Plyometric Training Thoughts


Plyometric training is not a stand-alone training method; it is highly compatible and significantly enhanced by strength training. It is also closely related to speed development. Most importantly it is NOT a conditioning tool! Because of the explosive nature of the work it is of high neural demand, therefore it should not be used for conditioning. It is a power development tool. It should almost never be trained in a climate of fatigue, with a few notable exceptions. Those exceptions are sports that demand power endurance like soccer, rugby, basketball, 400 meters or 400 meter hurdles. In those sports the fatigue element is only introduced after the technical component of the exercise is mastered. This will minimize risk of injury. The stimulus for adaptation is not volume, it is intensity, and nothing should ever compromise the intensity of the movements. Less is definitely more.

Too much emphasis has been placed on volume in terms of the number of contacts. Over the years with a better understanding of the application of the method, I have reduced the number of contacts in a training session and a microcycle with equal or better results. In the past it was not uncommon to perform 300- 400 contacts in a session, today a high volume session is in the range of 90- 120 contacts with a range of 250 – 400 contacts for a microcycle. I have learned that more is definitely is not better. If used properly it is a highly effective tool to stimulate the nervous system, but if used improperly it can have the opposite and dull, if not deaden the nervous system and lead to injury.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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