Plyometrics 101

I sent this out to my Team RevCon athletes last week and it got a good response, so I am going to share it with you as well – here’s what it said…

Did you see the video of a famous baseball players jumping up onto a stack of 52 (or something) of those ‘steps’?  His knees were right up under his chin and the box swayed back and forth as he landed – – and he was very please with himself.

Me? A little part of my soul died

This is the equivalent of Evel Knievel jumping over those buses…it makes you go ‘wow’ at first but if you stop to think about it, then you say ‘why’?  

It is a daredevil stunt, NOT athlete training.  I repeat…NOT athlete training.

World renowned Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Boyle talked about it >> HERE in an article appropriately named “Stop the box jump stupidity” – ah Mike, so eloquent with your words, I love it.

Whtb-SIDEBANNERhat we both point out is this…

What an athlete should be concerned with is displacement of the centre of mass (think height off the ground they can elevate their belly button) and land with proper mechanics (basically the opposite movement of the jump initiation).  How high you can pull your knees up to your chin has very little to do with power production.

Add to that the increased risk of injury with these stunts and there is no benefit.

Unless your purpose is just to look cool to the masses – like Evel – – then maybe you are on to something.  You canbecome the Evel Knievel of box jumping for all I care – might a suggest some sort of red, white and blue outfit (with lots of stars of course).

And there…I rest my case.


Plyometrics 101

What I have for you today is a video from the archives that walks you through your plyometric progressions starting with the basics.

If you cannot see the video in the player above, just click here >

(FYI – I did save my allowance and buy that HDF plyo box set as you can see in the picture above :))

To progress through this entire series will take a minimum of 3-months training, so don’t think that you will start today with a drop squat and by next week you will be doing depth jumps to build powerful and explosive legs. It doesn’t work that way and you are very likely going to end up either injured or increasing your risk of injury.

ugt3-sidebarIn fact I heard from one of you (who suggested I revisit the topic) because as a high school athlete he did his best to research and understand plyometrics. He thought he was doing the right things, but feels that his misuse of this too actually contributed to the ACL tear he suffered.

I think that is very likely.

If he was using too much volume (too many jumps per session) or landing without proper mechanics where the load is shared between the glutes, hamstrings and quads, he very well could have increased his risk of tearing his ACL.

So be patient with them. They look so basic and you will think because they are ‘just bodyweight’ exercise that they are inherently safe. This is not the case.

Plyometric training should be used no more than 2-3 times per week and for no more than 20-minutes (including work and rest intervals). The work interval should be 10 seconds or less and the rest will be 5-10 times as long as the work interval.

So if it takes you 6 seconds to complete your set, the earliest you would start another 6 second set is 30 seconds later. The key is getting enough rest so every rep is maximally explosive. If fatigue is slowing your rate of force development or your quality is suffering, then you must stop the set.

Safe and happy training!