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Introduce Plyometrics Slowly

Plyometrics are used regularly but are often misused. Coaches tend to implement them too early on in a training plan and at too large a volume.

Jumps and throws are good to do but you should monitor your volume closely to avoid injury and overtraining. I feel this applies more to jumps as many athletes are already running, cutting, and jumping, when training for their sport. Doing too many ground contacts in the gym on top of all this work can lead to problems such as shin splints. You will typically see this throughout the offseason/pre-season in rugby league.

You should also slowly increase the volume of plyometric work anytime you have had a break from them, even if you have still been training. I hadn’t programmed any jumps for myself for a length of time and in my previous program decided to re-introduce some jumps. My tibialis anterior were sore after the second session and the volume was low. I only did 4x8 of tuck jumps on day 1, and 4x8 broad jumps on day 2. So, my weekly volume was only 64 ground contacts. By week 2 and 3 of my plan, I was fine. The point of this, is that it doesn’t take a lot of work to cause muscle soreness initially, so you have to monitor the volume and increase it gradually. The following chart is a good starting point when considering how much volume to do:

(I can’t remember the source as I have had this a long time so I apologise for not giving credit or having the reference)

Some things to remember when trying to develop power:

  • Quality is more important than quantity.

  • Intent is key.

  • In most cases, you should be fully (or near) recovered between sets.

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