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Training for Power: Plyometric Training

Updated on November 27, 2016

Plyometric Power Training

What is Plyometrics?

Different types of training bring various results. If you are one of those people working on gaining mass, then it is absolutely necessary for you to be training for/with power. The term plyometrics refers to the types of exercises that provide your muscles with an opportunity to reach maximum force in a very short period of time. The muscle is loaded with an eccentric movement, in laymen's terms, this means the muscle is stretching, extending or lengthening. Then it's immediately followed by a concentric movement (meaning the muscle is flexing or shortens). Kind of like a rubber band or elastic energy. Elastic energy is developed when your muscles and tendons store a quick stretch and when that energy is released, it's an explosive movement. Working your body with this type of training will increase your power and strength, which will of course lead to increased mass gains. In addition to improvements in power, strength, and mass gains, plyometrics also increase proprioceptive capabilities. Proprioception takes place by way of nerve sensors that run from the bottom of your neck, down the entire length of your body to your feet. For example, when your playing any kind of sports or just hitting the gym and your suddenly thrown off balance, proprioception abilities is determined by how fast your body recovers and restores the balance back in itself. Plyometric training has also displayed improvements in cardiovascular condition and burn away body fat during the same time.

Speed Training

Kale Puttanesca

Ingredients for Kale Puttanesca

  • 1/2 package (16 oz) Angel hair pasta, Whole wheat
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Onion, Large
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Red pepper, Flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Capers, Drained
  • 1 can (2 oz) Anchovy fillets, Drained and quartered
  • 1 cup Canned tomatoes, Diced and undrained
  • 2 cups Kale, Coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (4oz) Black Olives, Sliced and drained
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, Grated

Diet versus Plyometric training

Plyometric training or power training is more of an athletic performance type training regime rather then for muscle preservation. Short burst, high intensity movements actually burn more muscle than fat, so your diet/eating habits should be designed around the type of activities you are involved in. It's imperative that you're keeping protein readily available in the blood stream so that the body does not get tempted to start eating into your hard earned muscle. Protein should be consumed in in basically all of your 5 to 6 meals a day. The carbohydrates eaten should be of the low glycemic variety (meaning they are slow burning) such as oatmeal, skim milk, plain yogurt, beans and pasta so that they can continue to provide you with long sustainable energy for those very intense workouts. Of course everyone is different and body processes are not going to be at the same rate, so your macronutrient ratio should always be structured specifically for you and your body and your physical activity level. Following a diet that your best friend is doing or one in the most recent fitness magazine provided by someone who doesn't know your body and how it responds to different things, may actually do more harm then good. Learning your body should be a top priority, especially when you're participating in some high intensity power training activities such as plyometrics.

Directions for Kale Puttanesca

  1. Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 or until al dente; drain.
  2. Heat Olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook & stir until onions have softened and begun to turn golden brown (approx. 5 minutes). Stir in capers, anchovy fillets and diced tomatoes and bring to aa simmer over medium/low heat until wilted and tender. (10 minutes)
  3. Once pasta has been cooked and drained, stir into the puttanesca along with the black olives. Toss and sprinkle parmesan cheese before serving.

Kale Puttanesca

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 serving
Calories 361
Calories from Fat144
% Daily Value *
Fat 16 g25%
Carbohydrates 42 g14%
Fiber 5 g20%
Protein 15 g30%
Cholesterol 18 mg6%
Sodium 1099 mg46%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Kale Puttanesca

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Training For Power

Plyometric exercises

Low Intensity Plyometrics

Plyometrics can be classified into three different categories. Low, moderate and high intensity. Depending on the experience of the athlete should determine which class to use. Its probably not a good idea to add plyometrics to your training regime during its heaviest lifting stage. Some examples of low intensity plyometric exercises would be the squat jump, ledge jump, overhead throws, and over the back toss. Doing the Squat jump, you stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your upper body slightly leaning forward with your back straight, squat to parallel and explode up. Performing the over the back toss, hold a ball over head, weight depends on your size & strength. Lower your body until the ball touches the floor and explode up and over the head, finishing on your toes. Ledge jumps are performed in a similar nature as the squat jump. Overhead throws are performed exactly how they sound. With a tightened core, hold a weighted ball behind your head and throw it at a wall with as much force as you can muster.

Moderate intensity Plyometric exercise

Different variations of Intensity in Plyometrics

Tuck Jumps, lateral hurdle jumps, lateral box push offs, and starting block throws would be considered to fall in the moderate category. With tuck jumps you start with your feet shoulder width apart, with knees bent and arms at the sides, jump up bringing the knees to the chest. Starting block throws, squatting with hands on a medicine ball, feet are shoulder width and slightly behind, push to start, lifting the ball to the chest and throwing it to a partner. Lateral box push offs require you stand to the side of the box, one leg on top of the box and one on the ground. With the leg that's on top of the box, push off with as much explosive power possible going as high as you vertically can. Starting block throws start in a crouching position holding the medicine ball, with feet shoulder width apart and a little behind. Push to start, lifting the medicine ball to your chest and forcefully throwing it to your workout partner.

List of High Intensity Plyometric exercises

High Intensity

Clap push ups, over the line jumps (zig zags), bounding (can be performed in gym, sand or water), and Depth jumps are all high intensity movements. With depth jumps, standing on a box three feet up, step off landing on both feet in a crouch, immediately jump up driving up and forward. One legged tuck jumps are also an excellent high intensity lower exercise. Clap push ups are a quality upper body high intensity exercise. In the push up position, lower yourself to the floor and explosively push off until hands leave the ground and clap. Over the line jumps you are standing to the side of a line a couple of feet in width. Jump off both feet to the other side of the line, your body is facing forward at this time. Make sure you alternate sides.

During your work sets with this type of training, the rest periods should reflect on what you are doing. If your working with high intensity, you need to give yourself a little longer rest period (also dependent upon the person and their fitness level). Studies have shown that incorporating plyometrics along with a traditional strength or resistance training routine will assist in enhancing your power in all sports and weightlifting a lot faster than using each type routine alone. So when your at that point where a change in your workout routine is needed, give plyometrics a shot.


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