Low and Moderate Plyometric Training Frequency Produces Greater Jumping and Sprinting Gains Compared With High Frequency.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of 3 different plyometric training frequencies (e.g., 1 day per week, 2 days per week, 4 days per week) associated with 3 different plyometric training volumes on maximal strength, vertical jump performance, and sprinting ability. Forty-two students were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups: control (n = 10, 7 sessions of drop jump (DJ) training, 1 day per week, 420 DJs), 14 sessions of DJ training (n = 12, 2 days per week, 840 DJs), and 28 sessions of DJ training (n = 9, 4 days per week, 1680 DJs). The training protocols included DJ from 3 different heights 20, 40, and 60 cm. Maximal strength (1 repetition maximum [1RM] and maximal isometric strength), vertical height in countermovement jumps and DJs, and 20-m sprint time tests were carried out before and after 7 weeks of plyometric training. No significant differences were observed among the groups in pre-training in any of the variables tested. No significant changes were observed in the control group in any of the variables tested at any point. Short-term plyometric training using moderate training frequency and volume of jumps (2 days per week, 840 jumps) produces similar enhancements in jumping performance, but greater training efficiency ( approximately 12% and 0.014% per jump) compared with high jumping (4 days per week, 1680 jumps) training frequency ( approximately 18% and 0.011% per jump). In addition, similar enhancements in 20-m-sprint time, jumping contact times and maximal strength were observed in both a moderate and low number of training sessions per week compared with high training frequencies, despite the fact that the average number of jumps accomplished in 7S (420 jumps) and 14S (840 jumps) was 25 and 50% of that performed in 28S (1680 jumps). These observations may have considerable practical relevance for the optimal design of plyometric training programs for athletes, given that a moderate volume is more efficient than a higher plyometric training volume.