T Nation

Plyometrics


#1

So I've always wanted to do plyometrics, but as I read about them I realized that I first needed to get my strength up to par to fully reap the benefits. So, after 2 ABBH cycles, 1 ABBH II, a month of Renaissance Body Development, 1 Fat to Fire workout, 1 Strength Focused Mesocycle and 1 Nitro Squat Cycle... I finally got my ATG squat to 300 for reps (from 200), deadlift to 2xbw (I've never really come closed to maxing out... the closest would be my grip failing when repping out), etc. at a bodyweight of 170 (sh Proffesor X).

I train mainly for performance (I play soccer and tennis), so strength is secondary. I'm currently on day 17 of ABBH (again, I love this program), and I was wondering if it would be ok to begin to include some plyometrics in my workouts or off days.

I've already begun learning then o-lift variations (on my own, I have no access to a coach, so I've watched dozens of videos/articles, and taken it very slowly), and I routinely do hang power cleans and push jerks, and after a couple of months of overhead squats, I'm beginning to do hang power snatches.

So, after I'm done with ABBH (or even during the last week), would it be allright to begin doing plyometrics? My main focus is explosive speed, lateral speed/jump (I'm a golie in soccer), and of course vertical jump. I was thinking of doing CT's vertical leap program, but I decided against it since I'm in the middle of tennis season and it's kind of limiting in terms of goals (I don't want to focus solely on my vertical leap for 6 weeks during tennis season). However, does the program derive general benefits? If so, then I guess I should just do CT's program when I'm done with ABBH.


#2

nopal,

First of all, good job on getting the strength numbers up. Maximal strength is the foundation that all other qualities are built upon, so it's good that you focused on that. If you're weak as shit, you're probably never going to move very fast. With that said, it is probably not wise to start plyometrics training while you are in-season for a couple of reasons.

1.) Most sports are very "plyometric" by nautre. That is, they involve a lot of movements where you have to absorb your bodyweight, then explode in another direction. Therefore, you will be getting a lot of reactive and dynamic work in practice already (or should be).

2.) Plyometrics are very intensive, especially on the CNS. I don't think that high-intensity plyometrics should just be thrown in to a training program without careful consideration.

With that said, there are plenty of things you can do. Footwork drills, skips, front and lateral bounds, and other low-intensity "plyometric" (they are not really plyometric drills, but often labeled as such) drills are find to do, especially in the last phase of a warmup to get you primed for the fast movements you will need in competition.

I think that in-season training should be dedicated to preserving muscle mass and slightly increasing maximal strength.

One of the best ways to use plyometrics is as it was originally intended by Verhkoshansky; a 4-week intensive block that ends 2-3 weeks before the competitive season.

There is a very good thread here entitled "Jumping and Power Absorbtion." Check it out and feel free to ask any questions you might have.


#3

Nopal~

JTrin is right on with what he has suggested. Work on maintaining mass, strength, but alkso work on maintaining ROM...

I usually start every day with a dynamic warm-up... only more of a yoga variety.... Much of the stuff I do is on the Mark Verstagen Dsic, plus some simple "stretches" that are never held but merely move through an entire Range of Motion.

During the season it is easy to forget about stretching, and maintaining the strength in our widest ranges of motion...

Plus, waking up with a Dynamic Warm-Up is a great way to start the day...

The issue you may face is exactly what my business addresses....club sports and their 'need' to be year round. If you are a club soccer player and a tennis player, that helps...but do you really have an off-season? If not, you may have to take a look at what parts of the season you can maintain energy for performance training.. and what parts are really important (playoffs, etc.).

Hope this helps.

J


#4

Thanks for the responses guys. My offseason is really just summer and the first 2 weeks of September, though this year it'll be longer since I'm going to college and I'm not sure yet about joining the UCLA/UCSD soccer team. I've already started incorporating dynamic stretches as a pre-workout warmup to every workout (see the routine here:

http://www.trickstutorials.com/index.php?page=content/flx3), as well as doing MR's Hardcore Stretching routine and occasionally doing CD's Man of Steel routine.

I also already do jump-rope training (again, using CD's parameters) and agility drills for foot work, so I guess I won't really need to focus on plyometrics until after season's over (in April).


#5

Check out Kelly Baggette's stuff. Don Chu wrote a pretty good ply book too. Break into the more intense stuff slowly...may not seem like much to jump but, it can be hard on both the muscles and the CNS.