I've read books from certain athletic trainers that advocate a training method involving a combination of weight lifting followed immediately by plyometrics as a preferred method of training for athletics. Examples would be following a set of benches with medicine ball throws or squats with vertical jumps, with about a minutes rest between. What would be your opinion of this method?
The type of training that you’re referring to is usually called “Complex Training” or “Transfer Training”. The theory behind this type of training is to try and transfer the higher threshold motor units that were stimulated from the weightlifting effort into a synchronized activity. I have used this form of training with my athletes and it is effective. You wouldn’t perform this type of training all year long – this is something I would “save” for certain times of the year. I recommend a 3-4 week cycle for advanced athletes that are trying to peak for something.
If you’re going to give this type of training a try, I recommend following these guidelines…
Yet another option to get the job done…
Q: I’m a little confused on how to perform Bulgarian split squat jumps. Can you please explain as well as give me some direction as to where an athlete would place these in their workout? Thanks.
Here’s a video for you...
We usually perform this exercise as our main lift on Dynamic-effort lower body day. We perform 5-8 sets of 1-3 jumps each leg. (You can hold light dumbbells or wear a light weighted vest if necessary.)
Q: Joe D,
I have been reading your website since 2003 and I’ve watched your rise to the top of the industry. Congrats on all your success. I would like to hear your thoughts on whether or not athletes need to achieve a certain level of strength before introducing plyometrics into their regime? This seems to be one of those areas in which strength coaches just can’t agree. Many coaches say athletes should not perform plyometrics until they can squat at least 2X their bodyweight, and I have heard other coaches say that strength doesn’t matter. You always seem to have the logical answer so I trust your opinion.
Thanks for changing the industry for the better.
Pete from Michigan
You do not need a base level of strength in order to perform plyometrics. BUT, your strength levels will affect the complexity of the plyometric exercises that you choose. Remember that games such as hop-scotch or jumping rope are technically ‘plyometrics’. Kids can perform these activities at any age. But, more complex plyometrics such as depth jumps, single leg hops for distance, weighted box jumps, etc. should be reserved for more advanced athletes.
Do you really think that this 'athlete' needs to squat double her bodyweight in order to do this?
Q: Joe –
Do you think that hockey players should sprint in the off-season or is it worthless? The skating motion is more side-to-side compared to sprinting so I was wondering if its worth the time to have my hockey players sprint. It seems as if most hockey coaches prefer the slide board and lateral movements with a sled or resistance bands. Your input would be very valuable to me coach. Thanks.
I strongly believe that hockey players should sprint in the off-season. This is something I spoke about in Montreal at the VinkoFest seminar last month. Too many “hockey trainers” have their hockey players mimic the motion of skating in the weight room by performing activities like the slide board, etc. I feel this is one of the main reasons that so many hockey players have knee pain. The repetitive, “lateral” motion of skating over-develops the vastus lateralis (lateral muscle of the quadriceps); this creates an imbalance with the vastus medialis (quadriceps muscle on the inside of your knee). This imbalance is compounded if a hockey player focuses all of his attention on “lateral” movements during the off-season. Knowing this, hockey players should focus on strengthening the vastus medialis & hamstrings during the off-season (as well as in-season). Developing these muscles helps to create balance surrounding the knee joint which reduces sheering forces and pain.
I have seen a great transfer from our off-season sprint training to skating speed with our hockey clients. I have also had great results with basic forward & backward sled dragging to compliment the sprinting. Both of these activities have also helped to reduce knee pain in our hockey clients.
Atlanta Thrashers defenseman, Mark Popovic, strengthens his vastus medialis by performing heavy backward sled drags
Get your hockey players to take off their skates and sprint!
Site by Yellow House Design