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  1. #1
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    Some guidance please

    In general do you guys train people based on age a lot differently. If someone who is 30 and can squat 1.5x bw squat and wants to improve their athleticism do you train him the same way as a 20 year old with similar stats? My question is based on RFD and whether or not it significantly gets lower by that age. A 20 year old could approach strength work and explosive work in monthly cycles because they have time on their side. The person at 30 who wants to achieve his goal might have to work on both at the same time. Just a topic for discussion and when do you guys think RFD drops down significantly or enough to where that becomes the priority and strength doesn't?
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    Originally Posted by Bills10 View Post
    In general do you guys train people based on age a lot differently. If someone who is 30 and can squat 1.5x bw squat and wants to improve their athleticism do you train him the same way as a 20 year old with similar stats? My question is based on RFD and whether or not it significantly gets lower by that age. A 20 year old could approach strength work and explosive work in monthly cycles because they have time on their side. The person at 30 who wants to achieve his goal might have to work on both at the same time. Just a topic for discussion and when do you guys think RFD drops down significantly or enough to where that becomes the priority and strength doesn't?
    The "I'm slow because I'm old" argument is largely BS. Same goes for the "I'm fat because my metabolism has slowed down" argument.

    Adults don't get slow and fat because their bodies force them to, it is because their priorities change from their vertical jump and 40 yard dash, to work and family.

    I would imagine that you would see virtually no change in RFD between a 20 year old and a 30 year old if they maintained their current training and activity level.

    Look at a NFL kicker or punter. They can easily have 15-20 year careers without any decrease in production. The reduction in speed you see in other positions and sports is largely due to "wear and tear" and not a slow metabolism or lower T levels, or any other broscience.
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    Registered User Bills10's Avatar
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    So all things being equal as far as no injuries or anything you would train both of them the same way. That's interesting and thanks. One last question if you had 2-3 months to improve somebodys vertical/speed would you recommend a heavy day and a dynamic day weekly or a 5x5 routine. Taking the athlete above which in my case is my brother. He's 30 squats 1.6x bodyweight and has a standing vertical of 26 inches and off a depth jump 29 inches. I want to help him but I don't know if he should get stronger for 8 Weeks or work on strength and speed. Thanks!
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    Yes, if they are healthy and in good shape I see no reason to train them any different than you would a 20 year old.

    With a 1.6 bw squat max, he is kind of borderline whether he would benefit from anymore strength training. Have your brother squat 60% of his bw to parallel for 5 reps. If he can do these 5 reps in 5 seconds, I would incorporate plyometric training along with some explosive movements. I'll generally do a 4 day M-T-TH-F split with athletes, while alternating speed/plyo days before weights.

    The 60% bw squat is a good test to see if the athlete's body can benefit from plyometrics training. If they don't have the eccentric power to stop themselves quickly during a squat, they do not have the power necessary to benefit from explosive plyometric exercises, and will put unnecessary stress on connective tissue.
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    Originally Posted by jonmd123 View Post
    Yes, if they are healthy and in good shape I see no reason to train them any different than you would a 20 year old.

    With a 1.6 bw squat max, he is kind of borderline whether he would benefit from anymore strength training. Have your brother squat 60% of his bw to parallel for 5 reps. If he can do these 5 reps in 5 seconds, I would incorporate plyometric training along with some explosive movements. I'll generally do a 4 day M-T-TH-F split with athletes, while alternating speed/plyo days before weights.

    The 60% bw squat is a good test to see if the athlete's body can benefit from plyometrics training. If they don't have the eccentric power to stop themselves quickly during a squat, they do not have the power necessary to benefit from explosive plyometric exercises, and will put unnecessary stress on connective tissue.
    So are you saying that if he can't complete 5 reps in 5 seconds than he should worry more about getting stronger first? One last thing do you incorporate a box for those squats or just do 5 regular parallel squats? I have never heard of that kind of test but if I am understanding you correctly, if he can't do the squats fast enough than I would think he would need to do plyos to get more explosive but maybe I am confused.
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    Sorry I didn't explain that very well.

    It's a test from the NSCA. It's a great test to show progress in an athlete's ability to not only push things fast, but also the ability to stop things fast (i.e. making a cut).

    The reason you DO NOT want to do plyometric training if you cannot complete this test in under 5 second is because they will not be able to utilize the SSC. When the force being applied from gravity is greater than the eccentric force being applied by the body, the energy cannot be used by the muscles and all that extra force is absorbed by the body's tendons, ligaments, and bones. Not a big deal if you're doing low impact plyo's like box jumps, but if you're doing a lot of high impact plyo's you'll cause more harm than good.

