Discussion on Plyometrics.

Ok, I've searched this one for days and read everything on the site about it. There's a few things that haven't been covered.

First, I have written here in my notes that I wanted to ask what a good standard of measurement was for ESD. Unfortunately... I forgot what ESD stands for. Can the strengthcats guy explain that? And what IS a good way to measure it?

Now to start off with, the whole point of plyos is to train the stretch reflex mechanism. So I'd like to get into how specific this really is.

1) The point of transition - does this matter? For example, if I wanted to improve my squat, would my depth jumps have me land and bend at the knees all the way down until I was in a squat-like position, then blast back up? I'm guessing the answer is yes, but just making sure.

1.5) How bout medicine ball drops? would you catch the ball, bring it down to your chest, then throw it back up? Catch it and throw it back up without worrying about bringing it to your chest? Or catch it -=AT=- your chest, then throw it back up? Also, your bench press grip, when doing bench presses, is much wider than it would be if you were catching a ball and throwing it back... how does the narrow grip needed to catch the ball level out with the wide grip needed for bench pressing?

2) Plyos only activate muscle fibers as a response to the stretch-reflex mechanism. That is, the actually SR thing somehow builds "energy" in the muscle before you throw it back out (kind of like a rubber band, right?) But with starting strength, like if you were standing in front of a deadlift... your muscles dont have anything to pre-load with. This CANT be sports specific to deadlifting, since there's no preload needed! Does the starting strength from plyos really carry over despite this? This can also be equated to the speed of a jab in a boxer - where preloading or raring back is not possible.

2.5) If plyos do NOT train the above examples... what would? Simply attempting the move over and over as fast as possible each time?

3) Finally, when doing jumps or medicine ball passes... is it really better to jump or throw once, stop, get refocused, and go again - or to do so in rapid succession? Or does it matter? If it does matter, give examples for when it matters.

Todd Wilson's picture

Re: Discussion on Plyometrics.

1) The point of transition - does this matter?

### Yes, it's the whole point of plyometrics.

For example, if I wanted to improve my squat, would my depth jumps have me land and bend at the knees all the way down until I was in a squat-like position, then blast back up? I'm guessing the answer is yes, but just making sure.

### No. That would not be a plyometric action. The point of plyometrics is to go from the eccentric muscle action to the concentric muscle action as fast as possible.

1.5) How bout medicine ball drops?

### Unless your training for the medicine ball drop competition in the Olympics, this is a relatively useless exercise anyway, as the loading is restricted by hand strength.

would you catch the ball, bring it down to your chest, then throw it back up? Catch it and throw it back up without worrying about bringing it to your chest? Or catch it -=AT=- your chest, then throw it back up? Also, your bench press grip, when doing bench presses, is much wider than it would be if you were catching a ball and throwing it back...

### Now your starting to think objectively on this. COntinue that line of thought. It's not specific to anything.

how does the narrow grip needed to catch the ball level out with the wide grip needed for bench pressing?

2) Plyos only activate muscle fibers as a response to the stretch-reflex mechanism. That is, the actually SR thing somehow builds "energy" in the muscle before you throw it back out (kind of like a rubber band, right?) But with starting strength, like if you were standing in front of a deadlift... your muscles dont have anything to pre-load with. This CANT be sports specific to deadlifting, since there's no preload needed!

### I disagree that there is no "pre-load" with the deadlift, however. That doesn't determine if plyometrics could have positive carry over to the DL or not.

Does the starting strength from plyos really carry over despite this?

### It depends on 622 different factors.

This can also be equated to the speed of a jab in a boxer - where preloading or raring back is not possible.

2.5) If plyos do NOT train the above examples... what would? Simply attempting the move over and over as fast as possible each time?

### There was some crazy powerlifter who use to right a lot of books and articles that use to talk about moving weight as fast as possible. He even started some website with a forum with a bunch of nuts on it. I think he called it CAT!

