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  1. #1
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    Plyometrics to improve explosiveness

    I was reading the "leg presses for track" and a couple of people mentioned plyometrics as a safer way to improve explosiveness. For those of you who do plyometrics, what excercises do you do? and at what times of the year? Anyone know of any good sites that give a good list of different plyometric exercises to try?

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    you'd be better served by doing powerlifting speed work. What you're trying to accomplish is more neurological adaptation than muscular adaptation because your CNS controls the firing pattern and recruitment of your musculature. Speedwork trains your brain to recruit the largest % of muscle fibers instantly to overcome a load. Benching would yield minimal benefit IMO, but squats, deadlifts, and stiff legs would be perfect.

    Find your 1RM, then cut that load to ~40% and do speed doubles where you control the eccentric but perform the concentric as quickly as possible. Seven to ten sets of two is about right. They won't beat you up either. I actually use speedwork for active recovery. Next workout, add 10# and repeat. Keep adding 10# with each successive workout. The goal is to add as much weight and maintain or decrease (preferably) the time to required to complete the concentric portion of the lift. Just make sure you use perfect technique. Try to make it to 60% or more while maintaining the speed you had with the 40% loads. On the deads, just make sure to reset at the bottom so you disconnect the eccentric from the concentric. That will yield the greatest improvement in starting strength. On the stiffs and squats, just control the negative and fire it back up without resetting.

    The people who advocate the radical jump squats, 1-legged leg presses throwing the sled, etc. are the people who don't have to live with the consequences of doing that kind of ballistic lifting. Lift that way for 15 years and then come back and tell me how you feel.

  3. #3
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    Sir: You know your stuff! Could you advice me on a website(s) or source for powerlifting for leg power? I would greatly appreciate any help. Thank you.

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    I don't know of any sites off hand that will present the information you're looking for. I'm not even sure myself what you're asking for. If you're asking about the effectiveness of this type of training, I can tell you from personal experience that it works. It's no substitute for max effort work or riding your bike, but taking all things together, it will definitely help. If you're looking for technique advice, I'd recommend attending a local powerlifting meet - they're usually advertised in the local fitness clubs - and check out the form of the guys putting up the biggest numbers. If it's not a RAW meet (IOW, guys are using squat suits and DL suits - NOT singlets), then just realize that you'll need to take a more narrow squat stance because you won't have the equipment helping you in the hole. If you start off squatting too wide, you'll wreck your hip flexors. In the deadlift, it doesn't matter if you go sumo or conventional. I'd probably recommend conventional because that will more closely replicate the firing pattern of the quads used on the bike. Sumo stance (my stance in my avatar) goofs up the recruitment pattern in the quads vis-a-vis conventional, and that makes breaking the deck much more difficult for most people. That will do it for the squats and deads, but not the stiffs because that is not a competition lift. PM your email address and I'll email you some of my vids doing these lifts.

    If you're looking for strength training theory, some of the best work on the subject has been done, not surprisingly, by the Russians. Zatsiorsky's "Science and Practice of Strength Training" is a good balance between "heavy" theory and applicable concepts. Verkhoshansky's "Programming and Organization of Training" is also very good.
    Last edited by goldenear; 05-08-07 at 10:25 AM.

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    Lurker for Life yonderboy's Avatar
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    I use plyometrics for my strength training during the season. Last season I did them about once a week, but this season I've been racing more and spending less time in the gym. I used to do them when I ran track with mixed results, as well. For longer events (long points, scratch races), you probably won't see much of a benefit. Where you'll probably see a difference is in your kilo and match sprints.

    Anyway, my workout last year that incorporated plyometrics was this:

    1 25m length of burpee/lunges
    1 25m length of deep sidesteps
    1 25m length of lunges with a twist, usually with a 10lb medicine ball
    10 box jumps
    2 sets of 15 calf raises

    bodybuilding.com has more workouts.

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    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    The benefit of plyometrics is you don't have to waste $40+/month on a gym membership to see improvements. You can do plyo's onto boxes, over a nearby fence or hurdles at the local high school track.

    I would also argue that unless the OP is an experienced lifter, and able to recruit a significant % of muscle fibers in a lift, he will benefit more and faster from plyo's.

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    I would appreciate that: aruigrok@comcast.net. thank you. to see in action vs. read and/or visualize is better for me. I am trying to build, for lack of a better name, speed power. Thank you again.

