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  1. #1
    993125002 is offline Junior Member
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    Post Plyometrics or Ballistics?

    I read on "Ballistics or Baloney?" by Barry Ross (Ballistics or Baloney?: A Strength Training and Powerlifting article from Dragon Door Publications) that ballistics are not very useful for fast paced activities like sprinting because of the slower pace of the movement as compared to plyometrics (slower movement = less usage of the stretch reflex), and therefore is not as effective in developing power.
    But here's what I don't get, do ballistic exercises help you generate more power without necessarily using the stretch reflex (weighted jump squats using only the concentric phase)? or are they in no way different from plyos except for the added weight and slower speeds?
    I hear that the KB swing is great for improving one's vertical jump, but depth jumps are supposed to be good too, but the former is a ballistic exercise.

  2. #2
    gtrgy888 is offline Senior Member
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    The author questioned heavy power lifts like the two armed barbell snatch and power clean for developing sprint speed. He could be correct about the minimal stretch reflex for heavier movements.

    That said, the overspeed kettlebell swing can improve vertical jump performance. I know this empirically, and other writers recommend the swing as well: How to Increase Your Vertical Jump with Olympic Lifting and Kettlebells: A Kettlebell Training article from Dragon Door Publications and Kettlebell Training for Vertical Jump Improvement .

    Good luck.
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  3. #3
    faizalenu is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 993125002 View Post
    I read on "Ballistics or Baloney?" by Barry Ross (Ballistics or Baloney?: A Strength Training and Powerlifting article from Dragon Door Publications) that ballistics are not very useful for fast paced activities like sprinting because of the slower pace of the movement as compared to plyometrics (slower movement = less usage of the stretch reflex), and therefore is not as effective in developing power.
    But here's what I don't get, do ballistic exercises help you generate more power without necessarily using the stretch reflex (weighted jump squats using only the concentric phase)? or are they in no way different from plyos except for the added weight and slower speeds?
    I hear that the KB swing is great for improving one's vertical jump, but depth jumps are supposed to be good too, but the former is a ballistic exercise.
    There is a force production continuum.

    On one end, you have limit strength -- which is the how much force you can generate. For a lot of people, getting stronger will make you faster.

    On the other end, there is plyometrics -- this would be more related to how quickly you can create force.

    Somewhere in between would be ballistics -- there are a lot of different definitions, but in my opinion this relates mostly to how much power (energy/unit time or Force*velocity) you can create. If you thing ballistics don't involve the stretch reflex, you have never done them correctly.

    These are not mutually exclusive. For most people, increasing limit strength will increase power production and sprinting speed.
    Faizal S. Enu, CFT/RKC/PBA
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  4. #4
    coachY is offline Junior Member
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    Kettlebell swing is a preparatory exercise for general athleticizm, it does not directly increase vertical jump. Seems as too many people have been repeating some sort of myth about kettlebells and vertical jump.
    Yes, theoretically it should work, practically - no, it does not.

    The three articles mentioned in this thread consider some pseudo-scientific discussion, with couple of them selling some kind of product, and one offfering anecdotal evidence.

    The real research is done on elite (or at least high level) athletes, it has a one group being researched, and almost identical "placebo" control group.
    Such research exists in Eastern Europe, however it is concerned with long jump, high jump, or triple jump. What works: multi jumps, jumps down (drop jumps), reactive jumps, and of course dynamic squats (for increasing general strength in all involved muscles).

    Plyometrics is a sort of magic word, I tend not to use it, because every one has their own definition. In my country, I believe, it refers to reactive jumps from a block.

  5. #5
    kodo kb is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by coachY View Post
    Kettlebell swing is a preparatory exercise for general athleticizm, it does not directly increase vertical jump. Seems as too many people have been repeating some sort of myth about kettlebells and vertical jump.
    Yes, theoretically it should work, practically - no, it does not.

