T Nation

Low Plyo Ability?



Hi fellas,

My goals are improving sprinting mechanics and conditioning, it’s pretty “funny” because at 85 kilos and 187cms I can static jump only 40 cm high and my running acceleration is horrendous. Especially considering I do 100 meters in 13 seconds and 300 in 41,7.
My 1RM are 155 kl Squat, 210 kl Deadlift and 120 kl Bench Press.

Regarding my bodyfat percentage, I’m not sure, I see my abs a bit and lots of veins over them. Maybe round 10%

I play soccer and aim going pro soon, so is crucial for me to find a solution to my slowness.
I have discussed it.with some powerlifting trainers and they regard getting stronger as a cure for all remedies.

Is there any comrade who could explain me why I still so pathetically slow?
I welcome haters to comment as well, sometimes a harsh critic can awaken ones mind. Besides, I never take things too serious.

By the way, I overdid one-legged plyo training 6 months ago and developed a mild tendinitis which I solved with slow and super slow tempo squats. (Thanks, Tnation!)

Hope to hear some quality advice in here.
Show me what you got, you experts!

Routine for Strength & Explosive
Weights and Plyometrics - Jump Training Efficiency

Principle of Training Specificity

Train the way you play. Lift fast and explosively for maximum carryover to explosive athletic movement. Every rep should be as fast and explosive as possible.

Getting super strong and grinding out big weights will make you good at just that being strong but slow. Training at higher percentages or at high RPEs or reps left in the tank will necessitate a slow down in bar speed will negatively impact explosiveness.

Also related to specificity of training your exercise selection is vital: what you neglect is as important as what you work on. Powerlifting is fun but the bench does not carryover to sprinting much. Inherently explosive movements like the power clean, clean and jerk, snatch, kettlebell swing etc. are perfect for you.

Excessive upper body mass does little for you. It’s just more weight to be accelerated. Force = Mass x Acceleration. Therefore adding non functional mass on randomly without improving force generating capacity leads to poorer performance in explosive movements.

Greater muscle mass has the potential for greater force production potentially resulting in increased power output or explosiveness. This does not happen by itself and is no guarantee like the example above where you get stronger but slow so you are unable to potentiate force production into power. You must actively drive this process.

To this end you should always be programming in sport-specific power work. I use the word programming because, as you’ve experienced, if you’re stupid with the volume/frequency you can end up injured. Explosiveness is a trait and should be trained as seriously as strength if not more so.

Like sport specific power work, technique in sprinting with and without the ball, change of direction/deceleration, jumping etc. should be a staple of your training. Good technique equals running faster and jumping higher. Bad technical equals inefficient running and jumping nowhere near your potential performance.

Probably hire a specific coach for athletic performance or football and stop talking to powerlifters unless you want to be pro in powerlifting too. Maybe bench less and sprint more. Maybe spend more time on the field than in the gym than you are currently doing. Throw in some power cleans.

Good luck Comrade


Don’t really want to bring a downer on things but I am yet to see a serious athlete suddenly go from a plodder to a speedster. You either have it or you dont. You can improve, no doubt but it’s unlikely you will become the the fleetest guy out there.

Just play to whatever strengths you have.


Thing is… you’re not actually slow. You’re slow by the standards of athletes who specialize in 100m & 300m/400m, but probably not by professional futbol standards; you’re probably around average.

Futbol takes it’s toll with all of the distance covered in practice & games. Getting those lifts up may help, they aren’t at a level of “elite power for sprinters” that’s for sure, for example a 2.5 BW squat (but those are usually half squats). Improving those lifts would most likely translate more to improvements in acceleration, which would definitely improve those times you listed. So it’s worth continuing to focus on them, but not to the detriment of sprint & sport skill work.

As for your slowness, do you just get burned on the field? I can’t imagine you do, you’re turning pro soon. If you’re getting burned on the field, you should probably look at your 60m more so than your 100m, AND you should look at your work capacity - how many hard 60’s can you run with jog back recovery, before your 60 drops off dramatically? Same for the 300’s.

