Published on March 7th, 2013 | by Joe Starks0
The 7 Most Critical Vertical Jump Training Mistakes and Misconceptions (Part 3)
So it comes to the third part of our series on the critical mistakes people make when training for their verticals. (If you haven’t checked out my previous posts in this series, I highly advise you start there so you don’t miss anything: The 7 Most Critical Vertical Jump Training Mistakes and Misconceptions (Part 1) | The 7 Most Critical Vertical Jump Training Mistakes and Misconceptions (Part 2))
In the final post of the series, we will see the problems of overtraining and muscle plateuing, read carefully if you want to avoid shooting yourself in the foot while training.
Mistake #6: Hitting a muscle plateau
Speed, flexibility, balance, technique and power; these are the core aspects of a good vertical and can only be achieved through a mix of plyometrics, jumping training and weight lifting. Neglecting to focus on all three of these training methods can lead to the dreaded muscle plateau.
It may be true that you will see results by focusing on just one type of training (that’s the reason many athletes are lead to believe it’s fine to focus on whatever training method they personally like most). However, doing so will limit your max potential and your end results due to your muscles plateauing.
When you focus on only one type of exercise, your muscles adapt to minimize fiber stress, eventually leading to a muscle plateau!
You can avoid the plateau by alternating between plyos, jumping and weight lifting into the same workout or across different workouts. That way, you won’t hit a wall and your results will continue to improve at a steady pace (nothing is truly steady in working out though, so always listen to your body and pay close attention to your workouts).
If you focus one only one training method and eventually hit a muscle plateau you must break it in order to keep improving. Breaking muscle plateaus can only be done by weeks (sometimes months) of alternating training methods while ensuring that all muscle groups are trained equally and correctly. Understandably, this can waste a lot of precious time and effort for something that’s completely, 100% avoidable.
Remember that variety in training is the key to success!
Mistake #7: Not resting enough and overtraining
Ah, these are pet peeves of mine as the most wasteful ways to diminish your own vertical results. Lack of downtime between exercises and senseless overtraining can lead to all sorts of nasty problems, from diminishing training results to injuries to permanent health problems.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again: Overtraining and lack of rest is like shooting yourself in the foot!
If you workout without a pause, even if you pay meticulous attention to your diet, your workouts and your exercise rotation, you will eventually experience diminishing results because of overtraining. If left unchecked, overtraining can lead to an ultimate workout plateau (worse than the muscle plateau discussed above) and eventually to fatigue (or even serious injuries).
Many athletes do the depressing mistake of thinking that diminishing results are only caused from undertraining specific muscle groups, so they try to train EVEN harder In hopes of pushing through their performance plateaus. However, this only works to overwork their muscles even more and increase their fatigue levels, decreasing their athletic performance.
Overtraining is defined as: “the accumulation of training and/or non-training stress resulting in long-term decrease in performance capacity”.
In simple terms this means that if you work out without any regard to your physical and mental stress levels (not eating right, not planning regular recovery days, doing steroids etc) your workouts will eventually start working against you instead of improving your athletic performance.
The importance of recovery days cannot be overstated. Muscle stress can slowly accumulate during the course of months, so it can be particularly hard to pinpoint the exact moment you’ve started overtraining. Regular recovery days ensure you minimize the risk of overtraining, and make it possible for yourself to identify the telltale signs of overtraining when it happens.
Overtraining can destroy your vertical jump progress and apart from avoiding it altogether, the best way to fix overtraining and fatigue is to smartly increase your recovery times and spread workouts of different muscle groups across the week.
Remember, NO REST = NO GAIN and recovery is as important as working out!
This is because you actually have to rest instead of working out some days in order for the other workouts to really have an impact as muscles only develop while in resting state. When working out, we actually wear and tear our muscles down, which rebuild themselves while we rest. If we deprive our muscles of rest, we effectively kill off our muscle growth AND build up fatigue.
Overtraining and not getting enough rest are opposite sides of the same coin and I will be looking into these problems in much more detail in the coming months.
And this concludes the 3-part blog post series on the most critical vertical jump training mistakes and misconceptions I’ve prepared for you. I sure hope you’ve learned something through these posts and avoid mistakes that plague thousands of athletes out there.
If you’ve got any questions whatsoever, shoot them below and don’t forget to sign up for our Jump Higher Series newsletter for tons of insider tips on vertical jumping!