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Plyometric Training - Sounds cool, but what is it?

Last blog post we explored our different energy systems and how our body utilises our energy to train with optimal efficiency, but what about the type of training whilst we're within those work zones?


Well, to answer that question we might want to take a look at some of our fundamental blocks of fitness. Strength, Speed, Endurance, Stamina, Endurance, Power? We could have some fun here and make up another 40 buzz words but again, if we're smart about the type of training we undertake we can improve rapidly in each particular block.

With Plyometric training, we are looking to improve our skill of producing Power. In order to understand Power, we need to know some basics on differentiating some of these definitions, in particular we'll look at Strength versus Power.


Although they sound and may seem similar, there's a big difference when we program. In order to improve a particular Power goal, we have to ensure we stick to our basic guidelines of Plyometrics and Power training.

Strength - Our overall ability to move weight (or resistance) throughout various parameters ie. rep range, speed, difficulties etc.


Power - Our ability to produce a large amount of force QUICKLY


This then brings us to plyometric training. Plyometric training trains our bodies ability to move through a movement explosively and quickly. Once we have a baseline, we're then lookin to improve the ability produce as much force as possible. When we undertake this particular style of training we load the joints, bones and ligaments with incredible amounts of force, which long term is incredibly successful in injury prevention.


So what kind of exercises qualify as 'plyometric exercises'?

The beauty of plyometric training is nearly all movements can become explosive, even your basic compound exercises such as a squat can become plyometric by slowing down the eccentric phase (going down) then shooting up quickly as quickly as you can through the concentric (working up) phase, even leaving the ground into a jump. Typically we'll look at adding in jumps, agility movements, skipping etc.


So how does the body know the difference?

Well to start with, we're trying to work at 100% through the movement. In order for us to work at such a high output we sacrifice our endurance and can only work for a short amount of time and/or amount of reps. When we begin to work through the movement cycle at such a rapid speed, we're achieving a Stretch-Shortening Cycle with our muscle activity. The SSC involves us moving through 3 phases of muscle activity.

  1. Eccentric (The 'easy/controlled' part of the exercise, down on a squat/pushup, often with the assistance of gravity)

  2. Amortization (This phase acts almost in a slingshot like motion, rebounding the movement to create a greater force)

  3. Concentric (Our bodies ability to produce maximal power to complete desired movement quickly, often with the resistance of force (weights or gravity))

So next time you're in the gym, do a normal squat jump, pause, then do another and gauge the height of your jump. Secondly perform the same squat jump, but instead of landing and resetting, land into your next rep and spring into your next jump.


So when we say jump, you say how high!


Be apart of our Day1 Fitness 'Pillars of Movement' Winter Challenge.

Every week, we'll have a 'Movement' goal, ranging from Strength to Speed, Power to Endurance and much more. Our Super Saturday workout will have a challenge workout matching the theme of the week for you to have a go at!


Not a member but would like to have a go? Head to the HOME page for your FREE TRIAL today.

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