This is an old article I wrote for elitefts.com were I go over complexes to help improve power output in athletes. This can also be used in other strength athletic training to improve power out put for strongman, highland games, etc... For those who don't know I used to own a gym in Florida where I trained a lot of high scholl and college athletes. Over this summer I had a few college kids down and a dozen high scholl athletes and by the end of the summer utilizing these complexes we had 2 kids jump over 40" in the vertical. Here is the article in full:
These complexes were used in the beginning of our off-season plan when we were focusing on strength and explosive power. We lifted four times a week with two upper body days and two lower body days. On our max effort lower body days, we worked up to heavy 1–3 reps in 90 percent of the athletes’ one rep max for that particular exercise. All the guys who were on this protocol were experienced lifters who could squat twice their body weight or more. This is a must. If your athlete can’t perform this feat, he should focus on increasing that. Do his plyometric training on another day.
The protocol that we used worked in three-week waves where we focused on our main lift. After completing the 1–3 rep lifts, the athletes waited 2–5 minutes before going into the plyometric protocol. This will vary with every athlete due to their strength levels and how fast they recover from the lift. Each athlete then performed 5–10 sets of 1–3 reps of plyometrics. We did a vertical jump the first week and a horizontal jump the second week. Then we went back to a vertical jump on the third week. On the fourth week, we deloaded and focused on deceleration drills off a 12-inch box.
In the next three-week cycle, we added more volume to the plyometrics. Remember to monitor your athletes’ central nervous system and recovery because not all athletes are created equal. For the first week of this cycle, we added in a depth jump into a vertical jump. We did this because the depth jumps are more taxing on the central nervous system than any other jump, so we wanted to do this in the first week following a deload. On the second week of the program, we went back to a horizontal plyometric, and on the third week, we incorporated a vertical jump. We then deloaded the same way as discussed earlier.
After this eight-week protocol, we moved our athletes to a three day a week training split to accommodate for the extra running that we were incorporating. We lifted three days a week, doing two upper and one lower body day and then we began a running phase where we were out running three days a week. On our lower body days, we took out our plyometrics and added them into our running days. We did a dynamic warm up and then started off with weighted acceleration drills. After five sets of ten-yard sprints, we went into our plyometric protocol of vertical plyometrics on one day and horizontal plyometrics on another. The third running day was sport specific so we didn’t incorporate plyometrics. We did this for three weeks and deloaded on the fourth.
After this 12-week cycle of intensive plyometrics, we tested our player’s verticals. We had two guys jump 40 inches and five other guys increased their verticals by at least two inches. Some even increased by four inches.
Try this protocol out with your athletes and see how the explosive power and speed increase. View the two 40-inch verticals. Remember, these are just high school kids.