3) Finally, when doing jumps or medicine ball passes... is it really better to jump or throw once, stop, get refocused, and go again - or to do so in rapid succession? Or does it matter? If it does matter, give examples for when it matters.

### It depends on the plyometric action, but generally, one does not want to spend more than 10, 20 seconds tops in a plyometric movement.

Discussion on Plyometrics.

### No. That would not be a plyometric action. The point of plyometrics is to go from the eccentric muscle action to the concentric muscle action as fast as possible.

☼ Thats... thats what I said. Are you paying attention? *bop!* I said if I were to drop down INTO a bottom squat position, then blast upwards immediately after having dropped into that position, would THAT be more specific than dropping down into any old position? But I think I got it... point of transition matters, so I would have to drop down into the bottom of a squat movement and blast back up. OK.

### Unless your training for the medicine ball drop competition in the Olympics, this is a relatively useless exercise anyway, as the loading is restricted by hand strength.

http://www.strengthcats.com/plyobenchpress.htm <-- These guys disagree with you. Response?

### I disagree that there is no "pre-load" with the deadlift, however. That doesn't determine if plyometrics could have positive carry over to the DL or not.

☼ First, HOW can you "pre-load" on a deadlift? Its on the ground. You have to pick it straight up... second, if that doesn't determine if plyos have a positive carry over, then what does??

### It depends on 622 different factors.

☼ HAH! Name 12!

### There was some crazy powerlifter who use to right a lot of books and articles that use to talk about moving weight as fast as possible. He even started some website with a forum with a bunch of nuts on it. I think he called it CAT!

☼ He called his forum CAT? Man he really WAS crazy! Besides, already covered that. CAT helps the deceleration process, but doesn't remove it completely! You still slow down significantly enough to have a strong detrimental impact on speed!

Where's that strengthcats guy when you need him...

### It depends on the plyometric action, but generally, one does not want to spend more than 10, 20 seconds tops in a plyometric movement.

☼ O rly? I happen to have a book here by Donald Chu (cuz thats just how cool I am) called "Jumping Into Plyometrics".

Page 33, first paragraph:

"Plyometric exercises that last a mere 4 to 15 seconds deplete the energy stores. When designing a program to train the creatine phosphate system, a considerable amount of rest or recovery should be allotted between exercises; the emphasis is on quality of work, not quantity. The lactic acid threshold is reached when the muscles' energy stores have been exhausted by the creatine phosphate system. Exercise that proceeds past the point of using the energy stores taxes the lactic acid threshold. Exercise bouts at near-maximal effort that last around 30 to 90 seconds are appropriate for training that system." <--- So if I wanted to train the lactic acid threshold, I'd go all the way up to 90 seconds!

And also, whats a lactic acid threshold?

Discussion on Plyometrics.

Also, when I press alt + 9 four times, it makes a cool ninja star. Try it out! Thats how I begin my response on all other forums.

HOWEVER, when I do it here, it turns into ☼ ... I have no idea why, but I totally look like a dork now because of it. Just thought you should know.

Discussion on Plyometrics.

Kid, for your plyometric questions, I suggest you visit this site: www.verkhoshansky.com. Todd is right, you can't "drop down into a squat position and 'blast' out" like you said, that's not a plyometric action. You need to be on the ground no longer than a 5th of a second for it to be a plyometric exercise.

As far as sets/reps schemes for plyometrics, it's best to perform anywhere from 6-12 reps a set for 2-4 sets depending on where you are in your training, and a bunch of other factors. Between sets you need to stay loose and warm, so taking a 400m jog or something would be good for between sets. Make sure you are also completely recovered before each rep - DONT rush anything.

Todd Wilson's picture

Discussion on Plyometrics.

☼ Thats... thats what I said. Are you paying attention? *bop!* I said if I were to drop down INTO a bottom squat position, then blast upwards immediately after having dropped into that position, would THAT be more specific than dropping down into any old position?

