Overspeed Training
OverSpeed Training Q&A

with Prof. Angel Spassov, Ph.D., D.Sc.


Send 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.