    The three articles mentioned in this thread consider some pseudo-scientific discussion, with couple of them selling some kind of product, and one offfering anecdotal evidence.

    The real research is done on elite (or at least high level) athletes, it has a one group being researched, and almost identical "placebo" control group.
    Such research exists in Eastern Europe, however it is concerned with long jump, high jump, or triple jump. What works: multi jumps, jumps down (drop jumps), reactive jumps, and of course dynamic squats (for increasing general strength in all involved muscles).

    Plyometrics is a sort of magic word, I tend not to use it, because every one has their own definition. In my country, I believe, it refers to reactive jumps from a block.
    I disagree with the idea that ballistic exercises do not have an effect on ones vertical jump ability; and I especially disagree with the notion that their effects have not been well studied or documented. Kenneth Jay did a study where a group that did over speed eccentric swings gained 3-8cm in vertical jump, while the plyometric group only gained 2cm.
    Pavel spoke about it in this interview:
    August 4, 2008 | Robertson Training Systems

    Also, this article talks about how plyometrics and over speed eccentric ballistics train the same type of muscle system.
    Kinetic Energy Accumulation Training By Christian Thibaudeau for Elitefts

    Personally, I like over speed eccentric kettlebell exercises more than plyometrics; they are easier to both learn and perform effectively and safely.

    That's how I see it,
    Josh

  6. #6
    coachY is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodo kb View Post
    I disagree with the idea that ballistic exercises do not have an effect on ones vertical jump ability; and I especially disagree with the notion that their effects have not been well studied or documented. Kenneth Jay did a study where a group that did over speed eccentric swings gained 3-8cm in vertical jump, while the plyometric group only gained 2cm.
    Pavel spoke about it in this interview:
    August 4, 2008 | Robertson Training Systems

    Also, this article talks about how plyometrics and over speed eccentric ballistics train the same type of muscle system.
    Kinetic Energy Accumulation Training By Christian Thibaudeau for Elitefts

    Personally, I like over speed eccentric kettlebell exercises more than plyometrics; they are easier to both learn and perform effectively and safely.

    That's how I see it,
    Josh
    My Dear American Friend,

    our people tend to believe in hidden agendas and conspiracy theories.

    I quickly looked up Kenneth Jay, Robertson, and Thibaudeau on google. They all do have a secret agenda on their mind - self promotion and selling their products/services. Therefore any research done by them will not be very valuable.

    As I said, kettlebells are great for general athletic preparation, but for specifically improving vertical leap you have to jump and squat with the barbell ... this is really the shortest way.

    Please understand, I am not saying that kettlebells are bad for you.

  7. #7
    ShuriteKempo is offline Senior Member
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    Coach Y I think if you are going to accuse people of fabricating results in their studies you need a little more then conspiracy theory belief.

    You have some proof kettlebell training will not improve vertical leap?
    [CENTER][B][SIZE=3]The Do of Kempo[/SIZE][/B][/CENTER]
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  8. #8
    coachY is offline Junior Member
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    Coach Y I think if you are going to accuse people of fabricating results in their studies you need a little more then conspiracy theory belief.
    It is unethical for a person who is selling certain products/services to do research themselves on effects of those products/services. It should be done by unbiased/uninvolved researchers.

    You have some proof kettlebell training will not improve vertical leap?
    My Friend, this question is too silly for me to respond. Who would even spend their time on this?
    I do not dislike kettlebells, in fact, I do like them - just wrong tools for the job.

  9. #9
    ShuriteKempo is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by coachY View Post
    Coach Y I think if you are going to accuse people of fabricating results in their studies you need a little more then conspiracy theory belief.
    It is unethical for a person who is selling certain products/services to do research themselves on effects of those products/services. It should be done by unbiased/uninvolved researchers.

    You have some proof kettlebell training will not improve vertical leap?
    My Friend, this question is too silly for me to respond. Who would even spend their time on this?
    I do not dislike kettlebells, in fact, I do like them - just wrong tools for the job.