*** No it wouldn't be. That much depth in a jumping exercise is pointless. It takes strength, not speed to get out of the hole. It's not specific.

### Unless your training for the medicine ball drop competition in the Olympics, this is a relatively useless exercise anyway, as the loading is restricted by hand strength.

http://www.strengthcats.com/plyobenchpress.htm <-- These guys disagree with you. Response?

*** Kenny posts here sometimes, perhaps he'll respond. I gave my reasons the exercise isn't very good. Load is limited by hand strength, in addition, because of the size and shape of the ball, your doing a little tricep work, virtually no chest and shoulder work. Schroeder's ideas on the plyo bench press are a little more practical in this regard. Though frankly, all of this upper body plyo talk is a bit pointless IMO, as it is largely unnecessary for most athletes, most of the time.

☼ First, HOW can you "pre-load" on a deadlift? Its on the ground. You have to pick it straight up... second, if that doesn't determine if plyos have a positive carry over, then what does??

*** The load will not be like you get from a depth jump. But when you you drop your but, your calves, hamstrings, glutes, and low back are all put into a stretch. Not a great one, but a stretch. Then there is a little post-tetanic facillitation trick you can use, and that was used by Doc. Jump as high as possible just before grabbing the bar. This will enhance the mentioned pre load. It doesn't create a 20 lb. increase, but it may make the difference in barely finishing a lift or not.

### It depends on 622 different factors.

☼ HAH! Name 12!

*** A weak, low back, hamstrings, quads, glutes, pirifemourous, trapezius 1&2, trapezius 3&4, rhomboids, lats, poor grip technique, improper set up, etc. need I continue?

### There was some crazy powerlifter who use to right a lot of books and articles that use to talk about moving weight as fast as possible. He even started some website with a forum with a bunch of nuts on it. I think he called it CAT!

☼ He called his forum CAT? Man he really WAS crazy! Besides, already covered that. CAT helps the deceleration process, but doesn't remove it completely! You still slow down significantly enough to have a strong detrimental impact on speed!

*** I was being sarcastic, and talking about Doc. CAT, is compensatory Acceleration Technique. In which you accelerate the weight as much as possible throughout the concentric ROM. It does NOT aid in the deceleration process. That's the only draw back of CAT, you have to decelerate.

Where's that strengthcats guy when you need him...

### It depends on the plyometric action, but generally, one does not want to spend more than 10, 20 seconds tops in a plyometric movement.

☼ O rly? I happen to have a book here by Donald Chu (cuz thats just how cool I am) called "Jumping Into Plyometrics".

Page 33, first paragraph:

"Plyometric exercises that last a mere 4 to 15 seconds deplete the energy stores. When designing a program to train the creatine phosphate system, a considerable amount of rest or recovery should be allotted between exercises; the emphasis is on quality of work, not quantity. The lactic acid threshold is reached when the muscles' energy stores have been exhausted by the creatine phosphate system. Exercise that proceeds past the point of using the energy stores taxes the lactic acid threshold. Exercise bouts at near-maximal effort that last around 30 to 90 seconds are appropriate for training that system." <--- So if I wanted to train the lactic acid threshold, I'd go all the way up to 90 seconds!

*** And that disagrees with what I stated in what way? If you are training energy systems, as opposed to speed and power, you would not choose plyometric movements. That would be like choosing your 3RM to perform 20 rep squats with.

And also, whats a lactic acid threshold?

http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/anaerobic.threshold.html

Discussion on Plyometrics.

Fellas! The point of the first question was point of transition, not specifically the one example I listed!

Now from what I gather, since its impossible to "fall" into the bottom squat position and reverse and have that counted a as a plyometric jump... even using just my own bodyweight, and even if the plyometric force does not dissipate 100% in that amount of time... I'm getting the idea here that point of transition does NOT matter.

Is this correct?

