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Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:51 am

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Junior Masters Athlete
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:59 am
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TRAINING FOR HORIZONTAL JUMPS

Hi,
The other threads for long jump (LJ) and triple jump (TJ) “say” that the basic training methods (means) are: 1. weights 2. plyometrics (plyos) , and 3. sprints (quality ones).
1. Weight-lifting. It seems that without it it’s not possible to “build” strong and explosive legs. To summarize what other masters say:
Most used drills are: squats (on one and two legs), deadlifts, lunges, step-ups, etc.
Free weights are better than machines.
However, I have problems with the back (spinal column) – low back pain, scoliosis, osteochondrosis, lordosis, etc. The other problems is that I am a bit ectomorph (weak physically). So, I suppose that big weights are contra-indicated for me, especially squat jumps (they can be really devastating for the spinal column, though they can be very useful for building explosive power).
Sometimes I make carefully squats and deadlifts only with the bar (20 kg = 45 lb).
Do you think that leg presses can be a good (though not perfect) substitute for squats etc.?

2. Plyos. The drills I like most are:
- Pop-ups (running with jumping at every 2nd, 3rd, or 4th stride, imitating LJ take-off)
- Multi-jumps or bounding (normally 4-8 jumps) – on one and two legs (alternating, LL-RR, L-RR, etc.); sometimes these also make my spine hurt, especially in humid/windy weather or on harder surface. A basic rule in plyos is to do them on soft surface (grass, gym mats, dirt, etc.) and with shoes with thicker heel.
- Standing LJ, TJ, double, 4-, etc. It’s important to change the leg for the first stride.
- (Split) jumps from lunge position
- Quick step-ups
- Jumps with trying to reach (with hand, leg, arm) a tree branch in the park
- Hops over hurdles
- Running over hurdles (with different attacking leg)
- Running (imitating jumping) with straight legs pushed forward
- Jumps on stairs (upward) – on one and two legs (both bunny and with alternating legs)

For me, depth (box) jumps, tuck jumps, jumps on stairs downward, and even bunny jumps put too much stress on the spine and on the whole body, so maybe they are not suitable for masters.

Researches recommend, especially for masters, to mix weight-lifting with plyos (for example, standing LJ and TJ) between the sets – for better stimulating the fast-twitch muscle fibers (these are also the advices of Mattias Sunneborn from Sweden – last month at European Veterans Indoor in Gent, Belgium, he jumped 7,11 m! during the WR pentathlon in M40; mamma mia !; in 1995-1996 he jumped 8,20 – 8,21 m; at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 he was 8th with 8,06 m) .

Of course, LJ and TJ (with different take-off leg) from short approaches (from 4-8 strides, in the beginning even from 1-3 strides) are obligatory.

3. Sprints
- accelerations (speed-up, build-up?)
- starts (which ones do you recommend – crouch or standing?)
- approaches (in the beginning of the season – preparatory period – approach-type running on the track, and not on the runway)
- short distance sprints (Weia Reinboud said she does 2 x 80-60-40m or vice versa)
- alternating sprints: 10-30m fast, 10-30m relax, etc.

4. Speed endurance:
Do you think that longer runs (120-250 m) are needed for jumpers? Having in mind that the approach is about 30m long, specific power and speed endurance can be developed with multiple sprints (and approach-type running) at distances of 35-60 m. What do you think?

5. Is aerobic training (easy runs 1-2 miles) necessary for jumpers? It is definitely good for the health (cardio-vascular system), and it’s a powerful anti-depressant (as Christopher McDougall says in his book “Born To Run”). It gives the body some endurance for the greater workloads later. Though it detrains the fast-twitch muscle fibres, it may be included in the autumn, after the competitions. In the winter the jogging may be replaced by fartlek (100-200m with 70 % effort, 100-300m easy run, etc.), or 4-6 x 200-300m with 70 % effort, as the recovery is walking/ jogging back for the same distance.
Can it be combined with explosive training in the same workout?
6. Can you recommend efficient combinations of drills in one workout, e.g. sprints and jumps, plyos and longer runs (120 – 200m), weights and sprints, etc.?

7. The famous discus thrower (now M60) Tom Fahey recommends to the masters to train 12 months a year, otherwise they may get injured when renewing training after a long rest (more than 2-3 months). However, another advice says that if a master wants to prolong his /her sport longevity, the efforts during the one-year period should be distributed this way: 2 months rest, 3 months easy training, 5 months hard training, and 2 months competitions.

