I am always trying to overcome the force of gravity with a barbell or jumping. Everyone knows about Westside squatters, but what about their jumping ability? How about a 63.5″ box jump, backed up with a 63″ and a 60″.Jumping is the definition of explosive power- not Olympic lifting, which is a speed strength sport. Explosive power is performed at fast velocity. It is the ability to rapidly increase force (Tidow 1990). The steeper the increase of strength in time, the greater the explosive strength.
SO HOW DO YOU DEVELOP THE EXPLOSIVE STRENGTH IN THE GYM?
There are several parts to explosive strength development; first, let’s look at speed squats and sumo deadlifts.
The squats are done in our three week pendulum wave. Week one, we work with 50% bar weight of our 1RM, 55% in week two, and 60% in week three. Then, we drop back to 50% and start the wave over.However, you must also use bands on the bar, with the weights. The band tension should be 25% at the top (because of band sinkage, add 10% to that in the bottom of the lift). The bands will force you down faster than just weight alone, causing an increase in the kinetic energy. This is the key to reversal strength.
The average set/ rep breakdown per workout is 8 sets of two. Immediately following, we then do 6 set of 2 for sumo- style deadlift. For the deadlift, we are also working with 50% bar weight of 1RM, adding bands with 30% tension at lockout (adding 10% in bottom). You will learn that not only will this build a strong finish, but also a strong start, as one must overcome the additional tension at lockout.
For the squat wave, the bar weights range from 50-60% of a 1RM, and the top band tension is 25%. This addition turns 50% to 75%, 55% to 80%, and 60% to 85% at lockout. The data from 780 top European weightlifters performed by A.D. Ermakov and N.S. Atanasov show that 50% of the training for speed strength is trained at 75% to 85%.
As you can see, this system is well planned, combining explosive strength in the bottom and speed strength at the top. The data chart can be found in Managing the Training of Weightlifters, by N.P. Laputin and V.G. Oleshko (copyright DCD Chanigas).
The next part is jumping itself, but against resistance. The jumps are done with ankle weights, weighted vests, kettlebells, and combinations of the three jumps twice a week work well for most. Establish a record on many heights of boxes, with different amounts of resistance.
We use a low 12″ box to sit on, just like box squatting. Rock back, swing the arms to the rear while lifting feet off the ground, then swing the arms forward, and slam the feet down as you jump up to the box. The same technique works for the long jump. A different method is to stand in foam and box jump. This is just like jumping out of sand.
Jumping can be very taxing, so first you must build a base:
– Step one: Placing one foot in front on the floor, and press a barbell overhead for 3-8 reps, while
keeping your legs straight. This builds every muscle in the body.
– Step two: While on your knees, jump onto your feet, the add weight to your back
– Step three: Place the bar on your back and power clean to your feet
– Step four: Place bar on your thighs and powersnatch to your feet
– Step five: Split snatch to your feet
Try records whenever possible!
*OCR has jumped onto feet with 265 and jumped off knees onto a 32″ box!
Now that you have built your base, you are ready to set your own records. By doing 5 sets of 5 reps with 70lb dumbbells, John Stafford could jump up and touch 11’6” at 6′ tall. And yes- john also has an 832lb deadlift. Lee Henny at 460″ but with a 160lb weight vest, jumped onto a 20″ box. Yurik Vardanyan, a 181-lb Soviet weightlifting champion, could perform a vertical jump measured from the ground to the bottom of his feet with 50% of his but 24′ by combining absolute and explosive strength. Yurick also had a 3.7m standing long jump, a 3-step 2.15m high jump, and a 10.60 100-m time.
Your lifts and jumps will go up.
The last part, or should I say, parts- are sled pulling, and a strongman wheel barrow. Off the heel sled pulling builds all of the muscles that squat and pull, without the constant pounding of the spinal cord. For power sports, 60-yards a trip is a good distance. The wheel barrow will build every muscle from the calf to the traps, and as an extra- builds a great grip.
You must build incredible hips, hamstrings, and glutes. So to finish off, head to the reverse hyper, inverse curl machine, and go walk on a Westside Barbell belt squat machine. Plus, to help knee health and help to thicken the soft tissue around the knee, do 100-200 leg curls daily with just 10-20lb ankle weights.
By raising your general physical preparedness (G.P.P.), you will be able to train at a higher intensity, more often. The greater the athlete you become, the more special exercises you must introduce into your training. Your GPP will pay great dividends to your specific physical preparation (S.P.P.).