I recently came across some alarming information regarding “jump training”.

For the purpose of the article I read, “jump training” was defined as any jump performed in training for the intent or purpose of training force production, strength, or explosiveness. Basically this referred to plyos, box jumps, lateral jumps, one-leg jumps, etc.

Strength Coach Christian Thibaudeau DID NOT write this for basketball players or high jumpers. Jump technique practice probably does not fall under the scope of his articles, but this information IS WORTH CONSIDERING for vertical jumpers. There is a reason the best vertical coaches suggest low volumes of jumping. This is also why they use run-throughs, approaches and the like to nail technique while omitting the actual jump.

As stated in the articles, the point of these jumps IS NOT to attain a “training effect” but to stimulate and activate the nervous system – without draining it. It has been noted numerous times that explosiveness and a “ramped up nervous system” are strongly related. What does that mean for you? Activate your CNS = be more explosive!! Coach Thibaudeau has found that the optimal jumping pattern is this:

  • High Frequency (jump daily)
  • Low Daily Volume (9-14 jumps/daily)
  • DO NOT EXCEED 14 jumps daily

Christian Thibaudeau, one of the greatest minds in the strength game went on to classify those jumps into 5 levels. Each level getting progressively more demanding and draining on the CNS & body in general:

  • Level 1 = Regular Jumps (jump from ground and land on ground)
  • Level 2 = Jumps onto a box
  • Level 3 = Jumping OVER an obstacle
  • Level 4 = Weighted Jumps (squat jumps, etc)
  • Level 5 =  Depth Jumps

According to Thibaudeau your jumps should be programmed like this:

  • 60-70% Level 1-2 Jumps
  • 20-30% Level 3-4 Jumps
  • 0-15% Level 5 Jumps
Following this outline, athletes can expect the following benefits:
  • Activated Nervous System
  • More energy throughout the day
  • Increased Metabolic rate
  • Increased insulin sensitivity within the muscles
  • Increased explosiveness, strength and power

Thibaudeau goes on to say that those who fail to experience these results are using jumps incorrectly! He cautions that athletes in this scenario are either 1) performing too many jumps per session 2) performing too many jumps per set OR 3) not doing them daily. (Don’t expect overnight results!)

I think that is enough information for one day…Post your questions/comments below!