Home > Hiring the Right Personal Trainer > Hiring the Right Personal Trainer…Part 5

Hiring the Right Personal Trainer…Part 5

The most abused training technique: plyometrics.

Plyometrics is a type of high-intensity power training in which a muscle is loaded and contracted in rapid sequence.

Also known as shock training, plyometrics was developed by Yuri Verkhoshansky with the goal of utilizing elastic energy to jump higher and throw farther. This elastic energy is generated during explosive muscular contractions, such as landing from a jump and then rapidly contracting the muscle by jumping up as high as possible.

Plyometrics, while not dangerous, are an extremely advanced training method, which should not be performed by the casual athlete. While running, your body absorbs a force up to three to four times your body weight. Plyometrics can generate forces up to six times your body weight, placing demands on your joints and tendons they may not be prepared to handle.

So What ?

One of the main concerns with plyometrics involves their long-term use by people who have not been properly instructed in their use. Plyometrics were designed to be used 2 or 4 times a year, whenever an increase in peak power production was required to improve performance with each phase lasting 3-4 weeks. Compare that to the majority of trainers who use plyometrics with their clients year round. Not only does this increase a client’s risk of injury, but it reduces the effectiveness of the technique over time.

What Your Trainer Does Not Know

In addition to knowing how to implement plyometrics, the trainer must make certain to teach the client proper landing mechanics. Improper landing mechanics is one of the most common causes of non-contact ACL injuries in young women. 

The heavier you are, the greater the risk of injury. A heavier athlete will generate greater forces upon landing than a lighter athlete. However, there is a difference if you are 225 lbs at 8% body fat instead of 225 lbs at 30% body fat.

 In order to ensure the client can properly handle the large forces generated, they need to be able to squat a specific percentage of their bodyweight. If you weigh 225 lbs, but struggle to properly squat with 200 lbs, there is no way you are going to safely handle 6 times your body weight upon landing. Your tendons will disintegrate like month old Olive Garden bread sticks. 

 Athletes training with plyometrics during their athletic season are the definition of crazy. Most sports already involve a plyometric component and performing additional work in the weight room is going to decrease your performance on the field.

What to Ask

Ask your potential trainer what criteria they have for determining when and how to implement plyometrics. Remember, plyometrics are usually reserved when an increase in power output is desired, such as before a competitive event. They should not be used just because your trainer ran out of different exercises for you to perform.

As you can see, there are numerous factors to consider when hiring a trainer. My goal has been to empower you with the best information possible to ensure you hire a trainer capable of helping you reach your goals.

The Banda Strength Institute, dedicated to clients like you with the same goal as ours – to be the best.

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