Last week you mentioned "Lightening" Box Squats as a Max effort movement. How are these done?
I figured I would get a couple of questions this week regarding “Lightening” box squats. This is another gem of an exercise that I learned from Louie Simmons. Below you will see 2 pictures of myself demonstrating this exercise. You will also get an idea of how to set up the Jump-Stretch bands to perform this movement.
Lightening Box Squats –
Lightening Box Squats –
In this exercise, the weight is much lighter in the bottom position than it is in the top. (The green bands lighten the weight approximately 95 lbs. in the bottom position.) This enables an athlete to handle extremely heavy weights at the top of the movement. You would not be able to do this any other way. This accommodates an athlete’s strength curve and teaches them to accelerate the weight to the top. It’s basically an “overspeed” strength exercise. Since the bands help the athlete to pick up more speed “out of the hole”, the athlete can then lock out more weight than they normally would.
By the way, this is an incredible exercise for improving an athlete’s vertical jump. The only reason that it didn’t make my “Fab 15” vertical jump exercises in my book was because I wasn’t aware of it at the time that the book was written!
Give them a try!
Q: What's up Mr. DeFranco,
I love your website, especially the training pics. Those guys are not human (this includes your dad too.)
How do I get a lighting fast first step? I've heard a lot of things about Frappier Acceleration but I don't know how to do those Frappier things. What would be the best exercises for the first step? Please be specific, sir.
A: I’m glad you like the website. I’ve been working endless hours in order to keep it updated and informative. And believe it or not, all the athletes pictured in the “training pics” ARE human. (My dad is the only one that may not be human – he’s more of a freak of nature!) It’s important to know that all of the athletes in the “training pics” have one thing in common: We all TRAIN LIKE MADMEN! Remember that nothing replaces hard work.
Now onto your question, “How do I get a lightning fast first step?”
First of all, you said that you “don’t know how to do those Frappier things.” Don’t worry about it. The Frappier program is based on treadmill running. Running on a treadmill is NOT the best way to develop a lightning fast first step. You see, your first step power is in large part due to your ability to overcome inertia (in this case, overcome your own bodyweight). This requires “static overcome by dynamic strength”. You want to focus on exercises that negate the effects of the stretch shortening cycle. Below is a list of some of my favorite exercises for helping to improve an athlete’s first step.
Also, it’s a good idea to learn proper acceleration mechanics from a qualified speed coach. This will help you to become more efficient with your first step. But remember that if you’re weak, you’re dead, regardless of how often you work on your technique.
Get strong. . .get fast!
Besides being a huge follower of your website, I also go on the DrSquat.com forum often for training information. I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but you’re teachings are mentioned on the forum every now and then. A hot topic this past week on the forum was the fact that you mentioned you increased one of your athlete’s vertical jumps from 23” – 34” in 3 months. One of the forums’ main contributors, his name is Chad Touchberry, wrote the following about you:
“So you teach this schmoe how to jump, a few tricks of the trade at the combine, and some training. Not that hard. I do think DeFranco is another self-proclaimed expert with no real knowledge, just the opportunity to have his own facility.”
I’m interested in knowing
what your response would be to such claims. I would
respect it if you answered this question.
Chad who? Hopefully, for his sake, that’s not his real last name. Growing up with the last name “Touchberry” probably makes for a long and painful childhood. Honestly, he may not even be a real person. You never know with these forums. That’s why I don’t go on them. (Not to mention the fact that I don’t have the time.) You never know who’s legit and who’s a fraud over the computer. I don’t get involved with all of that crap. It is a shame, though, that any time a strength coach achieves great results with his athletes, all of the jealous wannabes prefer to attack him, rather than learn from him. Oh well.
I am honored to be mentioned on the
forum, though. I had a chance to see Fred Hatfield
(Dr. Squat) speak 2 years ago in New York City. It
was one of the most informative and entertaining seminars
I’ve ever been to. I have learned a ton from
him and I have the utmost respect for him.
I have a question regarding baseball. I am working with a 23 yr old minor league pitcher currently. We train on average of about 2 days/week and it's total body in about an hour. During this time of the year, I don't go above 8 reps and I am focusing on the important areas (particularly core, legs, and forearms). I also cover chest, back, shoulders, and arms. Is there anything I need to be particularly aware of during this crucial time when he is also throwing on certain days? Any adjustments I can make or do you have a program that you recommend I try?
Here's the workout we did on Wednesday of this week:
Incline Bench (Plateloaded) 160/170/180 x 8 reps very explosive
Lat Pulldown (Plateloaded) 140/140/145 x 8 reps
Push Presses 75/80/80 x 8 reps very explosive
Dumbbell rows on incline 35/35/40 x 8 reps
Hammer curls on incline 20/20/20 x 8 reps
Tricep Extension (PL) 65/70/70 x 8 reps
Rotator cuff (cable) 3 way 10/30/40 x 10 reps
Deadlifts 95/115/115 x 8 reps very explosive
Step Ups 25/30/30 x 8 reps very explosive
Leg Extension (single leg) 62.5 x 3 x 8 reps
Seated Leg Curl 100/100/112.5 x 8 reps
Calf raise (seated, no hands) 80/80/85 x 8 reps
I think you’re on the right track with regards to your training split (2 full body workouts) and your areas of focus (core, legs, forearms). I would make the following adjustments to your routine, though:
I don’t know if you’re doing any flexibility work, but I would strongly suggest getting your client on an internal rotator flexibility program. The pecs and lats (especially of the throwing arm) become shortened do to the stresses of pitching. By keeping the internal rotators flexible and the external rotators strong, you will create a healthier shoulder complex and a more explosive pitcher.
Hopefully I was able to provide some positive feedback. Good luck with the program design.
Outstanding site. What are
some general guidelines for pre-workout,
during-workout, and post-workout nutrition and supplementation? Also, do you recommend any trainers with similar philosophies in the Chicago area? I look forward to your video.
Keep up the great work!
I addressed the topic of pre, during and post-workout nutrition in a past post. Click here to go to “How to train & eat to increase your punching power” from 9-05-03. This should answer your question. If you have any more specific questions after reading that post let me know.
As far as trainers in Chicago who share my philosophies, unfortunately, I don’t know of any. If any readers of this site know of any good trainers in Chicago, please write in and let us know.
Thanks for the question.
The video is now here! Click
here to get the details.
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