The point of transition in a bench press is very near the chest. So... the point of transition in a plyometric throw does not HAVE to come down to the chest? It could be as much as a 1/4th depth grab-and-throw-back, and still have all the exact same benefits as a drop that went TO the chest? I have no other choice but to apply that logic given whats been said about squats.

So, point of transition. Does it matter? Y/N ?

Re: Discussion on Plyometrics.

Quote:
First, I have written here in my notes that I wanted to ask what a good standard of measurement was for ESD. Unfortunately... I forgot what ESD stands for.

ESD stands for Explosvie Strength Deficit. This is the definition.

"The gap between one's maximum power (developed in milliseconds) and maximum strength (developed in a second or longer) is the Explosive Strength Deficit (ESD). "ESD shows the percentage of an athlete's strength potential that was not used in a given attempt." (Zatsiorsky, 1995). http://www.strengthcats.com/KCsquattingarticle.htm

Hatfield briefly touches on it in his ISSA Work Shop video presentation "A Fresh Look At Strength." [http://drsquat.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=55&Itemid=28]

"A Fresh Look At Strength" is a great article. However, Hatfield's article is overshadowed in his brilliant presentation on it in the ISSA Work Shop video. This video should be part of any serious strength athlete's library.

Quote:
Can the strengthcats guy explain that?

Mike Berry is the strengthcat guy. It's his web site, not mine.

Berry post articles like mine, as well as other such as Will Brink, Joe DeFranco, Mike Mahler, Charles Poliquin, Charles Staley, etc.

Quote:
And what IS a good way to measure it?

Zatsiorsky address the Explosive Strength Deficit in "Science and Practice of Strength Training" on page 34. The book is a great investment.

Quote:
1) The point of transition - does this matter? For example, if I wanted to improve my squat, would my depth jumps have me land and bend at the knees all the way down until I was in a squat-like position, then blast back up? I'm guessing the answer is yes, but just making sure.

You want to transition from the eccentric (going down) to the concentric (going up) movement as quickly as possible. "Squatting: To Be Explosive, Train Explosive" provides exercises that address you question. Here is the article [http://www.strengthcats.com/KCsquattingarticle.htm]

Josh Bryant, powerlifter and strength coach, goes into how he increased his squat and deadlift with plyometrics. " In less than a year my deadlift has officially improved 44 lbs., but really closer to 70. My squat has officially increased over 50 lbs..." Here is the information on that: [http://www.joshstrength.com/test/plyometrics2.htm]

Quote:
1.5) How bout medicine ball drops? would you catch the ball, bring it down to your chest, then throw it back up? Catch it and throw it back up without worrying about bringing it to your chest? Or catch it -=AT=- your chest, then throw it back up?

As the plyometric bench press article stated, you want to think of the medicine ball as a "hot potato." As soon as it hits you hands you want to repel it.

Quote:
Also, your bench press grip, when doing bench presses, is much wider than it would be if you were catching a ball and throwing it back... how does the narrow grip needed to catch the ball level out with the wide grip needed for bench pressing?

I prefer the bench press throw. These can be performed in a Smith Machine or with free weights. The bench press throw will enable you to position you hands wide, medium, or narrow on the bar.

Since I train alone, I have a rebounder (a trampoline) that I use in place of the medicine ball drop. I throw the medicine ball against the rebounder. The rebonder repels it back to me with greater force. I then repel it back to the rebounder as quickly as I can. The effect is similar to the medicine ball drop.

This video from youtube will provide you with some idea of what I am talking about. [http://youtube.com/watch?v=YUolR1DNM8A[

Chris Thibaudeau addresses the bench press throws in "Bench Press Battlefield." [http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do?article=243bench2]

Quote:
2) Plyos only activate muscle fibers as a response to the stretch-reflex mechanism. That is, the actually SR thing somehow builds "energy" in the muscle before you throw it back out (kind of like a rubber band, right?)

This information from "Squatting: To Be Explosive, Train Explosive" will help.

