home some throws.
Is it important when I do them? For example Tuedsay max effort upper body, does it matter if I do my throws at Monday or Tuesday evening or Thursday or Friday... ?

2.) As GPP, I thought of throws, bodyweight exercises, Zercher and overhead carries and farmer walks..

What is a good distance/ rest / weight ratio for the carries? Should I do in the rest time other exercises as super sets? Like Zercher walks than some push ups and than Zercher walks again...

Would like to hear your opinion on topic 1.)
Thanks CT


Not CT, so I hope you don't mind if I give my 2 cents. Your progression of jumps is not optimal. The purpose of a depth jump is to increase reactive strength. It is one of the most intense reactive jumping exercises you can do. Naturally you want to build to that intensity by using lower intensity reactive strength movements. You could start with something like ankle hops or jump rope, once you master that you could move on to various hopping exercises (forward, backward, sideways, one leg, double leg), then continue on to repeat vertical and horizontal jumps. You can get a lot of mileage out of these movements.

It may be all you ever need to do. If these movements are mastered and you need a greater stimulus then you can go onto repeat hurdle jumps and bounding. Very few people have the athleticism to do these properly (College level sprinters and jumpers, wide receivers, defensive backs). If you train diligently, properly, and use proper technique and no longer are getting stimulus from these movements then you can go to depth jumps to continue to progress.

If you are a primarily a weightlifter all you will every likely need are box jumps, broad jumps and vertical jumps. When it comes to plyometrics, technique is everything. If you aren't doing them right you won't get the proper training effect and could develop tendinitis, shin splits, stress fractures, etc. It would be great if you could find a good coach to teach you proper technique. If not, it may be best to stick to box jumps since the learning curve is pretty low. Hopefully this info is helpful to you.



No, thanks for your answer,your 2 cent are more like 200$ and really helpful! , I appreciate it!! :slight_smile:

The "plyometic progression", you outlined just to make sure i understood it right:

-ankle hops or jump rope
- various hopping exercises (forward, backward, sideways, one leg, double leg)
- then continue on to repeat vertical and horizontal jumps.

  • go onto repeat hurdle jumps and bounding.
  • depth jumps

So I will start with box jumps, since I don't have a box I will make " bench jumps" with varying distances and maybe load?
If I become good at them then vertical jumps and then broad jumps.
And after that (which can take a long time, I suppose) I would start with the plyomeyric progression (above) (where I maybe never reach the top).

As far sets and reps + rest goes, what do you recommend to build explosiveness for a beginner in box jumps and how should I progress there? (In my case "bench jumps" )

Thanks in advance to anyone!


When you say:

"I would start with
- normal jumps in the air, or jumps on/to the bench.
-than maybe jumps for distance
-than loaded jumps with a barbell or dumbells
-and in the end depth jumps (when my body is ready) "

What do you mean exactly? That you do all these types of jumps in one session or that it is the progression model you will follow... for example 4 weeks of box jumps, 4 weeks of loaded jumps, 4 weeks of depth jumps?

And understand that jumps are high stress exercises. Especially the higher level jumps/plyo exercises like loaded jumps and depth jumps. You don't feel tired when you do themso its easy to do WAY too much. Louie is on the right track when he says that he uses the Prilepin chart. (for example doing 10-20 total high intensity jumps at the most in one session and keeping the reps per set low to focus on maximum quality per rep).

And from experience (as well as literature) you can't do high intensity plyos for a long time... blocks of 2-3 weeks is all that people should use and do these blocks 2-3 times in a year. Lower intensity jumps can be used more ofteb though, but I'd still stay on the low end both on the volume and duration of practice side.

Jumps can help... but they are nothing magical, certainly not something that will turn an average lifter into a great one. I find them to be useful mostly with athletes who aren't explosive at all when they lift. The jumps can help them get closer to that explosive gear. But lifters who already are explosive/fast will not get much out of them, at least when it comes to improving their lifts.


I can't give you weight requirements as this is obviously individual.

As for the distance and rest intervals it depends on what you want to accomplish. Yeah I know it's GPP but there are many elements to GPP.

For distance normally for carries I use the rule of thumb 1 meter = 1 rep. So for example if your goal is to increase strength with a lifting movement you'd go with 1 to 3 reps (for example) so for carries 10 to 30 meters with the heaviest weight you can handle for that distance.

If you are using carries to build muscle we would need 6 to 10 reps so 60 - 100 meters.

If you are going for resistance up to 20 reps are used so up to 200m.

Selecting the proper rest intervals is also dependant on what you want to develop. If you want to develop the power of an energy system you will take longer rest periods so that you start every set in a state to perform optimally. If you want to develop the capacity of an energy system you will go with an incomplete rest periods (about 70% recovered) and if you want to improve lactate threshold/pain tolerance you will go with ever shorter rest intervals.

