Training Q&A |
with Prof. Angel Spassov, Ph.D.,
us your OverSpeed Training questions
QUESTION: What surface
would you consider for optimum results in plyometric training? Would you use a
different surface for depth jumps than you would for bounding exercises. I have
the availability to do my training on a spring-loaded gymnastic floor. Would this
be beneficial or counter productive? Also would depth jumps using a sand pit be
of any value?
The question has to be divided into two parts: The most effective
surface and the safest surface. If we are talking for the most effective, the
surface has to be as hard as possible. The track at the Atlanta Olympic Games
in 1996 was the hardest ever, and this is one of the explanations for such extraordinarily
results, like Michel Johnson's astonishing 19.32 in the 200 meters. On the other
hand, that kind of surface is difficult to be used in workouts because of the
impact on the feet, joints, bones and tendons of the legs. That's why for maximum
benefit I would prefer to use a wooden floor, which is hard enough for training
but at the same time not as harmful as other hard surfaces. Basketball and volleyball
players, who do a lot of jumping, play their matches on wooden floors. For the
safest surface, definitely we have prefer all-grass fields, and then everything
else. Success of any kind of plyomeric work will depend from the circumstances
how short the contact time is between the feet and the ground after landing until
take off. Therefore, the softer the surface is (including sand), the lighter the
impact of the jumps, because if you stay longer time on the ground after landing
and before take off, you are doing strength work, not explosive work, consuming
only the negative part from the plyometrics -- the amortization phase. For the
maximum effect, best results can be reached through a variety of plyometric work,
in terms of how heavy and fast it is. In this the number of the playometric jumps
has to be included too.
QUESTION: I read an article you wrote
on the benefits of high step ups and was wondering if they are part of your weight
training programs, especially as far as the women's soccer teams are concerned.
High step ups are an important part of any conditioning
program because of the complex development of dynamic strength in the lower extremities.
The most common starting position requires the foot of the stepping-up leg on
the box, the other leg on the floor up on the toes, and the thigh of the stepping-up
leg parallel to the floor. I incorporate step ups for conditioning in all OverSpeed
Training programs with varying loads, depending on the period, from 2 to 4 sets
and 10 to 30 reps for each leg.
QUESTION: I have a 10-year-old
son who plays soccer at an academy in the UK. We have been told that he will become
a world-class striker if he can improve his speed. We are really worried and all
our son wants is to become a professional footballer. If his speed is the only
thing that is stopping him then would it be wrong for us to not try and help him?
Fortunately your son is only 10 years old and at that age the
dreams are the most important driving force for his future. It's not very important
how fast he is now. It is important how fast he will be when he starts to play
for the first team of his academy. Physically he is finishing the decline of the
little period between 8 and 10 years when the endocrine system reaches one of
the lowest points. But from now on he will start getting better and better. There
will be another crisis between age of 13 and 14, for about 5 to 8 months. I'm
telling you to stay calm and let the boy play this great game.