T Nation

Plyometric Training and Hypertrophy

Hello,
I know plyometric training to be very effective for developing power (i.e., for improving a pitcher’s throw or a tennis player’s serve). But for the average person who weight trains for hypertrophy purposes, is there any benefit for him/her to do plyometric training? Thanks, Lorne

It won’t really help you get big, but it is an important part of training for athleticism and power. If you only want to get big, I wouldn’t really waste my time. However, doing plyos before lifting can fire up the CNS and help with the more hypertrophy-producing lifts.

[quote]Lorne wrote:
Hello,
I know plyometric training to be very effective for developing power (i.e., for improving a pitcher’s throw or a tennis player’s serve). But for the average person who weight trains for hypertrophy purposes, is there any benefit for him/her to do plyometric training? Thanks, Lorne [/quote]

I think Chad Waterbury has great ideas regarding this type of training.

Do a search on T-Nation for all of Chad’s fantastic articles.

Olesya

[quote]Lorne wrote:
Hello,
I know plyometric training to be very effective for developing power (i.e., for improving a pitcher’s throw or a tennis player’s serve). But for the average person who weight trains for hypertrophy purposes, is there any benefit for him/her to do plyometric training? Thanks, Lorne [/quote]

Plyo training helps your CNS become better at activating muscle fibers. So in theory it would help you to lift heaver loads and thus increase size/strength. However, my experience that it causes extreme CNS fatigue. So you would become over trained very quickly doing both Plyo and strength training. So if you use it use it infrequently.

Be wary that plyometrics require a good base of strength. This is to prevent injury due to the stresses involved in reversing a very fast eccentric movement over and over again. This is also very taxing to the CNS, so overtraining is an issue here.

If you want a good alternative in complete muscle fibre stimulation that isn’t that CNS intensive, use dynamic effort movements like olympic lifts.

I’ll use some anecdotal evidence…

I’ve played basketball my whole life (since first grade) and volleyball for 7 years. I now play volleyball in college. I lifted off and on in high school but never had a clue what I was doing. Mostly just did tons and tons of jumping. When I got to college, my strength coach straightened me out and I fell in love with lifting and started squatting and deadlifting hard. My legs have absolutely BLOWN UP. I’m about 220 but my legs would stack up to a guy 20 or 30 pounds heavier than me I think. I also gained strength very quickly in my legs compared to the upper body.

I definitely think that all those years of jumping made me very good at activating the fast-twitch fibers with greater potential for hypertrophy and thus helped me make very quick gains in leg size and strength. With that said, there are many ways to stimulate the fast-twitch fibers. CT has written a ton of articles on this topic, check them out and decide for yourself.