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Squatting Power Part 4: Give Your Vertical a Lift



Posted in: Articles by ProSource, Training Articles
By John Davies - Chat with Coach Davies on the ProSource Fitness Forum | Feb 21, 2007



The real pathway to a powerful vertical jump lies in the weight room, with very precise protocols in the classic pushing, pulling and squatting lifts. While the emphasis of the "Squatting Power" series isn't aimed directly at improving your vertical jump, this installment will decidedly kick-start you in this area.

As a bonus, this session will not only improve your vertical leaping power, but equally develop a strong, lean and stable core. The workout starts with the Push Press/Push Jerk, one of the most important lifts in developing a powerful vertical jump and considered one of the six "Focus Lifts" in Renegade Training. It's a total body movement that develops the shoulders, back, the trunk and legs. Additionally, this lift is a very close third in total power expenditure only behind the Power Snatch or Power Clean and therefore is invaluable to any athlete/exercise enthusiast.

Among the myriad of keys to watch in this exercise, I wish to stress is to use a correct training load to ensure that proper posture is maintained and movement is generated correctly. The key may just be to go light enough that your posture is maintained.

To perform the push jerk, start with good upright posture. The chest is out and the weight is lifted with an explosive movement generated from powerful leg drive. Initiate the movement by first performing the counter-movement of dipping down slightly, then driving upward with the legs, simultaneously extending your arms overhead. In the Push Press, the bar is caught with the legs straight, whereas in the Push Jerk you legs are bent in a (somewhat) quarter-squat position and then you stand up. Intensity level for this movement is between 40 and 65 percent of your one-rep max, performed for a total of 4 sets of 6 reps. Rest intervals should be between 35 and 45 seconds.

Next is the Drop Snatch, one of my favorite standard lifts within Renegade Training. Like the Push Press/Jerk, it's a total body movement that will help develop an extraordinary back and legs. This lift should be one of the basic cornerstones of all lifting regimens, as it will help build tremendous speed, muscular power, dynamic range of motion in the hips and shoulders, and fluidity of motion.

To perform the Drop Snatch, start with the bar on your shoulders as in a classic Olympic squat, with your grip wide as in the classic Snatch lift. Your chest should be up and out as you begin the lift. I would also suggest you focus intently upon a spot straight ahead of you and allow that to become your focal point, which will help you maintain your balance. Now drive with extraordinary speed under the bar as you drop into a full overhead squat position with arms straightened. It will appear that the bar barely moves when completed correctly.

From this rock-bottom squat, drive your hips up and through while you come to a complete standing position. Return the bar with care to the start and repeat the entire sequence for a total of six reps. The recommended intensity level for this movement is between 40 and 65 percent of your one-rep max, performed for a total of 4 sets of 6 reps. Rest intervals, depending on work threshold capability, should be between 35 and 45 seconds.

Returning to our original training template, you'll find this session fits perfectly into our mid-week session, 48 hours before and after our other sessions. This is an extremely intense total body training session that is equally very efficient in hitting every major muscle group. Furthermore, past our Focus Lifts, our supplemental work should include additional hamstring work. Hamstrings, being a fast-twitch muscle, require a higher level of intensity and should be performed with great speed of movement. This session should include Glute-Ham Raises (either natural or with the aid of a dedicated glute ham bench) along with Russian Split Jumps. For information on how to perform these movements please review "Squatting Power Part 3".
  WEDNESDAY
Focus Lift Push Press or Push Jerk
sets 4
reps 6
intensity level 40-65%

Drop Snatch
sets 4
reps 6
intensity level 40-65%
Supplemental Lifts Natural Glute Ham Raise
sets 3
reps 1-3
intensity level 90%+

Russian Split Jumps
sets 3
reps 3
intensity level 85%
Isometric Postural Holds As noted
Static isometric postural holds
At the conclusion of each of our training session we make use of a series of static isometric holds that are tremendous for building a strong, stable trunk and static flexibility work (found in the Renegade DVD " Pink") This will in turn allow us to maintain better posture throughout our life and of course carryover to the balance of our training. While they appear to be somewhat mundane--no lets say, incredibly boring, they will have a pronounced impact upon your goals. Of interest, quite obviously each of these movements involves no equipment and can be done anywhere. There are no glitzy machines in this program and the choice to succeed is yours. The four basic holds are:
  • Plank: this basic hold can have such extraordinary impact that remains one of best movements to strengthen the entire core area. With toes and forearms on the ground, keep back flat and bring navel in. Hold stance for approximately 30 seconds, repeat twice.
  • The side plank is another excellent static exercise for strengthening and stabilizing the trunk. Plank movements are extraordinary for strengthening the transverse abdominus that wraps around the entire core. Self explanatory, with forearm against the ground and top leg stacked atop the lower one with the navel drawn in; hold position with a totally balanced and straight line for a period of 15 seconds. Repeat twice.
  • From the all four's position, raise leg up and opposite arm up, maintaining at parallel position for approximately 30 seconds. Thumb should be pointed up and navel drawn in again. This seemingly simple static exercise will create havoc on the entire posterior chain from the hamstrings to the upper shoulders and build a solid trunk. Repeat 2 sets
  • From the all four's position, raise leg up and opposite arm up, maintaining at parallel position for approximately 30 seconds. Thumb should be pointed up and navel drawn in again. This seemingly simple static exercise will create havoc on the entire posterior chain from the hamstrings to the upper shoulders and build a solid trunk. Repeat 2 sets
At this stage if you have been following the recommended session in the Squat-Power series you will have experienced some pronounced benefits. Further installments will continue along this path to give you a template that will build a powerful and athletic physique that will help you live a healthy and active life always. Read Squat Power Part V Missed Part I of this series? Read it here. Missed Part II of this series? Read it here. Missed Part III of this series? Read it here.
Editors Note Training Renegade Style is the most demanding style of training available but it produces a common theme -- champions. Champions who stand above the rest and are ready to take on all challengers. Are you ready for greatness or do you just want to be a part of the pack? Find out about the ultra-secret, yet simple diet and supplement plan that Renegade athletes make use of at Simplicity Series
John Davies, Founder Renegade Training Chat Live with Coach Davies in the Renegade Training forums!




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