IMHO you don’t need bounds or anything special. Sure keep improving your lifts slowly & safely, but what you really need to do is figure out your work capacity for near max efforts in the 60 & 300, and then focus on improving that. I imagine most coaches would take a slightly slower guy who can produce that same level of speed throughout a match, than someone more explosive who dies out within 15 minutes. By improving your work capacity over those two distances, you’ll also be putting in alot more specialized sprint volume, so you’d probably get a bit faster. The key is trying to figure out where to fit that into your routine, that’s probably difficult with a pro schedule. But ideally, you’d probably want to try and get 2 dedicated sprint work capacity sessions in per week, as long as you’re not burning yourself out in practice.

dno you left out alot, so I could be way off.

edit: if you want to get considerably faster, quit futbol and dedicate yourself to sprinting… lmao. :slight_smile:



I will take into account reps speed. I don’t fancy oly lifts due to the stress on the joints. After my tendinitis, I have to be on alert, comrade.

Perhaps one of my previous mistakes was not to do some plyo work such as clap push-ups and jumps along with my heavy lifting. Yeah, I must drive the process.

Look, I have been stupid as fuck with plyo work, as a result my tendons suffer excessively.

Where can I find “proper” advice concerning sprinting technique on the net? I’m in China so I can only use a crappy search engine: Baidu.
I have read two kindle books of sprinting and have searched on the Internet. Everything useless so far, but I haven’t given up.

The last time I touched a weight was 3 months ago, here in China I base my. lifting training on callisthenics and banded exercises. I will get into details if you are curious.

I train football everyday with different asian buddies, we do some passes, shots, and stuff. They admire me and believe in me, so we do a proper warm up, dynamic stretches and take things progressively.
When I feel ready, I do one of my sprinting routines in a track, which means I sprint 6 days per week.


Actually I’m always one of the fastest when it comes to.top speed.in football, however, my acceleration and my start are a joke. At least for my standards.

Imma do my best and you will know if I improve!

I dont feel you are a downer but down-to-earth.

And I will amplify my strenghts, thanks for the advice, mate!


Average goes nowhere. Average is not an insult, is even worse!

I suspect my problem are my quads, adductors and maybe hip flexors: when I sprint 300/400 meters I feel a lack of power in spite of a cardiovascular burn. I recover relatively rapid.

Another example is my swat/ lunge ratio. I reckon lots of muscles take over and my quads get poor stimulation. I’m absolutely weak on unilateral exercises.

Indeed, you hit the nail.on the head, I need more acceleration. How can I do it. I have seen an improvement of 30 kl of my 1 RM in my back squat in the last 4 years but my acceleration hasn’t barely noticed.

As I said, my conditioning levels are awesome, thats why I play as defensive midfielder. Even so, Im gonna try sprinting and jogging back,
my current sprinting workouts in China follow this split:

A 10 x 50 meters sprint, walk back and grind again.

B 10 x 100 meters sprint on the curve, I don’t take long rests after the sprint. I obviously perform.5.sprints on each direction.

C 10x 200 meters sprint. Like in B

I do 1 last sprint of 300/400 meters after each sprint workout as a finisher.

Almost.forgot, I do 5 /6 sprint workouts per week.

I love sprinting and love football, why not showing it on the football pitch?.hahahaha


When I played which was quite a long time ago now and about 10-15kgs of lean mass ago my favourite “drill” was 5 a side or attack v defense on a half field. If you are going to play football everyday may as well practice how you play. Principle of Specificity: It doesn’t get much more specific than small sided games.

The small number of players and relatively large field encourage players to knock the ball past and try to outrun other players. You end up chasing more loose balls, competing with your opponents. On the attack or on the defensive every run and every press will be the difference between conceding/scoring a goal and counterattacking/getting countered. 5 a side replicates high intensity scenarios over and over.

You’re never stagnant and almost always running at high intensity because with only 5 a side you must always be involved in the play e.g. being in position or closing down someone. It’s great fitness work because, as well as being specific, its just plain old good fun to be able to try outwork and outrun the opposition. Its a bit harder in a full 11 a side because they have 10 players to pass to and can pass around you easy enough.

Go as long as you want: because its good fun you’ll barely notice fatigue. In a session you should have gone through the acceleration phase of a sprint a hundred times while learning to think fast and play fast.