"As with all components of strength, the foundation of one strength level is built on another. "Starting strength is the underlying mechanism crucial for the display of acceleration-strength." (Siff and Verkhoshansky, 1998). "The higher the level to which starting-strength is developed, the faster acceleration-strength can be realized." (Verkhoshansky, 1977). In other words, the faster one moves from one part of the strength curve to the next, the faster one reaches the finish line or in this case locks the weight out. One might consider starting-strength as first gear on a car and acceleration-strength as second gear.

"This pre-stretching produces a sling shot reaction. One has more firepower out of the hole, greater starting-strength."

Quote:
But with starting strength, like if you were standing in front of a deadlift... your muscles dont have anything to pre-load with.

Many deadlifters elicit a bit of the stretch reflex prior to deadlifting. They do so after grabbing the bar. They will rock forward then back, pumping their legs down before pulling on the bar. They then rock back agains the bar as they pull. You see some Olympic Lifter do the same prior to a snatch or clean.

I evoke the stretch reflex in a somewhat similar way. I use a "grip and rip" approach. I bob up and down a few times, like I am going to perform a standing jump. This to some extent elicits the stretch reflex.

On my final bob down, I reach down and grab the bar an pull. I am one an explosive deadlifters off the floor. I am a conventional deadlifter.

Let me credit Chad Duracell a former powerlifter and Assistant Strength Coach with Texas A&M for introducing me to this method in 1987.

I watched Chad blow up over 600 lbs on his deadlift with this method at a meet. I discussed his "dive bomb" approch to deadlifting. I have found this method to be extremely effective.

Duracell was a sumo deadlifter. Sumo deadlifters are noted for having a slow drive off the floor. However, that was not the case with Duracell. Duracell was explosive in coming off the floor with his sumo deadlift.

With that said, let me state that there is a learning curve with the "grip and rip" method. Initially, I'd drop and pull too fast. The result was a "whiplash" effect.

Quote:
This CANT be sports specific to deadlifting, since there's no preload needed! Does the starting strength from plyos really carry over despite this?

Correct, these plyometric movement are not sports specific. The purpose of ploymetrics is to develop the stretch reflex.

Yes, there is carry over. Most of my article have deal with the use of plometrics as a means of increasing one's powerlifts.

Josh Bryant tell you how he increased his squat and deadlift with plyomtrics. [http://www.joshstrength.com/test/plyometrics2.htm]

Chris Thibaudeau's "Bench Press Battlefield" goes into how plometrics will increase you bench press.

Jay Schroeder's"Freak Of Training" video is an excellent piece of work that goes into some of this. [http://www.totalvid.com/Football-Videos/Freak-Of-Training/]

Quote:
This can also be equated to the speed of a jab in a boxer - where preloading or raring back is not possible.

I addressed this in my statement above. Just as a boxer preloads by raring back prior to throwing a punch, some deadlifters will bob up and down prior to pulling the weight.

Chad Duracell used a "dive bomb" approach to preload. I use do the same, only my "dive bomb" drop to the bar is not as fast or agressive as Duracell's was.

Duracell's approach resembled a cat jumping on a mouse.

Before moving on, there is another exercise that you can perform to develop the stretch reflex for the deadlift that is more specific.

Perform the deadlift with a bounce. Even better, use rubber bumper plates when performing deadlifts with a bounce. This will elicit the stretch reflex. You get a "overspeed" effect when using bumper plates.

It like running downhill, you run faster than you normally would. You get that same "overspeed" effect when bouncing the deadlift off the floor with bumper plates.

Quote:
3) Finally, when doing jumps or medicine ball passes... is it really better to jump or throw once, stop, get refocused, and go again - or to do so in rapid succession? Or does it matter? If it does matter, give examples for when it matters.

The focus in developing the stretch reflex is to preload the muscles and connective tissue. To do that, you need some quick drop folloed by an explosive rebound.

The eccentric drop in the medicine ball drop and depth jump is similar to stretching a rubber band then letting it go. The rubber band repels forward with more force.