    It's only unethical if they cheat on the results.

    If it's not worth your time why bring it up? Seems like it would not take up that much of your time to tell us why a kettlebell cannot improve the vertical jump.

    Kodo Kb took the time to give you some studies that talk about the subject, seems like if you are going to accuse Kenneth Jay of making things up in the DD forum you should at least give us some proof.

    That does not seem like a silly request.
    [CENTER][B][SIZE=3]The Do of Kempo[/SIZE][/B][/CENTER]
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  10. #10
    AndrewR is offline Senior Member
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    Ah plyometrics... probably the thing I like talking about the least because it is so widely misunderstood. (Please keep in mind I train a number of both world league beach volleyball players as well as top ranked national teams so have some perspective on this).

    A plyometric as originally researched was based on reactive strength involved in activities such as depth jumps (jump off box and use rebound effect of stored potential energy in muscle to jump higher). It teaches the body to quickly absorb and react to landings and is useful in sports such as volleyball, sprinting, etc. where to gain maximal speed or power off the ground it is necessary to make the body as stiff as possible to preserve as much of the potential energy as possible.

    Siff's research on SSC work clearly indicated that before plyometric work could be done and achieve not just a beneficial result, but a safe result, that a double bodyweight squat was needed. So first things first, go and get a double bodyweight squat. That should rule out about 80% of the people who want to do plyometrics.

    Mike Boyle uses what he calls Phase 1 plyos to teach landing skills to athletes and I think these are separate and start to blur the line between true plyometric work and sports skill work or prehab type work to keep an athlete safe and healthy.

    The truth is that anything that relies on cycling elastic energy of the muscles could be called SSC/ plyometric which covers most movement of any type. Walking is plyometric, running, even swimming. Muscles can store potential energy for up to 4 seconds after which time nearly all of the potential elastic energy is dissipated. So by that definition swings are plyometric. I actually often teach the swing as a concept by having people think of the movement as standing repeated vertical jumps. Load, explode and float. Done this way you actually get the same feeling without the impact of actual jumping, which for contact athletes, or even those who spend a lot of time jumping as well as older athletes you need to minimise in their training so they can actually get on the field each week instead of being too sore to play.

    Becasue Plyo training is "on the nerve" you only need very little of it if you are able to do it anyway - novices to plyos look for around 100-120 foot contacts per sessions maybe twice per week. Advanced (i.e. elite sprinters and jumping athletes maybe 150-180). Very, very low volume. Also needs to be done on a hard reactive surface otherwise you can't take advantage of the reaction effect off the ground.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that training for speed can be done three ways - lift a heavy object as fast as possible (e.g. CAT with a max DL), lift an object ~60% very fast (e.g. power clean) or do something very light very fast (e.g. jumping with only bodyweight). All three require an effort to always be as fast as possible and sets must be terminated before significant slowing occurs.

    For the vast majority of people seeking speed the better method is just to get stronger and keep bodyweight stable. Improving your squat and DL up to double bodyweight while weight stays the same will massively increase the amount of force you can produce which will aid speed production. Beyond double bodyweight there isn't too much extra increase to be found according to numerous sources from Rooney working with fighters to Francis' work with sprinters to what i see myself with either my volleyball guys and girls.

    However, high(ish) volume swings in girls seem to have a very favourable effect in their ability to jump well in sand. Perhaps it is due to women not jumping as high as men anyway or having more slow twitch fibre in their bodies. Whatever the reason they work.

    And KJ's work was a university study done as his Master's. If you're suggesting that the university of Copenhagen has suspect vetting procedure for their research perhaps you should contact them? I find it offensive that you question genuine university studies regardless of if there is a profitable outcome for it. How do you think research gets funded in the first place? Ever wonder why there's no studies done on how good water is for you? Because there's no money in it cos water is free. Its a reality so accept it now, but don't belittle research done because you object to people making money.

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