We don’t have enough time and energy to train for hours every day, so choosing the correct type, volume and intensity of exercises is quite important as we age.

I find it impossible to train more than 3 times per week, and for more than 1 hour per workout. Sprints, plyos and weights are hard for the body, and the body needs to rest and recover, sometimes 48 h, sometimes even 72 h. Otherwise exhaustion and overtraining will enter through an open door.

It was written somewhere that training with maximum intensity more than 5 h per week reduces the immunity, and the training for than 10 h per week increases the risk for overtraining. Maybe these are advices for younger athletes?

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to be comprehensive. This is my first post here, so I am a bit excited and find it difficult to keep it short.
I will be grateful for any competent advices.

Greetings,
Ventsi, M47, long jump (at present 5,80m = 19 feet), triple jump (12 m)



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Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:42 pm

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Senior Masters Athlete
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:32 am
Posts: 17
Location: Seattle, WA

Great first post! I'll give you some of my thoughts and feedback. I'm a former 23' long jumper and 48' triple jumper. I say former because once I finished college I decided to concentrate on my other, less back-breaking loves, shotput and discus. Like you I've had back issues throughout my life. So here's some "back friendly" thoughts from my experience:

Regarding weights:
If you don't want to squat, I would concentrate on the olympic lifts, particularly the overhead squat. That will limit your weight (good), and build your core. Also front squats are easier on your back; they put more emphasis on your quads. Olympic lifting forces you to use less weight and concentrate on your form more. Make sure you have good form!

Try other squat alternatives, like safety squats, Zane squats (with a harness) squat machines. You should still try to get some raw leg power via weights if you can. But not so much that it negatively affects your jumping (injuries). Remember, jumper first, weightlifter second. You'll have to do your own experiments to assess what works best for you of course.

Full squats, front or back, can be hard on your back. I mean FULL as in past parallel where you can't go any lower. In order to do these with little back pain, you need to work on your hip flexibility. Don't do full squats/snatches/cleans if you have "buttwink" (you lose curve in your lower back, and it "humps" out a bit).

Really, I would just stay away from (regular) squats and deadlifts. You don't need them.

A good leg builder is bicycling. A colleague jumped over 50' using nothing but long distance bicycling instead of weightlifting.

Rowing is a good and gentle lower-back builder to strengthen it up gradually, and also a good warm up before weights.

If you have the cash, buy a hip harness from Ironmind.com and do "hip squats" I think they're called. Takes the load of the lower back.

Leg presses can be good, but look for a machine with the largest angle and/or drop the back pad down as far as it will go. Otherwise you have shearing forces on your back and it puts unnecessary stress on you disks. Do what you can do without causing pain (joint) the next day!

Don't do squat jumps. Do step ups.

Do an exercise for your hamstrings. Glute-Ham Raise if you can. You especially should work on your "posterior chain" (back/hamstrings).

Jumping:
Don't do bunny hops, too hard on back.

Don't do depth (box) jumps. Only jump UP to high boxes. Same with stairs. Only jump/bound up stairs. Walk down. Double footed (bunny)jumps up stairs are ok.

Bounding is always good. Do big bounds, and smaller, speed bounds.

Jump on grass.

Go to the beach. Do full triple jumps and training there. Javier Sotomayor did a lot of training on the beach. Course he lives in Cuba :)

I have a 4' retaining wall in my driveway I jump onto for fun. jumping over a tennis net sideways multiple times is fun also.

Sprints:
"crouch or standing"? Do you mean using starting blocks?

Speed Endurance:
Larry Myricks was a proponent of longer sprints to help jumping. For keeping weight down/keeping in shape endurance wise, it's better than distance running, that's for sure. Fast twitch muscle fibers can actually convert to slow twitch when you distance run, don't want that! Keep it brief and fast.

That being said, most of us (myself included) do jogging esp. as our metabolism slows down, to keep weight down and stay "heart healthy"...fartleks are good. Also slow running will build up the connective tissue that will mean less injuries when jumping. Tough trade offs, huh? ;)

All year training:
Yea, I agree with Tom. Seeing older world class throwers who's knees and back are toast, I kind of believe you only have so much intense heavy weight lifting in your body, so better to back off a bit and save your joints. I'll bet it's the same with jump training, the body can only deal with so many repeated assaults!

