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What Actually Are Plyometrics And Plyometric Training?

What Actually Are Plyometrics And Plyometric Training?
By Kevin Doberstein

I was first introduced to Plyometrics for competitive karate
tournaments. More specifically, sparring or point fighting. I
used plyometric-training theories to help me come off the line
faster and beat my opponent to the first point scored. Sometimes
a simple backfist punch was the only thing needed to win the
match. I also used Plyometric training to increase my kicking
speed. In this brief article, I will be discussing some
highlights of Plyometrics.

Plyometrics by definition is; a type of exercise using
explosive movements to develop muscular power, esp. bounding,
hopping, and jumping. This somewhat narrow interpretation
doesn’t go into detail what this training method can do to help
you with your chosen field of sport. It is without nutrition
particulars that coincide with plyometric training. Also, it
fails to specify which energy system is used by the body for
this type of conditioning.

The term “Plyometrics” was created in the mid-seventies by
track coaches looking for an edge.
Plyometric training stimulates the fast twitch muscle fiber.
The fast twitch or white fiber is responsible for explosive type
of muscular movements.

The main objective in Plyometric training is to improve
fastness through strength. This is accomplished by applying
exerted energy with velocity.

This process includes making the amortization portion of the
strength curve as short as possible to increase power in the
concentric motion. The strength curve is comprised of 3
components. The eccentric, amortization and the concentric. To
better explain let’s take the bench press for example. At the
beginning of the bench-press you are holding the barbell
overhead. As you lower it to your chest the eccentric (or
negative) portion is being preformed. When you stop at the
bottom, or on your chest, the amortization period takes place.
When the barbell is lifted off your chest, the concentric
movement is preformed.

Plyometrics is an anaerobic type of exercise, which means that
it is non-oxygen fueled. It uses adenosine triphosphate and
creatine phosphate (ATP/CP) for its energy source, which is
stored in the muscle tissue. When this ATP/CP is depleted, the
muscles draw glucose, which is stored in the liver. This glucose
converts back into ATP/CP in the muscle.

Because of the anaerobic nature of Plyometrics, you should
include pre-workout and post-workout nutrition. Both should
include complex and simple carbohydrates. Also a high-grade
protein is needed for fueling and replenishing.

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References:
Donald A. Chu, PHD (1998) Jumping Into Plyometrics.
Frederick Hatfield, PHD (2004) Fitness: The Complete Guide.

About the Author: The author, Kevin Doberstein is a Certified
Fitness Trainer who also owns Nature Boy Bodybuilding.  You can
check out his web site at
http://www.nature-boy-bodybuilding.com/” Nature Boy
Bodybuilding and his Nature Boy Bodybuilding Blog”
http://thor-body-building.tripod.com/natureboyblog/”. Natural
bodybuilding is the main focus of this blog. Bodybuilding
nutrition and fitness articles. Workout exercise programs.

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