Can anyone help me design a plyometrics program? I’ve read all I could on this topic from the old forum, although I still don’t really know enough to jump right into it.

I feel that my SSC is my weakpoint right now, I have quite a high level of max strength (squat 2.5 x bw) and am very lean yet my ground contact time is long.

As I recall from the old forum, Charlie said that sprinting is the most specific form of plyometrics and the SSC during a sprint at top speed is shorter than any form of plyos. Is this also true for a lower level athlete like myself?

Anyway, this is what I have so far:

22" depth jumps for height 4x5 (2.5 min betw. sets)
2-Leg Bounds over 5 cones 3’ apart (2.5 min betw. sets)
Tuck Jumps 4x5 (1.5 min betw. sets)
V-Jumps for Height 4x5 (1.5 min btw. sets)

low int. core work between sets.

Any advice please?

You might look to increase plyos as an adjunct to speed when:
1: you reach a plateau with a current sprint regime
2: the weather interferes with regular sprints
3: you are having a problem pushing in your stride and want to improve reactivity on ground contact

Examples of low int plyo activities:
Running As (don’t count individual contacts with power speed drills for your totals- you lazy dogs!), speed bounding (not for height) on the flat or on a slight uphill grade.

Med intensity might be hurdle hops over low to med heights. weighted drills on the flat or up a slight grade

High intensity might be hurdle hops over high hurdles, hops down from a box, immediately over a series of hurdles, bounding down a slight grade, weighted hops or bounds on the flat (never down!)

Any thought on various drills and their classification?

I found going round the hurdles greatly improved my explosive speed lol

Could you explain number 5(through)?:wink:

I understand why bounding and hopping improve acceleration ie. due to the muscle groups recruited, but why do vertical plyos increase top speed? Surely plyos involving both hams and glutes increase top speed; vertical plyos don’t really target the hams. OR is it simply to do with the calves and ground reaction at top speed; the calves being primarily involved with vertical jumps?

I’m with you brother.I also am very interested to hear Charlie’s answer to your excellent question.

check this out brother.

Originally posted by Charlie Francis
It is also difficult to give a figure when the intensity of different plyos can vary so greatly.

What plyo drills would be considered high intensity and which would be considered lower intensity?

Im not a fan of depth jumps at all. To much impact on the joints.

Although Dr.squat mentions that drop jumps (letting your body fall to ground at catch yourself in a firm stance) might be good for getting your body (joints tendons) ready for the impact of explosive training. He recommends low reps.

I think from some of the posts I’ve read that the proper time to do them might be:

a.)When you can’t get to the gym and just want to do a very little extra something.
b.)As a sort of bridge between gym strength and sprinting strength. I think this applies more to the lower level athlete. Besides, harmless stuff like skipping and jumping around on grass is good variation for all of us occasionally.
c.)For maintaining strength (and not just speed) in-season. You could probably just do this with smaller volumes in the weightroom.

They’re probably not important that often.

Regarding high and low intensity plyos. I have always had better success after I figured out to get progressively more intense over a training period.

So something like this from low to high intensity:

  1. jumping rope
  2. jumps and landings
  3. repetitive jumps and landings
  4. jumps over small hurdles or bags
  5. jumps before the hurdles then through the hurdles
  6. jumps over larger hurdles
  7. jumps over small hurdles then over large hurdles
  8. jumps over small hurdles then over large hurdles then into a sand pit
  9. jumps over small hurdles then over large hurldes then up stadium steps

I’m not a fan of depth jumps at all so that is why I didn’t include them.

My plan…

Tues Rugby Practice, then plyos/weights
Wed Off
Thur Rugby Practice, then plyos/weights
Fri Recovery methods
Sat 5x30, 3x50m, then weights
Sun Recovery
Mon light speed session 2x60m, 5xRolling20m (pickup drill), no weights.

I’ve read the soccer training and sprinting threads, but I will not be able to perform speed work prior to my practice sessions (since it is straight after school and I don’t get a say in how the sessions are run). Also, I do not think it would be practical to perform speed work in between my rugby practice days, due to the nature of the contact work I’m usually too sore the day afterwards!

Don’t go over 30-40 ground contacts per session of plyometrics. 40 is enough, even if you are doing them on the field, and not the track.


I like the idea of doing “less, more often” rather than “more, less often.” So overall, I would distribute your plyos over all of your speed days. This doesn’t mean add reps, it means take the reps you are planning on doing in your current workouts and divide them over more workouts. I would keep the total reps for the week at about 100.

As far as the actual exercises, I really like depth jumps, but would keep the box height to 18" or less. Remember, the idea is to try to minimize ground contact time, so lower box/jump heights are appropriate.

The other plyometric exercise I like to do are “pogos.” Basically, you put your hands on your head and jump by only bouncing off your calves. Try not to bend your knees and try to get all of your spring from your ankles. Again, the idea is to spend minimal amount of time on the ground.


cheers guys

The one
Both, as one leads to the other.


David, not being smart or anything, but if you get a chance to get a look though some of David Chu’s Plyometric book in a library it will give you a good idea of light exercises to start with.
Not contrdicing the lads, but if - start with the oldest of all - skipping or jumping rope!!!
Especially if you are a back, Light foot contacts, emphasising staying on the balls of the feet etc.

Flash good question actually. I had a similar question a while ago. See if this thread helps you any?

#3 “you are having a problem pushing in your stride and want to improve reactivity on ground contact”

Charlie, when you say , have a problem pushing in your stride are you talking about the athlete who pushes out the back, or the athlete who drops(flex) on contact.