For those of us with very limited time due to work, family, etc (I’ll quit with the sob story now)–how do you rank how important plyos are and when are you doing them? Track work being first obviously, then strength, oly lifts? Or would you switch it up and do plyos early and then slowly get rid of them and work your way into weights? Sounds like a stupid question and I understand how you need it all, the periodization of your training, etc–just having a hard time fitting it all in!!!
You are right, track work is primary. Also, don’t forget that sprinting is a very specific form of plyometric training.
Given that, I would probably put work in the weight room second on my list of priorities. And then plyos 3rd. Track work takes care of the velocity component of the FV graph, so for the 2nd priority (weights) move away from that to emphasize a different portion of the curve.
That said, depending on your particular strengths and weaknesses, you could require more plyo work and less strength work.
Charlie has mentioned a number of times that plyos occupy the same portion on the FV curve as speed and have a higher CNS load than weights (squats), so I think most people do plyos early when speeds are not as high and the CNS load also is not as high. Many gyms has some facility where plyos can be done (mine even has depth jump capability) after weights, and this would be one answer.
I actually do almost the opposite approach. You actually need VERY few touches for plyos to be effective. I find only 10-20 touches are needed, over 40 touches make the plyo session a workout into itself (where you have to worry about plyos crowding out speed as Charlie has mentioned), but only 10 touches or so can make your speed session better if done as part of a warmup. So, I actually do them that way to reduce the load (small number of plyos replacing squats) during the max strength phase, where speeds are higher.
However you do them, keep in mind that plyos have a positive effect on stiffness (better MaxV) but a NEGATIVE effect on relaxation (the last 40m of a 100), and it takes SEVERAL weeks of recovery for the effects of the plyos to be fully seen in your racing. So most people only do plyos for a few weeks at a time and back away from them 2-4 weeks before competition.
Could you expand on the Negative effect on relaxation over the last 40m?
First, this is, as Charlie originally put it, a must read post by one of the world’s most knowledgeable sprint coaches, Hakam Andersson, from the original Barry Ross thread:
There are a number of papers looking at the effect of plyos, weights, ems and such on sprinting performance. You can find these on medline if you do a search.
One such paper measured results over 0-30, 30-60, and 60-100 sections of a 100m sprint. What they found was the best performance in the 0-30 section was countermovement jumps (several papers confirm this), BUT the CMJ has a NEGATIVE (yes, it makes you slower) effect in the 60-100m section. Bounding (i.e., 5-10 bounds) produces the most stiffness and has the best effect in the 30-60m region where maxV occurs. But weight training (i.e., squats) has the best effect overall, particularly in the 60-100m region.
Another paper that I read recently looks at the the time period (amount of recovery) needed for maximum results from plyos, by looking at 4 and 7 week cycles. The conclusion was that a recovery of 3-4 weeks is needed for the full effect of plyos to occur (in this case the effect on jumping height).
I’m not anti-plyos. I use them myself during the max strength phase, following hypertrophy accumulation. But there does appear to be a negative effect on the ability of muscles to relax and “reload” during the latter part of a race: It is not just fiber conversion, since you have CMJ giving the best performance in the first third and the worst performance in the last third. You have to back off 2-4 before key competitions and only do plyos for a few weeks at a time to get maximum benefits. As Charlie says, plyos occupy the same territory on the FV curve as speed, so you have to treat them similiarly for race prep.
Cause and correlation are separate entities. Note that a relationship between subjects with CMJ & slower last 40m does not establish a causal relationship between CMJ & 60-100m speed. Yes according to that study CMJ & 60-100m has a correlation, however this does not prove that CMJ causes slower last 40m. Just because two events correlate does not mean one caused another.
Track is primary, but as a Master athlete you dont want to do specific work from day one.
The periodization of strength is max strength->power->maintenance.
As Ikh suggested, keeping around 10 touches in the warm up will improve your speed training session or race, when the time for such low volume is due.
High intensity plyometrics have a strong impact on the neuromuscular system, so you could either avoid them or keep them far from the start of the competitive phase, depending on your training history and muscular health status.
If you use VERY FEW plyos, I suspect you will not have any negative effect on the final segment of the 100m- it’s a numbers issue and the amount of recovery time required to peak is directly proportional to the numbers used. This IS a major concern in many European programs that have a HUGE emphasis on plyos and you can often see high top speeds with a big drop in finish speed in spite of high fitness in programs with big plyo numbers- example Zhanna Bloch, who told me she was doing up to 1800 FCs per week.
Isn’t the reason she did so many contacts was because given the conditions she trained in there was no place to run MaxV runs so she had to resort to the next best thing to train those qualities - plyos?
Could this become an issue with training volume of ALL components in that with lower volumes, the management of the intensification process is much more effective because higher volumes introduce much greater uncertainty?
Another way of saying this is that with greater volumes you will experience greater fatigue and as you move farther and farther away from peak conditions, it can become more and more difficult to determine exactly what is needed at the right time in order to peak at the appropriate moment.
Is it correct to say that as you move further away from peak form, the state of the organism becomes more and more uncertain because it is more difficult to differentiate between fatigue and lack of fitness?
Additionally, as you are farther from a peak, do you then become farther away from the training intensities needed to increase performance?
she was at East Tenn with a 110m straight indoors and full outdoor facility. don’t see that as a reason.
That’s true, but it goes further, especially as one of the principle means to regulate such vols is to serially apply these componants leading to a host of adaptation issues.
So the appropriate timing of the development and then maintenance of each of the performance threads becomes the manner in which to regulate training volumes so that total training volume is always within the adaptational capacity of the athlete?
Is the nature of the serial application then that which allows for appropriate acquisition of the desired performance qualities (speed/special endurance) at the appropriate time (championship competition)?
I agree. Doesn’t make much sense then.
Good thread and excellent piece of work by Hakan Andersson. I coach 3 decent Masters sprinters and find that the ‘Less is More’ theory holds true even more so for this group of athletes, particularly with intensive work such as Plios. We tend to use fast contact mini jumps prior to acceleration or speed work with few contacts. I used to use jumps/bounds with greater amplitude but found that the sprinting suffered and the injury risk was too great. It took too much time for the under 25s to recover, and even more so for the over 35 female and 2 over 40 male athletes. During the strength phase we have used jumps up onto a box but once again very low in volume.