3 October

Building explosiveness

Many “experts” will cite the clean or power clean as the best exercise for developing explosiveness when in fact it can be built in much better ways. With the clean there is a deceleration phase at the top of the movement. This means that the bar has to be controlled and deliberately slowed down at the end of the movement. If not, you will smack yourself in the face.

Explosiveness is built through much lighter weights than what is typically used in the clean. To build “explosive strength” aka “power” we use 30-40% where as in the clean, weights are often closer to the 70-85% range (of a 1 rep max).

So the way we build explosiveness is by box jumping usually holding weights of some kind, ie., wearing a weight vest, ankle weights, holding dumbbells or kettlebells, etc. You cannot jump “non-explosively.” Also, learning the clean takes a lot of time and practice to get good at where jumping to a box can be done immediately by anyone with no previous training experience.

We personally never do depth jumps as it is very taxing on the joints. A depth jump is jumping down from a box onto the floor and immediately jumping up to another box. Instead, we use what is called the impulse-momentum theory. For example, if I were to drop a glass bottle from a 40″ box it would shatter as it hit the floor. But, by using the impulse-momentum theory, if I throw a glass bottle up 41″ to a 40″ box it would land softly. By using this theory in our box jump training we can train them often with no negative effects to the body. Remember to always jump up to the box and then step down. Do not jump down. If the box is too high to step down off of simply put a smaller box beside it to step down to. Your knees, ankles and Achilles’ tendons will thank you.

Program your jumps no less than twice a week for a minimum for 40 jumps on each day. The easiest way to fit them into your programming is to do them first on your squat and deadlift days as a warm-up. 8 sets of 5 reps with a short break between sets is all you need.

Add these to your training program and watch your squat and deadlift numbers go up and your sprinting times get faster.

-Aaron Dedrick

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