We only have so much time (during the training session AND during our careers) so it's important to make the wisest decisions regarding the exercises we choose, and how much to do them. Keep it specific, and throw out those exercises that may be less appropriate. So again as an example, things like overhead squats and step ups will serve you much better in the long run than deadlifts, imho. Also there's a lot to be said for the value of bounding as a substitute for some weightlifting. You've only got so much gas in the tank, so use it wisely. Your goal is to jump as far as possible, not lift as much weight as possible.



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Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:20 am

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Junior Masters Athlete
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:59 am
Posts: 3

Christian, thank you for the interesting and useful comments.
I was surprised to learn that the problems with your back (spinal column) were caused by the triple jump training. Quite discouraging for me. Maybe during bounding drills I have to put an elastic broad belt around my waist (it stabilizes the low back).
I can’t find online a really good and comprehensive article about medical contra-indications for practicing certain athletic events and drills.
Till now I have heard that TJ may cause problems with the knees (knee joint). That’s why Usain Bolt does not want to try it. Hope he will try the long jump after 2-3 years.

“…I would concentrate on …particularly the overhead squat. Also front squats are easier on your back; they put more emphasis on your quads”
Very useful & nice to hear - that’s what I want. I’m a bit afraid of the snatch and clean & jerk movements, so I will try overhead and front squats only.

”A good leg builder is bicycling…”.
Well, I am afraid that long slow bicycling will have a similar effect to long slow running. Maybe it’s better to do a bicycling fartlek – alternating 100-200m fast, 200-400m relaxing, etc. I like bicycle sprints as well. It’s a pity that streets are polluted are full of dangerous traffic, and parks are far away, full of people, dogs, etc.

“Rowing is a good and gentle lower-back builder to strengthen it up gradually, and also a good warm up before weights”.
Thanks - that was new for me.

”hip harness …"hip squats" …Takes the load of the lower back.”
Sounds interesting. Worth a try.

”Leg presses can be good, but look for a machine with the largest angle and/or drop the back pad down as far as it will go”.
Yes, that’s a basic rule. The low back should be fully supported (almost immobilized).

”Do step ups”.
I will !

”Do an exercise for your hamstrings”.
Someone said that deadlifts are useful for the hamstring. Burrowing in sand (on the beach, etc.) is also good. Fans of backward running also say it’s good for the hamstring. Curls in the gym (to be honest, I feel as a stupid robot in the gym; exercises there may be useful, but they are not very natural, and the whole environment is not natural).

”Don't do bunny hops, too hard on back”.
Agree, I don’t feel comfortable with them.

”Don't do depth (box) jumps. Only jump UP to high boxes”.
Fully agree. Jumping UP is important for correcting the take-off angle. Mike Powell says: “...The thing that I try to tell coaches, get your athletes to think of the long jump as a vertical jump. It’s really not a horizontal jump. The distance comes from the speed…”.

“Same with stairs. Only jump/bound up stairs. Walk down. Double footed (bunny) jumps up stairs are ok”.
OK.

”Sprints: "crouch or standing"? Do you mean using starting blocks?”
Yes, they may be done with starting blocks, or without them ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv-tilTUMvg ). Before the “ready” signal, the knee is on the ground. I think they are good leg-strengtheners – that’s important for the triple jump. However, starts from standing position are closer to the approach.

“Speed Endurance: Larry Myricks was a proponent of longer sprints to help jumping. For keeping weight down/ keeping in shape endurance wise, it's better than distance running, that's for sure. Fast twitch muscle fibers can actually convert to slow twitch when you distance run, don't want that! Keep it brief and fast.”
I have NO problems with body weight, on the opposite, I am an ectomorph (184 cm, 69 kg = 6 feet, 153 lb.).
One thing that embarrasses me about the long sprints: if they are intense (let’s say, with 90-95 % effort) and frequently done, they may reduce the immunity (scientific research has proven that!).
And second: they require much energy that may be used for some more specific (for the horizontal jumps) drills: sprints, plyos, etc. It sounds more logical to me that short multiple sprints (6-8 x 35-60m) will build that specific speed endurance necessary for the jumper. During a competition, during his (her) 6th attempt, he must have enough energy (reserves) to run fast to the board and then to jump explosively (so he needs to be fresh even then!). You are what you train to be!

”… slow running …. Tough trade offs, huh?”
Yes, really. 

