I’ve long thought about this, Kacz & others.
Are the benefits of high intensity plyos worth the risks? Does it make sense to do them? If dependent upon the individual, what athletes does it make sense for and which does it not?
I’ve read Charlie’s opinion on depth jumps and injury as well as many other great coaches. I understand his point view. Alternately for someone who has improved their limit strength and is being held back by a lack of reactive strength, I think it could be an important tool.
Say, I’m a basketball player and I bring my squat up to 1.5-2x bodyweight and it gives me a decent vertical jump. Then I bust my ass to get my squat from 400 to 500 and I get an extra inch or two on my vertical while my running one leg jump stays the same. Should I just keep working until I get to 550, 600, etc.? I don’t think so. There are obviously weaknesses within my system that are holding me back as an athlete other than my absolute strength.
I think for athlete’s who are genetically gifted and can continue to improve simply by work on the track (court/field) in addition to improving their limit strength, there is a possibility that high intensity plyos would not be worth it. In fact, I would think someone who suggested that Ben Johnson should’ve done more depth jumps was an idiot.
I know if I was in a different position where I thought I could get where I wanted to be in my timeframe with just weights and that my body would take care of keeping my reactive ability up on its own, I would just be living in the squat rack. But as I’ve told you, my one leg running jump is inches and I mean inches below my standing vertical and I am slow on my feet for a basketball player (ok, slowly improving with some good help). We know there are some functional problems that I’m working out, but still, there is a deficit of the reactive strength that should not be there for an elite athlete.