Introducing a Workout Program to Train Your Body for Maximum Explosiveness

You just got done with a new training program to increase your vertical jump and become more explosive.

You increased your jump by 8 inches, improved your compound lifts (mainly lifting for strength), and feel confident that your basketball game has improved because of it!

You jump into a game of pickup basketball with your friends and notice you can jump higher, but aren’t accelerating as fast and are getting passed by and can’t drive to the hoop. Why?

One reason is you just trained yourself to jump as high as you can, one time. In a basketball game do you jump once? Football? Soccer? No. In athletics you jump/make explosive movements multiple times in a row. You also trained yourself to be strong, which is a good start! But strength doesn’t equal explosiveness necessarily. You should focus on training your body for overall explosiveness, as you need every muscle in your body for those athletic movements!

Today I will introduce to you the phases for a total body explosiveness plan that I have used in my own training and believe is one of the best out there. I learned this workout program from strength coach Tim S. Grover and author of Jump Attack. I HIGHLY recommend researching Tim S. Grover and reading his book before starting this training plan and using it in conjunction with a professionally designed, comprehensive workout plan.

Mark Lambson 44in Box Jump

1. FIRE

The first phase of the program lasts about 3 weeks and teaches your muscles to elongate and fire in the correct sequence. This phase is crucial as it preps your ligaments, tendons and joints for the next phase. It also teaches your body to use ALL the muscles necessary for each explosive movement, not just one muscle group.

FIRE phase consists of isometric movements that are simple, but physically and mentally grueling. This phase includes a lot of holds (like holding a lunge for 60 seconds and more) and challenges you to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

These “holds” train your muscles to stabilize your body properly and prepare it for the force needed to propel yourself off the ground, land on the ground, and instantly jump off again. There is little to no movement throughout the exercises, so it feels like time slows down and makes it that much tougher to complete. Most people quit on FIRE phase, but you aren’t one of these people!

2. FORCE

After FIRE is completed your body will be ready for phase 2. Now is when weights are involved by combining them with plyometric movements for maximum explosiveness. These movements train your body to apply more force into the floor than you ever have before, increasing your ability to spring off the ground. Phase 1 elongated your muscles and now FORCE phase will work on shortening them again, creating maximum explosiveness.

Think of it this way; the faster you can get a muscle to lengthen and shorten, the more explosive it will be, like snapping a rubber band.

A lot of the workouts are grouped into supersets with a strength exercise and a plyometric exercise together (a superset is two or more exercises with little-to-no rest in between). The plyometric exercises aren’t just jumping in the air either, they train your body to land, absorb the impact, and explode back into the air. Not only will your first jump increase in speed and height, so will your second and third. This phase is meant to be done at maximum effort.

3. FLIGHT

The fun phase! You are done with the hard work of teaching your body to create enough force to take off, AND absorb force when you land so you can take off again. FLIGHT combines this new explosiveness you’ve trained with speed. A lot of the exercises are timed, where you try to complete as many reps as you can during the time. This is where you transfer what you’ve been training for into “game time” situations.

By training with explosive movements for speed, you’re training your reflexes to take over, so you don’t have to waste time thinking about where or how to jump next. One thing you will also find has benefited from the first two phases is your core strength. Without this base of core strength, you can risk injury of your hips and back.

I will embellish further into each phase in future blog posts, so be sure to stay tuned for further information including specific workouts for each phase! REMEMBER this plan only lasts for a few weeks. It works best when you include it in a comprehensive workout plan, so be sure to ask us how you can fit this jump training into your routine. Even better, a trainer at Iron Orr can take you through a plan!

-by Mark Lambson

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