Plyos as substitutes for lifting?

Thinks just arent going my way lately, and it turns out that I won’t have much access to weight equipment this summer, and so I need to find a substitute for excercises like squats, deads, cleans and the like. So can I use plyometrics as explosive training and substitute that for weightlifting, or would I have to use some additional form of resistance training? Also, would doing no lifting at all have an adverse affect on my performance?

Have you previously incorporated plyos into your training?

If not start them slowly.

Hills are great for strength, bodyweight circuits (triples) and plyos will all help with your strength.

box jumps are great (Little impact)


I have used plyos in the past, but they were used more as supplementary excercises. Now I’m talking about using plyos as the main part of my explosive training and I’m not sure how it will workout.

In terms of bodyweigh circuits, could you explain what those entail, exactly?


Maybe if you don’t have access to any weights, different isometric holds, bodyweight exercises, pushing a car, or one handed lifts with light weights would be better than nothing.

Also, don’t forget explosive med ball throws.

Also, maybe you should, if you have the money, go to walmart and by weights, dumbells, etc… that can help to supplement the days you have no access to a gym. How often will you be able to get to the gym? Charlie, I think I know what explosive med ball throws are, but am not sure. Are they throwing the med ball after exploding from a parallel squat position? How heavy of a med ball would you use for junior college sprinters, ages 18-21, 11.9-12.5 in the 100, with a weight training age of 1 year?

A 4 to 5 kilo ball would be best. there are examples of explosive throws on the GPP DVD.

So would I be correct in thinking that plyometrics can be used as a substitute for weight training? If this is the case would it be possible (with a carefully thoughtout plyometric program) to go through the outdoor season (May-late August) doing no weights specific explosiveness (OL’s)? The reason I ask this is because I have the type of genetics that causes me to blow up once i start to lift and also a tendency to over train in the weights room! I suppose its psycological but if i don’t feel ‘pumped’ I don’t feel strong (especially in the blocks). I know that the body should be relaxed and supple etc but if I can get the right results from plyo sessions I’m willing to give it a go! :smiley: How many times a week is recommended?

I’m suggesting that Explosive Med Ball work is a possible replacement for weights. I’d prefer to consider explosive med ball work as separate from plyo work, even though there is a plyometric componant to much of it. You can see how I separate them on the GPP DVD.

Charlie just to clearify, in theory (or history if its been done before) could i take out weight lifting all together and just use medicine balls year round or are you just suggesting during a particular phase of training?

And if it is possible could i/ should i increase the amount of throws, due to the lack of weight room work?

Finally how long are the run outs?

You could replace weights with explosive med ball work if you need to. Run-outs, if present, are usually no more than 15 to 20 meters.


if replacing weights with MB what kind of volume would be required?

it depends on volume of weights it is substituting for, of course, and volume of other activites but is there a rule of thumb for volume?

How many throws would you usually include in such a session?


It’s hard to come up with a rule of thumb- but a few thoughts:
1: The longer the event, the higher the number of med ball throws will be relative to lifts (wider base).
2: The higher the strength expressed by weights, the higher the number relative to lifts.
3: The more complex the lifts, the higher the number relative to lifts (cleans, as opposed to squats, for example)

Yesterday a fellow came up to my group when we were doing MedBall throws and he asked how many we do and how long our workouts last. My answer to him was, “Until the athletes are no longer throwing the ball with power, and that sometimes we skip the Medball altogether if the athletes don’t have the spunkiness they need to blast the ball into oblivion.”

Charlie, i took notes from GPP DVD about Medicine Ball throws workouts, but i would like to know if the component in this kind of train is more a CNS stress ( Psychological ) or physical work.

Are you saying, if athlete “A” is stronger than athlete “B” in the weightroom then athlete “A” must do a higher volume of med-ball work than athlete “b” if they are using med-ball work to replace lifting? Also, if you want to replace the clean with med-ball work you would need a higher volume than if say you were replacing the squat?

Not quite:
1: Stronger athlete A probably does lower rep numbers in the weight room than his weaker cousin, B, therefore, the stronger guy’s ratio would be higher, even though the actual number of explosive med ball throws might be the same- or even less (which are also more intense for athlete A, due to higher output capacity).
2:Likewise, the clean would require less lifts vs multiple simple lifts to hit the same number of motor units in a session. So, the ratio for cleans to explosive throws would be higher, but not the total numbers.

There are two types of med ball throws shown on the GPP DVD. The general fitness type, which primarily causes muscular, but not CNS fatigue, and the Explosive Med Ball work, which is of much higher intensity and primarily affects the CNS- like sprinting or weights. They are identified by type on the DVD.

My head is fried! Must say some of this is ^ my head!

I know, Charlie, you are very reluctant to give prescriptives. Can you give an example or sample of a session with weights, plyos, MB Throws and Weights. How would this session be adjusted if sprint volume & plyo volume stayed the same but weights had to be reduced and MB volume ^.

I don’t ask for much!! THEONE - do you have an example of a session that could be commented on?

Thank You.

I would be glad to comment on specific examples from members, who give specific numbers for themselves with their reasoning for their plan, numbers, timing, and order of work, and any adjustments made as the workout progressed.