Greater loading occurs in a bench press throw with the second repetition on. The bar becomes airborne, leaving you hands.

The weight on the bar increased above the weight of the bar if it were sitting still on the rack in a bench. Newton's Second Law of Force = Mass X Acceleration.

Thus, a greater preloading effect occurs in your performing two or more repetitions in a bench press throw. Research shows that loads of 10-40% work best with exercises such as plyomtric weighted movements, with somewhere around 30% providing the most effective training effect.

In a medicine ball drop or a depth jump, the preloading effect occurs for the same reason. The drop increases the loading.

You stop after each drop and take a few seconds to reload, so to speak.

In a bench press throw and jump squat, you do not get the same effect as the medicine ball drop and depth jump until the second repetition. So, performing a sequence of two and/or more repetitions provided a greater training effect.

Does this clarify some of you questions?

If you have more questions, you can email me at KennyCrox@aol.com

Good luck on you lifting,

Kenny Croxdale

Discussion on Plyometrics.

Ahhhh...you guys are great!

Discussion on Plyometrics.

Alright fellas, I've been trying to figure this out for days, and I just cant. So you guys are just gonna have to have it out before all us DrSquatians end up getting confused by this!

From

http://www.strengthcats.com/plyobenchpress.htm , we see the following:

-----------
Arguably, the single best upper body plyometric exercise simulating the bench press is the "power drop". The power drop involves having a training partner drop a medicine ball to you while you are on the floor lying on your back. You catch the medicine ball and immediately propel it as explosively as possible straight up to the ceiling. Your training partner then catches the medicine ball before it falls back to you. Your training partner then drops the medicine ball down to you for the second repetition of the set. It is suggested that power drops be performed for 5 sets of 2-5 reps. Complete recovery should be taken between sets.
-----------

From http://drsquat.com/node/3529 , we see the following:

-----------
*** Kenny posts here sometimes, perhaps he'll respond. I gave my reasons the exercise isn't very good. Load is limited by hand strength, in addition, because of the size and shape of the ball, your doing a little tricep work, virtually no chest and shoulder work. Schroeder's ideas on the plyo bench press are a little more practical in this regard. Though frankly, all of this upper body plyo talk is a bit pointless IMO, as it is largely unnecessary for most athletes, most of the time.
-----------

To top it all off, Dr Chu's book that I mentioned earlier also recommends medicine ball drops...

Now come on! Which is it??? Should I spend time on this exercise or not? DrSquat! Get involved!

Discussion on Plyometrics.

Plyometric exercises accomplish several key training goals. There are, after all, several different plyometric techniques! I could write a book! In fact, I have (Dr. Michael Yessis being the lead author), which is available free...just ask.

Some of the training goals are mentioned in this thread. Some aren't. Perhaps the most important goal of plyometric exercise is to improve one's ability to receive and repel an external force instantaneously. An opponent, the ground, a tackler, a fastball, your own bodyweight, gravity...whatever.

Of the seven key elements in the act of movement on the face of planet earth, plyometric training stands alone in its ability to improve on every single one of those elements. That is why the practice is reserved for the FINAL countdown of time before competition.

Re-read "A Second Look At Strength," or whatever the title is. You will se the 7 elements of movement. Then you will understand.

I will then entertain questions.

Discussion on Plyometrics.

Not for nothin', but back on Feb. 6, Kid Icarus did ask if the plyo e-book was available at no cost (it was a follow-up to the King bragging on it).
Must've just got missed in the crowd...

Discussion on Plyometrics.

*sigh*

Ok... those books you mentioned about that are for free.

Tell me every single free book you have on this topic that you think I should read, and I'll read it in the next few days, then ask you again, ok? So what are they, where are they, and how can I get them?

Discussion on Plyometrics.

Just e-mail me, man! Tell me where to send it!

Discussion on Plyometrics.

I clicked on your profile, but your email is not there.

Whats your email again?

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