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Mixing Weights And Plyometrics For Maximum Results (Throws)

Meg Ritchie-Stone   Appalachian State University

FROM: Proceedings of the International Track & Field Coaches Association

Definition and Purpose

     Using Hartmann and Tunnemann's definition of strength training it is defined as "a person's capacity to use muscular activity (enhanced by the use of weights) to exert resistance on external forces in order to overcome these forces."
     When we mix weight training and plyometrics the purpose is the enhancement of speed - strength. We are concerned not just with the application of force but the rate of force development. Speed strength deals with the "amount of internal strength which the neuro-muscular (the body's electrical system) is able to mobilize per unit of time."
     Speed. Strength is the basis of high level performance in Track and Field. For the purpose of this talk I shall refer to speed strength as Explosive Strength.
     There are some pre-requisites that must be developed in order to make this mix of plyometrics and weight training and to work at maximum efficiency. Let us deal with one at a time before mixing these training regimes.

Weight Training

Assistance Exercises

PULLS FROM THE FLOOR

(SNATCH & CLEAN

SHRUGS

(VARIATION OF GRIP)

ROMANIAN DEAD LIFTS HAMMER TWIST
PRESS BEHIND NECK

(STANDING & SEATED)

PUSH PRESS

(STANDING & SEATED)

SWING LEG SQUAT STEP UP
HYPEREXTENSION GLUTE HAM RAISE
OVERHEAD SQUATS SINGLE LEG SQUAT

Full Lifts

SNATCH FRONT SQUATS
POWER CLEAN BACK SQUATS
SQUAT CLEAN CLEAN & JERK


Plyometrics

     Plyometrics refers to human movement that involves an eccentric (lengthening) muscle contraction immediately and rapidly followed by a concentric (shortening) contraction. This is often referred to as the stretch-shortening cycle. The phase between these two contractions is referred to as the amortization phase. Energy stored during the eccentric phase is partially recovered during the concentric phase. In order to best use this stored energy the eccentric phase must be rapidly followed by the concentric.
     A sprinter's contact time on the ground is in the region of 0.0084 of a second and a high jumper may spend as little as 0.12 seconds on the ground at take-off. A great deal of force must be generated in this brief period of time. Through the correct use of plyometric exercises this rate of force development can be enhanced. High volume plyometric workouts will not enhance speed development. What are we trying to accomplish?

  1. Shorten the time spent in the amortization phase

  2. Decrease the time spent on the ground yet generate maximum force

     Research shows that athletes involved in explosive strength types of sports such as track and field, spend very little time on the ground, yet generate a great deal of force.
     Many authorities have attempted to standardize and categorize plyometric exercises and references are provided at the end of these notes for further research.

Words of Caution

  1. Plyometric exercises are probably the most overused exercises generally in the training program. Overtraining the neuromuscular system can be very difficult to recognize and leads to problems.
  2. In the highest volume of training, it is advisable to omit these exercises from the training program altogether and use speed sets in the weight program in preparation for the speed strength mesocycle.
  3. Plyometrics are anaerobic activities and must be used as such as in weight training. Endurance involving aerobic work is serving no functional purpose.
  4. The purpose of placing plyometrics in the training program is to enhance speed and rate of force production. This cannot be done in an endurance setting.
  5. Use plyometrics activities and limit the use and work on speed of movement.
  6. Many authorities have placed qualifications upon the use of plyometric training for example:

Weight Training and Plyometrics in Combination

     Having described the type of weight training exercises involved (see examples) and having looked at the purpose of plyometric training, we now have the background knowledge to blend these training modalities.
     This blend of training should be used in the speed strength mesocycle in the specific preparation, precompetition or competition phases of training. 

Weight Training and Plyometrics

     The neuromuscular system must be continually stimulated in anaerobic activities. Knowledge of bioenergetics and the neuromuscular system is yet another prerequisite to understanding the theory behind what you want to accomplish in a particular training period.

Weights

Step Ups B ack & Front Squats
Hammer Twists Romanian Dead Lifts
Glute Ham Raise Overhead Squats
Hyper Extensions Pulls from the Floor
Power Clean Press Behind Neck
Snatch Push Press
Jerk/Nieder Single Leg Squat
Flies  

Plyometrics

Hurdles Box Jumps, 30m Sprints

Hammer Twists (M, B,)
Russian Leg Curls Glute Ham Raise (M. B.)
Overhead M. B. Hyper Extensions (M. B.)
M. B. Backwards Front Throw, Box Hurdles, Sprints
Wide Range One Hand Throws Back Throw, Box Hurdles, Sprints
M. B. (Shot Put Action) Angles Chest Pass, Shot + Discus Slings
Single Leg Kicks (M. B.) Discus Slings
Double Leg Kicks (M.B.)  

 

REFERENCES

1. Chuo, D.A. Jumping into Plyometrics -Human Kinetics 1991

2. Baechle, T. R. Editor Essentials of Strength and Conditioning -The National Strength and Conditioning Association -Human Kinetics 1994

3. Stone, M. H., & O'Bryant, H. S. Weight Training the Scientific Approach -Burgess International Group 1984

4. Haltmann and Tunnemann. Fitness and Strength Training - Sportverlag Berlin 1989

5. Korchemny, R Innovations in Speed Development, Speed Training Manual Part 1 and 11 U.S.A.T.F. Development Program


 

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