T Nation

Opinions on Vertical Jump Routine


#1

Hey everybody,

I recently started playing basketball after a few years off (3 to 4, maybe), and have found that my vertical has plummeted somewhere in the range of 4 to 8 inches, depending on what I use as a baseline (4 inches being the difference from what I typically would experience after a layoff, and 8 being the difference from the highest I was ever able to reach).

Obviously, I'm quite a bit older now than I was then, but I also feel that the type of training I've been doing minus any explosive exercises or sports has resulted in my losing some of the power I used to be able to generate (call it a transition from fast twitch to slow twitch muscle, if you will). But I definitely just feel less explosive off the ground.

Anyway, to address this, I decided to incorporate some modest plyometrics into my routine, as well as a bit of speed-strength and strength-speed type exercises. The problem I ran in to has to do with scheduling, as I only have access to the gym after work Monday to Friday, and I have practice on Monday and a game on Thursday.

What I've tried to do is train on Tuesday and Friday, since anything more than that is unrealistic to sustain. I therefore came up with what amounts to a full-body routine twice a week, with the focus shifting from hip-dominant lower body and horizontal plane upper body on one day to quad-dominant lower body and vertical plane upper body the other. Here's what I've been trying for about two weeks now:

Tuesday:

Plyometric: Depth Drops 4x8
Strength-Speed: Power Snatch from Hang 4x5
Lower Body (Hip): Rack Deadlift 3x8
Upper Body (Horiz) 1: High Cable Flies 3x10
Upper Body (Horiz) 2A: Floor Dumbbell Press 3x10
Upper Body (Horiz) 2B: Seated Rows 3x10

Friday:

Plyometric: Depth Jumps 4x8
Speed-Strength: Jump Squat 3x8
Lower Body (Quad): Front Squat 3x8
Upper Body (Vert) 1: Cable Upright Rows 3x10
Upper Body (Vert) 2A: Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3x10
Upper Body (Vert) 2B: Lat Pulldowns 3x10

(A few things I should mention concerning the above: First, I have a torn labrum in my shoulder that I've rehabbed over the years to the point of just recently being able to do the dumbbell shoulder presses. Much of my upper body routine is geared toward pre-fatiguing the target muscles so that I am able to do less weight on subsequent exercises and thus spare my shoulder [cable flies before dumbbell floor presses, for example]. This is also why I tend to do higher reps on upper body exercises.)

Questions:

1) Would it make more sense to do the depth jumps before the snatches and move the depth drops to before the jump squats to reduce the amount of knee impacts on any give day?
2) Is the above too much work for the knees considering it's on top of twice-per-week basketball sessions of 60 to 90 minutes or so?
3) Is this a decent program, in general, for the effect I'm going for?

I should mention that my vertical has seemed to improve by about an inch since I started this program, and that's after about four weeks of playing with virtually no improvements, so I do feel it might be doing something.

Thanks for reading,
ChrisPowers


#2

[quote]ChrisPowers wrote:Questions:

  1. Would it make more sense to do the depth jumps before the snatches and move the depth drops to before the jump squats to reduce the amount of knee impacts on any give day?
  2. Is the above too much work for the knees considering it’s on top of twice-per-week basketball sessions of 60 to 90 minutes or so?
  3. Is this a decent program, in general, for the effect I’m going for?

I should mention that my vertical has seemed to improve by about an inch since I started this program, and that’s after about four weeks of playing with virtually no improvements, so I do feel it might be doing something.

Thanks for reading,
ChrisPowers[/quote]

  1. I wouldn’t do both depth jumps and depth drops in the same phase and I wouldn’t even use them right now in your training. Depth jumps give rapid increases in power for 3-4 weeks (so they are about to turn ineffective)and comes at the price of being very hard on the structure.

I know where you are coming from: when we were at a certain level and wat to get back to it ASAP we get emotional and use all the tools at our disposal into one big blitz… that work for 3-4 weeks but then progress stalls and the only way to continue progressing is the challenge the body even more, which can come at a severe price.

When I design a plyometric plan I normally use 4 phases lasting 3 weeks each:

PHASE 1:
Strength: Basic lift for sets of 5 reps in the 75-85% range

Strength-speed: Basic strength lifts (e.g. squat) done with a high acceleration (using 40-50% of maximum weight, with added chains or bands if possible)

Plyometrics: Various low impact but maximal effort jumps

PHASE 2:
Strength: Basic lift for sets of 3 reps in the 85-90% range

Strength-speed: Olympic lift variations from blocks

Plyometrics: Depth landings and various low impact jumps

PHASE 3:
Strength: Basic strength lifts for sets of 1-2 reps at 90-95%

Strength-Speed: Olympic lift variations from the hang

Plyometrics: Depth jumps

PHASE 4:
Strength: Accetuation (partial range of motion with overload, e.g. 1/2 or 1/4 squat) for sets of 3-5 reps with 95-110%

Strength-Speed: Olympic lift variations from the floor (or you can stay from the hang)

Speed-Strength: jumps squats (20-30% of max full squat) and jump lunges (10-15% of max full squat)

No plyo

  1. It’s not necessarily too much work BuT increasing power doesn’t require a lot of volume. Too much volume will hinder results by fatiguing the nervous system. It’s best to try to find the minimal volume that has the maximal effect and when that stops producing results you’ll have room to add work.

#3

Thanks a million, coach. I really appreciate your taking the time to answer. I’m going to take all your advice and reformulate my program.

I just have a few questions about the above before I do that, if you get a chance.

  1. Considering I’ve already done two and a half weeks of the aforementioned routine, should I take some time off before starting this program? If not, should I just jump in at Phase 1?

  2. Once the 12 week program is finished, would you repeat it again until results no longer occur?

  3. Does the timing of the seasons / games have any influence on when you prescribe the program / perform specific exercises?

Thanks again!