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Developing Explosiveness


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Right now I'm better than most in terms of endurance, and not bad at certain aspects of strength(deadlift), but my explosiveness is sorely lacking - my lifts are distinctly non-explosive and my vertical leap is underwhelming.  I'd like to change that - specifically improving my vertical leap and lateral agility.

 

 

Currently I do a mix of strength work(squats/lunges/deadlifts/cleans, upper body pushes/pulls) and running(sprints/intervals, some longer running).  5RM max for squats is 250(with marginal depth), 1RM for Deadlifts is 405 at a BW of 190 lbs, height of 6'6".

 

What I'm wondering is what programming changes would be most conducive to developing explosiveness.  MOAR SQUATZ?  Focusing on lighter weights but higher velocities?  Box Jumps?  Something else entirely?  I'd really like to improve my vertical leap and am wondering what the most effective approach to this would be.

"Restlessness is discontent - and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man-and I will show you a failure." -Thomas Edison

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It might not hurt to do some higher rep, higher bar speed work.

 

If you program lacks jumping, and your goal is to jump high, some should be included.

 

Depth jumps are great for increasing your jumps specifically because they teach a very fast turnaround, rep speed is key to a good jump.

 

Though its generally said that strength is a limiting factor for jumping until somewhere between a 1.5-2.0x BW squat.

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Please cite your references.

 

– Regardless of what some of the following tests may indicate, if you haven’t built up a necessary strength base then it will be pointless to dive into intermediate and advanced plyometric drills. For this reason, one of

the basic programs provides an initial phase with the focus on general strength and muscular development. One of the ultimate goals is to get your back squat and deadlift up to 1.5-2 times your body weight.

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no matter what the reactive jump test tells you, - if your squat is less than 1.5 times your bodyweight you will need to work on building your basic strength! If your maximal squat is 1.5 x your bodyweight or more, your options become larger.

Page 49

Simply Googling Increasing Vertical Jump will yield many references to getting your back squat up to 1.5-2.0x BW before you even bother with plyometrics.

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I feel like this is saying that you HAVE to use weights in order to be able to jump well, but I have to disagree. Let's look into something like basketball for example. They have to be able to jump high. Now in Middle/High School their big focus, at least in my school, was all body weight routines. They jumped pretty damn high I'd have to say, and that is without weighted squats etc.

 

Another source to note, this Ido Portal I had recently started looking more into after seeing him posted so much here. From my understanding, he uses weights to stretch and for balance purposes, not to lift a lot more than his own body weight to jump higher, which by the way, he seems to be able to jump pretty high.

 

I'm sure there are a decent amount of arguments for this for both sides. This just leads me back to what I like to stick to believing. 

 

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This topic interests me as well.

 

I wish you luck with reaching your goals!

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of course you don't HAVE to squat heavy to get a big vertical, there's many ways to skin a cat (and my dad hates cats) why not include multiple aspects? do heavy squats one day a week followed by some jump squats and then another day some jump squats followed by fast and light squats? (note the lack of high rep there, you're looking for explosiveness not endurance, you can get both to some degree but if you're aiming for one mainly then focus on it, there's a reason sprinters don't do marathons)

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I feel like this is saying that you HAVE to use weights in order to be able to jump well, but I have to disagree. Let's look into something like basketball for example. They have to be able to jump high. Now in Middle/High School their big focus, at least in my school, was all body weight routines. They jumped pretty damn high I'd have to say, and that is without weighted squats etc.

 

Another source to note, this Ido Portal I had recently started looking more into after seeing him posted so much here. From my understanding, he uses weights to stretch and for balance purposes, not to lift a lot more than his own body weight to jump higher, which by the way, he seems to be able to jump pretty high.

 

I'm sure there are a decent amount of arguments for this for both sides. This just leads me back to what I like to stick to believing. 

 

Nothing is impossible. The only limits are the ones you let your mind set for you!

As one who does not use a barbell or machines I definitely agree that one need not use those things, that there are legit alternatives to get stronger.

But if we're not talking barbell squats, other high load exercises are needed. Synster, your example of Ido Portal, he does advanced pistol variations, both hands behind the back shrimp squats, and harop curls (aka ghetto GHR's). All of these things are in a load area well beyond a 1.5x BW back squat (both hands behind the back shrimps and ghetto GHR's are really, really HARD).

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As one who does not use a barbell or machines I definitely agree that one need not use those things, that there are legit alternatives to get stronger.But if we're not talking barbell squats, other high load exercises are needed. Synster, your example of Ido Portal, he does advanced pistol variations, both hands behind the back shrimp squats, and harop curls (aka ghetto GHR's). All of these things are in a load area well beyond a 1.5x BW back squat (both hands behind the back shrimps and ghetto GHR's are really, really HARD).

