3 Foot Vertical Leap And A 400lb Box Squat

I was training a client earlier this week using a static chin up for a finisher to her back workout when, in the midst of her agony, she exclaimed, “I DON’T LIKE BEING OFF THE GROUND!” This struck me, as the feelings that came from jumping were the basis for my becoming a trainer and what I’m returning to this year.

I started training at the age of 15, trying to add muscle mass so that I might play varsity basketball as a sophomore in high school. I was certified at the age of 16 I was Superslow Certified and since then have tried just about every training idea under the sun. Age and patience are allowing me to “put it all together” this year I’m attempting to achieve two complimentary goals:

1. Box Squat 400lbs for 1 rep.

2. Get my vertical leap over 36″.

I’ll be achieving these goals through a combination of powerlifting-influenced training and simple plyometric work. I train no more than 3 days a week, focusing on the “big compounds” of my world (box squat, sumo deadlift, floor press, chinup). Once I meet my planned work on those exercises, the rest of the workout is up to chaos, effectively following my idea of “evolutionary fitness.” This sounds esoteric, but I’ve attempted to combine aspects of the power law in a way that seems to be ignored by individuals like Art De Vany. Rather than escalate up the power law scale in a pyramid fashion, I prefer to employ Chaos Training. As long as I perform my core movements in a trackable fashion each workout, what I do in addition would depend on how I feel, what my motivation is like, what my stimulation is like, and if I have training partners available. Bodybuilders have referred to this as “training by feel,” hence my warning about myself sound esoteric.

During the end of my training push, I intentionally attempt to overreach, taking my volume and frequency way up for no more than a week. I’m attempting to create a critical state of change, maybe adding a little bit more muscle tissue that will manifest during my 2 weeks of rest. I’ll use all sorts of set variables and splinter techniques to really frag myself before resting. This is how Arthur Jones would train pros in the late 60′s and early 70′s, who were coming to him from traditional high volume approaches. The first thing he would do when they visited was to have them rest for a few days. This eating and resting allowed for that stimulated muscle to manifest itself. Rest is powerful stuff.

To give an idea of how I train, here’s what I did last week.

One of the main reasons for using the box squat is breaking the concentric/eccentric chain, forcing the strong muscles in the hips and hamstrings to generate power from a dead stop. Couple this with plyometric work and you’re going to create a lot of upward thrust.

Speaking of plyometrics, you can see I’m not doing as much as is often seen recommended. This is mostly because it’s quite taxing on the nervous system and little is needed to yield the result I’m after. Perhaps if I wasn’t training extensively in the squat and deadlift, I would do more. Like all of my training, I’ll only perform plyo work for 6 to 7 weeks before taking a 2 week break to allow full recovery of muscles and motivation. My protocol is adopted from the Science of Jumping program.

It’s consistently inconsistent, but the lifts are going up and I expect to reach by goals by the end of the year. To efficient training!

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