”All year training: Yea, I agree with Tom. … better to back off a bit and save your joints. ..”
I didn’t understand. Tom Fahey recommends 12-month training. Do you advise the same, or you recommend some rest (2-3 months) for giving time to the joints, muscles, etc., to recover?

”…Keep it specific, and throw out those exercises that may be less appropriate.”
Good advice.

“…things like overhead squats and step ups will serve you much better in the long run than deadlifts… there's a lot to be said for the value of bounding as a substitute for some weightlifting. You've only got so much gas in the tank, so use it wisely. Your goal is to jump as far as possible, not lift as much weight as possible.”

I will definitely follow these advices. Please note that I am not a fan of weight-lifting. However, I don’t see another way (I remember the bicycling) to build some strength in my legs – this is my weak point. And this is a reserve for improving the results. Medicine ball throws are also good as plyometrics for the upper body.
What about jumping in sand (on the beach, or even in the sand pit) – both standing upwards, on the spot, and bounding – it seems these are good leg-strengtheners?

Some more considerations:
- Protein intake is obligatory after strength and explosive training, right? Are protein powders better (easier digestible and muscle-building) than protein bars (which I like more, but they are much more expensive)?
- Medical science says that too many sprints and jumps for a long period may cause arthritis and even arteriosclerosis.

Well, enough for today. I hope that other masters-jumpers will share their opinions as well.



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Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:23 am

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Senior Masters Athlete
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:32 am
Posts: 17
Location: Seattle, WA

Ventsi:
Hi, some more thoughts in response to your comments :)

So I wouldn't necessarily say all my back problems were caused by TJ training. There may have been some genetic predispositions in there as well. My dad always complained about "pulling his back out" (whatever that meant). I don't want to discourage you from doing something you love. I think I made some mistakes, and trained too hard, or not smartly enough. I think the main thing is to build up slowly and listen to your body, and take notes. Make it scientific. If it hurts, stop! Sounds simplistic, but that's one of the hardest things in the world to do, when you're all warmed up and ready to train, and excited. Bruce Jenner had a great quote that when ever he would feel something "about to go" he would stop and sit down for 10 minutes. Then warm up again and try again. Then if it still hurt/was bothering, he would assess and either quit or continue with alternate exercises.

Protein: Yes, you should have a protein heavy snack/meal/drink after working out. The most your body can assimilate at once is 40 grams. A natural source is best (scrambled eggs with some yolks removed; chicken breast, etc.). Otherwise a protein powder. I would limit protein bars; lots of extra sugar, which can negatively affect your energy and recovery. They are convenient, so use them, but only if first two are not options. You should eat protein within 1/2 hour of training if possible.

Bicycling: Yes, fartlek type of training is best. I grew up around a lot of hills, so that really helped. Hard 1 minute, followed by 5 min. recovery or something like that. worked pretty well. But I wouldn't go overboard on the slow twitch muscle thing. Still good to get your legs as strong as possible, and bicycling will help you do that. Have you seen track bicyclist's legs? Might help you to look at how they train.

hamstrings: Another, kind of silly exercise is to walk around sitting in an office chair with wheels. Try it and tell me how it hits your hamstrings :)

Speed Endurance: Yes, short 35-60m drills would do well for you. Just remember that shorter sprints are more intense and the injury risk rises. Particularly to the achilles and hamstrings. More specific weight training exercises to strengthen those areas would be smart.

Jumping in the sand is awesome. Good specific strength builder AND easier shock forces when landing.



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Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:25 am

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Junior Masters Athlete
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:33 am
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I have been lifting weights to gain muscle and to lose weight. I can tell I’m gaining more muscle in my arms but I’m not losing any weight either, Nor have I gain any. I have cut down on all of the bad foods and I have been exercising more, but for some reason I cant go below how much I weight now Why is that ?
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Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:13 am

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Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:24 am
Posts: 202
Location: Utrecht (Netherlands)

zhulin wrote:
one-year period should be distributed this way: 2 months rest, 3 months easy training, 5 months hard training, and 2 months competitions.


Two months rest is far too much. A few weeks at most, we oldies lose too much in a month. I train nearly the year round.

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Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:46 am

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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:59 am
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Weia, thank you for replying.

Zhulin simply copied a paragraph from my first post (see above), without giving any answer, and inserted some stupid links in it.
Maybe a troll.



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