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by viraj 8 months ago in racing
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This is not another vertical jump article. Rather, it’s a compilation, and rear-view mirror analysis of what I consider to be my best, or at least most interesting, vertical jump articles in the last 5 years.

With so many expensive programs on jump training available, it’s always nice to be able to help out aspiring athletes, as well as coaches through the medium of free vertical jump articles. There was a day when I was young where I saw hyped up vertical jump training programs everywhere, yet I had no idea what they were based on, or why I should buy or use them. It is my goal now to help athletes (and coaches) everywhere understand more about why training is what it is, and to be able to make intelligent choices in their own pursuit of ultimate performance.

To that end, I’ve gathered together 5 (actually 6) vertical jump articles that are my personal favorites that I’ve published on Just Fly Sports. The purpose of the list below is not only to highlight some of my favorite articles, but also to take a new look at some of these articles in light of my growth as a coach over the last several years.

Honorable Mention: The Five Elements of Dunking

#5. Long Sprints for Reactive Vertical Power,

#4. Vertical Jump Training Arrangement 101,

#3. The Top 5 Exercises for Single Leg JumpersNearly making the top 5 was a Charles Poliquin inspired piece on athletic response to training and performance. Things like fiber typing have a pretty big impact on what types of training you’ll tend to do best with, as well as how often you should do it.

Some time after this article, I had a chat with Henk Kraiijenhof at the Central Virginia Sports Performance seminar that confirmed and built on the ideas of this article, and if I were to add anything to this piece since I wrote it, it is that athletes need to largely train towards their strengths (although addressing weaknesses in off-season periods can be helpful). Sprinters that are very powerful and fast twitch are better suited for lower volume programs, and shorter sprint durations in training, while moderately or lower fast-twitch sprinters will usually do better with longer sprint durations. Speed jumpers will do better utilizing more plyometrics in their training program, while force jumpers will find more gains by making strength and barbell training represent a higher program proportion.

From training to tapering and peaking, the implications of the “type” of athlete you are become extremely important the further in the training game you go. Don’t expect to go searching for that one training template of an Olympic gold medalist and think you’re set for life, but rather, find out how you respond to training as an individual.I really liked writing this series because the concept is so counter-intuitive. Why would doing something in the endurance realm have the potential to improve something so far into the explosive side of things? I’ve seen enough jumpers who have had far better seasons when the sprinting workload was higher to realize that there must be something at play in the benefits that jump athletes can get from longer (150-400m) sprint training sessions.

In hindsight, two things I would have added to this article would be the thoughts of Tadeusz Starzynski, author of “Explosive Power and Jumping Ability for All Sports”. One thing Starzynski mentioned was that heavier jumpers will often need more long duration sprint type work to help their musculature achieve better contraction/relaxation cycles. Sure enough, every athlete I’ve seen who it has seemed that the longer sprint running was an important part of their success was above the “average” body mass index for their event, and this not being due to high bodyfat, but rather muscle mass and build.

Also, in that same vein, and also integrating some of Frans Bosch’s recent ideas (Starzynski was ahead of his time), Starzynski would have his athletes perform longer sprint repeats (say, 200m) on a terrain/trail course, so that they had to rapidly adapt to things like dips, holes, and rocks along the way. We are now becoming more and more aware that improving movement patterning revolves around introducing new movement patterns that need to be solved (Bernstein).


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