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    The problem with plyometrics is that the load never changes, unless you've got a bunch of 45's laying around or people who can climb on you. Your body will only adapt to the extent of the demands imposed upon it. That is the whole idea behind both the SAID and overload principles. Eventually, it just turns into a big cardiofest. If your goal is mitochondrial adaptation, aerobic capacity, or capillary enhancement, then great. But if you're trying to continually and maximally improve neurological efficiency, it's just not going to work. Your brain is smart enough to only recruit those super high-tensile fast-twitch muscle fibers when it's absolutely essential because there is a significant metabolic cost assosciated with their recruitment. That's why I said speedwork is no substitute for max effort work because no matter how hard you try, you just can't fool your brain.

    I dropped $40K and builit my own commercially-equipped facility, so I don't think $40/mo is that big of a deal. Just depends on your goals and how far you want to take them, I suppose.

    oger, I emailed you a stiff leg vid, subject is "Stiffs" so you know it's from me. So you can get an idea of what speedwork did for me, I'll also send you a vid from the US Open a couple years ago - bar is loaded to 365 kilos.
    Last edited by goldenear; 05-09-07 at 10:04 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    With plyometrics you vary the load by changing the height of the box. Here is a document written by the Strength Coach of the Australian Nat'l Team track sprinters. It's quite in depth and I now base my gym work around whats in it.

    http://www.dubbayoo.net/files/docs/T...t_Training.pdf

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    Thanks for the article. Funny, he's saying everything that I said originally, literally word for word in some instances. Obviously he has put his time in because that kind of knowledge does not come from a book. The only thing I have a problem with is the ballistic training he advocates. He doesn't have to live with the consequences of that training. I've been lifting balls out for 12 years and have added 100 lbs. of muscle mass in that period of time. If I would have started day 1 doing that kind of stuff, there is just no way I would have been able to accomplish what I have so far. Like I said, train that way for 15 years and then come and tell me how your joints feel. But most of his athletes will have long since retired by then, so I guess it doesn't matter.

    Interesting that the header was "Supertraining" - the title of Mel Siff's book.
    Last edited by goldenear; 05-09-07 at 11:16 AM.

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    Goldenear: Sir, I think I or my spamfilter may have blocked or erased the email. Could you try again? If not, I will understand and I thank you for the information you have given me already. aruigrok@comcast.net willow grove, pa.

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    just sent...post up any questions. will send the comp vid after you receive the first one...
    Last edited by goldenear; 05-15-07 at 04:42 PM.

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    Senior Member CafeRacer's Avatar
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    Do Both!

    Plyo wont make your muscles twitch faster. Thats somthing your born with. What it does though is helps train your muscles to co-ordinate better and work better together. I do seated box jumps a couple times a week ontop of gym work, and bike work.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dial_tone
    The benefit of plyometrics is you don't have to waste $40+/month on a gym membership to see improvements. You can do plyo's onto boxes, over a nearby fence or hurdles at the local high school track.
    get some freeweights, a squat rack, bench, some plates, and a bar and you dont need a gym. just go to your basement.

  15. #15
    nube nevlis's Avatar
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    With plyometrics you vary the load by changing the height of the box.
    you can also use something that some thru-hikers use to train, a weighted vest, along with plyometrics.

    if you really want to kill yourself, try something along the lines of what gym jones did for the '300' crew... kick your own a**, keep your diet hardcore strict, and focus on functional and applied exercise. also, try to stay away from machines and you'll find your muscle control and overall 'harmony' is improved... which i guess is also one of the goals of plyometrics.

    however, i would advise against jumping into a super-strict exercise regimen unless you've done some, at the very least, casually, before. take it slow, try to do it somewhere where you can pay attention to your form (or better, have a friend watch it for you), and make sure you don't hurt yourself. i don't mean hurt yourself as in, "waa, my muscles are tired", but more like, damage (as goldenear mentioned) your hip flexors, shoulders, back or neck.

    otherwise, goldenear's advised plan is something i've worked on before, mostly for punching explosiveness/speed, and i can attest that it most definitely works. in doing fast twitch fiber recruitment, make sure you let your muscles recover a bit, and a good amount of protein intake in your diet will make all that work you're doing worthwhile.

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