But honestly, you might as well just stop overthinking it and do work... simply pick a carry and work it hard. Go with your feeling for the day and vary the type of work you do daily. Really it's not complicated. A lot of people get a thrill in thinking that their training is super scientific but in reality the only thing that really matter is hard work, especially when it comes to GPP.


I agree with your whole post, expect this part. Most people can work up to being able to do quality loaded jumps and depth jumps. And they offer a different training effect than regular jumps. Everybody who can do them efficiently will get something out of them that regular jumps wont give them. It's not just as stimulus scale (same type of stimulus increasing in intensity with every different movement) it's a different one altogether. It's like comparing a deadlift and a power clean...similar movement pattern, a lot of the same muscles involved, both are done with weights, one is fairly simply the other is more complex is done properly. But you can't say "if you get good at deadlifts you might never need the power clean", they develop different things.

Same with depth jumps and regular jumps.

I'm not saying to jump into (ha!) depth jumps to get the different stimulus. But that they certainly offer something more and different provided that you can do them right.

And saying that few people can do them right is exactly like saying that few people can do a snatch or clean & jerk. I've taught the Olympic lifts to people who most would have said have no business doing them and they all work up to a pretty good level of performance, it's all a matter of proper progression. If you start an athlete telling him "you need to be a great athlete to do depth jumps, so you wont do them or might not ever need to do them" what are you telling them? What are you doing to their mindset?

For example I train a young female (22) she was grossly out of shape. When she began to learn the Olympic lifts snatching the empty bar and cleaning 55lbs was HARD and ugly. 5 months later she is clean & jerking 190lbs and snatching 140lbs and she isn't a naturally gifted athlete either, but she trains hard every day and challenge herself, not accepting limitations or failure.

If you pre-program limitations in an individual mind you are doing a horrible job as a coach.

True some people might take a long time to work up to thehigher echelons of the progression model, but with proper work everybody can climb it up.


As for jumps progression I don't look at it as going from box jumps (low impact) up to depth jumps (high impact) as they are different types of actions. I look at it as selecting the type of jump you need to get the training effect you want then progressing within that type.

For example let's take a "regular" vertical jump. A progression could be:

Box jump with as little hip flexion as possible (not tucking the knees to the chest to reach a higher box)

Vertical jump from a pause

Vertical jump

Vertical jump series (linking several vertical jumps together, jumping back up as soon as you land)

For something like depth jumps it could be:

Vertical jump landing in a quarter squat and holding the position 3 seconds

Landing from low box drop (just do the "drop" portion of the depth jump, land in a quarter squat and hold... focus on perfect landing position)

Landing from a low box + jump (same as above, hold the landing position 3 seconds then jump up)

Low box depth jump (10-12 inches)

Regular depth jumps


First thanks for your long and in depth answer and again thanks to billyhayes, I appreciate your answers!!!

To answer your question what I mean when I say:

""I would start with 
- normal jumps in the air, or jumps on/to the bench. 
-than maybe jumps for distance 
-than loaded jumps with a barbell or dumbells 
-and in the end depth jumps (when my body is ready) " "

I mean that I would do normal jumps or box (bench) jumps for 3-4 weeks and then use a different jump style and try to progress to advance jumps for better explosive power.

The preplin chart and jumps:

Does it make sense to use the chart if I only change the height? Let's say your highest box jump is 100cm, now you use the chart with 90% and use a 90cm box. However since you jump in both cases with maximum power the result is the same??? It makes (for me) only sense when one uses additional load like dumbells or a weight vest...

Quote of CT's post:
"I look at it as selecting the type of jump you need to get the training effect you want then progressing within that type. "

Is there that much of a different between vertical jumps,box jumps, broad jumps , +/- additional weight ?

On GPP: the guidelines you mentioned above is already perfect and helpful to me! :slight_smile:

I will use 3-5 sets with 1-5 reps for my jumps and stay more conservative with them. Maybe every 3 weeks I will rotate through them and see how I develop: P

Thanks for all the responses



Thats a 4 part series CT wrote on jumping some years ago. That is part 4 and it links back to the first 3.

CT, do you still stand by that info? I dont want to give potentially outdated info without you knowing about it, but that series is what got me into Jumps.


And here is the Neural Charge Training Jumps video from that same time frame. Lots of different ideas and explanations here:



Sets and reps really depend on how you are doing. Some days you may have very excited legs and you can do more volume other days your legs may feel like lead and you should stop immediately. Also, you should land softly on the bench or box. If you are landing hard you should stop.