PLYOMETRICS SHOULD NOT BE USED DURING THE COMPETITIVE PHASE
Luebbers, P. E., Hulver, M. W., Thyfault, J. P., Carper, M. J., Lockwood, R. H., & Potteiger, J. A. (2003). Effects of plyometric training and recovery on vertical jump performance and anaerobic power. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(5), Supplement abstract 1514.
Physically active males were randomly assigned to either a 4-week (N = 19) or 7-week (N = 19) training program of equal volume. Training consisted of vertical jumping, bounding, and depth jumping for three days a week. The effects of plyometrics training after four weeks of no training (no-training/recovery) were measured and compared to pre- (baseline) and immediate-post-training (post).
Vertical jump height and vertical jump power decreased significantly in the 4-week group over the baseline to post period. This effect did not occur in the 7-week group. Vertical jump height and vertical jump power increased significantly in both groups over the baseline to the no-training/recovery period. The Margaria Step Test results improved significantly in the 7-week group, but not in the 4-week group, over the baseline to post period but improved significantly in both groups over the baseline to the no-training/recovery period.
These findings show that the effects of plyometric training are mainly evidenced after a significant no-training/recovery period, in this case four weeks. If plyometric training is incorporated into training in season, it is likely to have no effect on performance improvement and could cause performance decrement. Plyometric training appears to be best used in the basic preparatory phase of training and not during periods of competitions.
Implication. Plyometric training is useful for basic training but its benefits only appear after a significant no-training/recovery period.
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