I’m 16 years old, 6’1" and 180lbs. I’ve been training to dunk for years, and have been through a lot of different training protocols. But I still can’t dunk.
I finally think I’ve found the solution, and I will try it out this new plan, but I also wanted to make a thread for it.
Essentially, through years of strength training I’ve become a strong, lightweight, and very “slow” athlete, as in my body, neurologically, doesn’t generate enough power within the time frame of athletic movements such as sprinting an vertical jumping. That’s where my problem lies.
The thing is that although strength training provided a nice boost in my vertical jump when I first started years ago, the body is beautifully and wonderfully made, so it SERIOUSLY adapts to the stresses that you place on it. Strength training is an inherently slow speed movement because it isn’t restricted by time like high speed athletic movements. A maximum squat is on the slowest end of this spectrum, while sprinting is on the fastest end.
Lifting Heavy Makes You Slow
In the 1960s, that was one of the things coaches believed; they weren’t completely wrong. Nor were they completely right.
Type IIa Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber
These muscle fiber are primarily used and developed with Limit Strength Training. Type IIa are Fast Twitch but not to the extent of Type IIb/x.
Type IIb/x “Super” Twitch Fast Muscle
These muscle fiber are primarily used and developed with Power and Speed Movements.
Muscle Fiber Cross Over
Research shows that the body is able to convert Type IIa Fast Twitch to Type IIb/x and vise versa, dependent on one’s training program.
Thus, Limit Strength (1 Repetition Max Training) converts Type IIb/x “Super” Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber to Type IIb/x “Super” Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber.
Power and Speed Training (Moderate to Low Load) preformed explosively coverts Type IIa Fast Twitch to Type IIb/x “Super” Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber.
Limit Strength Training with Heavy Load convert Type IIb/x “Super” Fast Muscle Twitch Muscle Fiber to Type IIa Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber.
Various studies have demonstrated this. One of the best research article on this is…"A Comparison of Strength and Power Characteristics Between Power Lifters,
Olympic Lifters, and Sprinters" Dr Jeff McBride, National Strength and Conditioning Journal.
The break down was…
The training method of Olympic Lifters developed the greatest Power Output. Their program built on Conjugate Training; employing Limit Strength, Power and Speed Training in their program.
Olympic Lifter are Power Athletes; strong, explosive, speed athletes. The best of both worlds, Type IIb Fast Twitch and Type IIb/x “Super” Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber.
Random research demonstrated that Olympic Lifter were about to out sprint Sprinters in the first 30 meters and out jump Jumper in Standing Jump
Their training focus is on Limit Strength Training. Thus, this group were essentially the strongest with limited Power: Type IIb/x “Super” Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber
These, of course, were that Speed Athletes; limited strength and some power; Type IIb/x “Super” Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber.
With that said, …
Limit Strength is The Foundation of Power and Speed
Research shows the foundation Power and Speed is Limit Strength. Limit Strength MUST be trained and maintained for maximal Power and Speed.
Olympic Lifter have the greatest Power Outputs Measured. Shot Putter Power Outputs rivals Olympic Lifters.
The best Shot Putters like Olympic Lifter are some of the strongest group of athletes.
A Shot Putter who can Incline Press let’s say 400 lbs is able to produce greater Power in the Shot (Throw it farther) than a Shot Putter who Incline Presses 275 lbs
Close But Not Exactly
Yes, when heavy lifting (Limit Strength) is stopped, Type IIa Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber convert back to Type IIb/x “Super” Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber.
However, Limit Strength Training is still mandatory; since it is The Foundation of Power and Speed, via Conjugate Training.
Olympic Lifters ARE the “Poster Children” for Conjugate Training.
How Your Write The Training Program
…determines if the emphasis is geared toward increasing Limit Strength, Power and/or Speed.
Synergistic Strength Training
Research has demonstrated Conjugate Training (training different type of Strength in the same program is…
“The whole is greater than the part,”
Synergistic is like adding 2 + 2 and getting 5.
Dr Michael Zourdos’ Research
Zourdos’ (Powerlifter) research determined greater in Strength Training is elicited when Conjugate Training is incorporated Limit Strength, Power and Hypertrophy in the same training cycle.
This experiment will try to see whether or not strength can be maintained while the body learns to use how the strength quicker. Strength will be maintained by doing 3x3 squats @88% 1RM at a frequency of once a week, while plyometric sessions and sprints will be done a few times a week, along with low impact basketball skills training. The goal is increase vertical jump and sprint speed.
You have a very good understanding of this.
You’re program is Sound.
You should also consider implementation of some Power Movements such as Jump Squat with load of between 10-40% of your 1 Repetition Max; Power is best developed with load of 10 - 40% of 1 Repetition Max.
Olympic Movement are some of, if not, the most effective for increasing Power.
Trap Bar Jumps produce Power Output similar to Olympic Movements; something to consider.
This article does an excellent job of breaking down the most effective Training Percentage to elicit the development of different type of strength.