That makes a bit more sense I suppose! So there are forms of body weight squats to get the load out you're talking about? Sorry I'm not all good when it comes to "this and that times this type of that at an x amount equals this" sort of things :D more of a "do this and this is what will happen" kind of mind!

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That makes a bit more sense I suppose! So there are forms of body weight squats to get the load out you're talking about? Sorry I'm not all good when it comes to "this and that times this type of that at an x amount equals this" sort of things :D more of a "do this and this is what will happen" kind of mind!

 

There isn't really an equals.  That is the wrong way to look at it.  Different muscle activations and strengths/weaknesses make any attempts to scale exercise to exercise go poorly, but there is relative load area.  For example, if you do absolutely everything right as a beginner, chances are it will take more than a year to do 2 arm behind the back shrimp squats (both legs), ghetto GHR's, and have pistol squats be so easy you can fart around with more advanced variations..  Chances are it will take a few years, along with a diet conducive to a good amount of muscle growth, and a slim midsection.  But you will be very strong in the legs if you can do them.

 

Which is really all the 1.5-2.0x BW back squat thing means.  It is a reality check to say if you are/aren't strong in the legs.

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I'm so glad I've learned about Ido Portal, and read this thread.  This has been extremely informative, and during the next six-week-challenge I'm definitely going to include his exercises into my workout routine!

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As one who does not use a barbell or machines I definitely agree that one need not use those things, that there are legit alternatives to get stronger.

But if we're not talking barbell squats, other high load exercises are needed. Synster, your example of Ido Portal, he does advanced pistol variations, both hands behind the back shrimp squats, and harop curls (aka ghetto GHR's). All of these things are in a load area well beyond a 1.5x BW back squat (both hands behind the back shrimps and ghetto GHR's are really, really HARD).

Ido does lift for legs.

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Yeah don't go right into any type of depth jumps (bounding box jumps are a form of depth jump). People underestimate how hard they are on the body. 

 

Here's a general outline of what I do for newer high school level athletes for jump training. Warmups are generally all "athletic" and involve activation and agility/foot work drills which are also low level plyos. The number one rule with jump training is start with easier exercises and increase difficulty, volume and intensity (combined to what we would call training load) over time. 

 

First six weeks

Strength and movement training. Basically get good at the major bodyweight and barbell exercises and start progressing them. 

 

Next four weeks

Start supersetting jump squats after heavy squats once a week; think squat for a set of five immediately followed by 6 jump squats. Do more intense jump work during warmup/prep time.

 

Next four weeks

Add another jump day as a main workout. Start adding things like depth drops and higher training load reactive work. Unlike the superset workouts these efforts should be well rested and should be short enough not to induce any major systemic fatigue (out of breath ect). Think 4-5 sets of 6 from 12"-18" to start for something like depth drops. Increase volume to something like 5x10 before adding height and drop the volume back down when you do. Higher effort bounding, triple and other unilateral jumping/plyos can also be explored here.

 

Next four weeks/perpetual

Assess but if the athlete is handling the training well and wants more we'll start adding in depth jumps and their variants. Same rules as drops. Start with low volume, low heights and build up over time. Once you hit a pretty high level of depth aka "shock" work you'll probably want to taper back down for a while. If you compete in any sports or want to be in your best jumping shape at any particular time of the year plan all this ahead of time to correspond with the end of a cycle like this.

 

The last two cycles should be approached with care and I'm being intentionally vague. At that point it's sort of an individual thing on how far you want to progress your jump training and what is worth assuming some of the increased risk inherent in it. The results of performing depth work without being properly prepared are unfortunately being currently demonstrated by the CrossFit population with a scourge of achilles injuries that have been heretofore pretty much unheard of in strength and conditioning settings - because traditionally people respect or have at least a healthy fear of advanced plyos. 

 

So in sum, yes. Squat and jump and listen to your body.

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There isn't really an equals.  That is the wrong way to look at it.  Different muscle activations and strengths/weaknesses make any attempts to scale exercise to exercise go poorly, but there is relative load area.  For example, if you do absolutely everything right as a beginner, chances are it will take more than a year to do 2 arm behind the back shrimp squats (both legs), ghetto GHR's, and have pistol squats be so easy you can fart around with more advanced variations..  Chances are it will take a few years, along with a diet conducive to a good amount of muscle growth, and a slim midsection.  But you will be very strong in the legs if you can do them.

 

Which is really all the 1.5-2.0x BW back squat thing means.  It is a reality check to say if you are/aren't strong in the legs.

Alright then. I am definitely going to look into the wider variations of squats, as I do love variety in workouts and I believe that is the one area in my fitness I have slacked off in changing up! I just messed around a little today with a sign outside of my house, seeing how well I can pull myself up it. I feel that was a hard reality check, showing my strength has of course improved but not quite to the point I want to be in yet! Thank you for the recommendations by the way (:

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