T Nation

Plyometrics?

If plyometrics are only effective for the stretch reflex, which has to be an extremely quick contraction from eccentric to concentric, how can it actually be beneficial for increasing your one rep max in the squat or the bench press? A one rep max is way to heavy to be dropping the weight down fast in the eccentric portion and quickly changing it to the concentric portion of the lift like you would in plyometrics, so I would think you would lose the benefits of a stretch reflex since a one rep max doesn’t move fast enough enough.

I’ve never heard of doing plyos to increase maxs, but I think that some of the reasoning could be to help blast through sticking points when you begin to lift the weight. I know on squats, if I come out of the bottom position slow, I’m pretty much toast. It could be the same ideas as using CAT to help those points, but I really don’t know. Try Dave Tate at Elitelifts, he could probably tell you.

djm e22,
I could be wrong, but just because plyometrics targets the stretch reflex, don’t think it is limited to that alone. I think that plyometrics plays with the GTO’s and other sensory units in tendons and muscles. I also think that plyometrics helps juice the nervous system, so it is not the actual speed but the perception of speed/ degree of tension by the muscles. Meaning the nervous system fires intensely during plyometrics ( a relatively light load) due to the tension created from the activation of the stretch reflex. Just as the nervous system fires intensely during 1RM due to the tension created by a heavy load.
I think this is explained more if you go back to the article about CAT or Compensatory Acceleration Training.
Hope this helps and I’m not leading you astray.
Peace,
T-Ren

If I’m correct plyometrics are used to trick your CNS into going all-out on a rep. This is achieved by providing the weight with a acceleration(g)in the negative part of the rep (F=M.A). This formula indicates the weight you use will be multiplied with the factor A. You’ll recruit fast twitch fibers right away for a power explosion. Many believe this way your CNS learns to activate these FT fibers more effeciently, giving you a benefit.
Please correct me if I’m wrong.
So it is NOT a good idea to drop the bar on a bench max attempt!! You could use a slight portion of your 1RM to do the drop bench. But I would not go heavy on this one.
C.A.

I dont think the stretch reflex phenomenon has to occur after a fast eccentric. it only has to be preceeded by an eccentric without an overly dramtic pause such as isometric holds.(ie obviously doesn’t work for Deadlifts)

Whetu,
You are correct, but the greater the degree of stretch and the quicker you reverse motion, the greater the response. Try to work into them gradually and seek to expand your Dynamic ROM slowly and increase the speed slowly and start light, 40% 1RM, I might even do 30% for a few workouts to break in with until comfortable.
We gotta be close if a couple of us are saying close to the same thing, well unless it’s monkey see, monkey do.
Peace,
T-Ren