    PS. No box. A box would defeat the purpose of the test and put an insane amount of force onto the spine.
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    I appreciate your feedback but I still don't understand completely because it seems backwards. For example if someone can't do the 5 reps so they don't do plyos then how do they get better at the test. For example athlete A can squat 100 lbs but not 60 lbs for 5 reps in 5 seconds. How would athlete A pass that test by just getting stronger? So athlete A raises his squat to 150lbs and now administers the same test but this time uses 90 lbs instead of 60lbs...how would they lift faster this time. It just seems backwards to me.
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    Originally Posted by Bills10 View Post
    In general do you guys train people based on age a lot differently. If someone who is 30 and can squat 1.5x bw squat and wants to improve their athleticism do you train him the same way as a 20 year old with similar stats? My question is based on RFD and whether or not it significantly gets lower by that age. A 20 year old could approach strength work and explosive work in monthly cycles because they have time on their side. The person at 30 who wants to achieve his goal might have to work on both at the same time. Just a topic for discussion and when do you guys think RFD drops down significantly or enough to where that becomes the priority and strength doesn't?
    If someone is older I would definitely slow the negative part of the movements... and go easy on explosive work if any... interesting replies here though..
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    Originally Posted by Bills10 View Post
    I appreciate your feedback but I still don't understand completely because it seems backwards. For example if someone can't do the 5 reps so they don't do plyos then how do they get better at the test. For example athlete A can squat 100 lbs but not 60 lbs for 5 reps in 5 seconds. How would athlete A pass that test by just getting stronger? So athlete A raises his squat to 150lbs and now administers the same test but this time uses 90 lbs instead of 60lbs...how would they lift faster this time. It just seems backwards to me.
    They need to build the foundation of strength first. Also, he said 60% of bodyweight, not 60% of his max squat. So if Athlete A could squat 100 lbs and now squats 200 lbs at the same bodyweight, then 60 lbs for 5 reps will be much easier and much faster. Now Athlete A has the proper foundation of strength in order to transfer that strength to plyometrics and specific strength to their sport. I don't have the study on me because I'm at work, but there has been done research similar to what he is suggesting. And usually it takes an athlete up to them squatting 2x their bodyweight before they can effectively train for plyo/explosiveness. Also, while they are building that foundational strength up, their explosiveness increases as a by product of increasing rate of force development and CNS becoming more efficient. But after that 2x bw mark, the research suggests that the return value diminishes and thus the necessity to implement plyo specific training.
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by Bills10 View Post
    I appreciate your feedback but I still don't understand completely because it seems backwards. For example if someone can't do the 5 reps so they don't do plyos then how do they get better at the test. For example athlete A can squat 100 lbs but not 60 lbs for 5 reps in 5 seconds. How would athlete A pass that test by just getting stronger? So athlete A raises his squat to 150lbs and now administers the same test but this time uses 90 lbs instead of 60lbs...how would they lift faster this time. It just seems backwards to me.
    Plyometrics are just one of many tools that can used to build explosiveness. Simply learning how to control the weight during the eccentric phase of an exercise increases explosiveness. Olympic lifts...exploding up during the concentric phase...there is tons of things you can do to improve this.

    Contrary to what most people think, plyo's are actually an extremely advance technique. If your brother cannot slow down 100lbs on top of your shoulders, what makes you think he can stop his body (safely) jumping off a 2ft. box? You might be underestimating the force gravity has on the body. You could still use box jumps with him but I don't really consider those a plyo exercise.

    This will be a shock to hear, but eccentric power is much more important to a sprint or vertical jump than the concentric phase.
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    So the eccentric is more important then that's interesting. I guess it makes because you can't accelerate if you can't decelerate. Can I have him do it with dumbbells on his shoulders instead...can't go to gym today? Why do so many people advocate doing dynamic box squats then with the emphasis on doing it fast? For his routine I came up with this for him (assuming he passes 5rep test).

    Saturday-Squat 4x5(goal is to add weight each week)
    Glute ham 4x6-8
    Depth drops off 30-33inch box 4x4
    Box jumps 24-30 inch box 2x5
    Sun rest
    Monday upper/core
    Tuesday- paused 3 sec jump squats 4x3(40%rm)
    3x20 yard sprints
    3x3 jumps for height
    3x6-10 rdl
    Wed rest
    Thursday upper/core and he plays indoor soccer
    Friday rest
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by Bills10 View Post
    So the eccentric is more important then that's interesting. I guess it makes because you can't accelerate if you can't decelerate. Can I have him do it with dumbbells on his shoulders instead...can't go to gym today? Why do so many people advocate doing dynamic box squats then with the emphasis on doing it fast? For his routine I came up with this for him (assuming he passes 5rep test).

    Saturday-Squat 4x5(goal is to add weight each week)
    Glute ham 4x6-8
    Depth drops off 30-33inch box 4x4
    Box jumps 24-30 inch box 2x5
    Sun rest
    Monday upper/core
    Tuesday- paused 3 sec jump squats 4x3(40%rm)
    3x20 yard sprints
    3x3 jumps for height
    3x6-10 rdl
    Wed rest
    Thursday upper/core and he plays indoor soccer
    Friday rest
    I suppose you could use dumbbells, as long as you keep the test consistent.

    Box squats are great at putting a heavy load on the body without causing a lot of trauma to the muscles. These are great during the preseason when you are training 4-6 times a week. However, there has to be adequate eccentric power first.

    Notice I said eccentric POWER not eccentric STRENGTH. I'm not suggesting doing slow eccentric sets of 120% of his max. I think the risk of doing theses outweigh the benefits. Try using 80-90% of the resistance he normally would use on the squat with a 2-1-1 tempo. (down 2 seconds, pause 1 second, up 1 second).

    A 30-33in. box seems way too high for a depth jump. I use between 24-30 and that's with a 35in. vertical. He should be able to jump higher off the box than he can off the ground.
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    Ok great thanks! He's not doing depth jumps he is doing depth drops and sticking the landing thats why they are high. How does my routine look other than that? He really wants a 2x bodyweight squat. He weighs 155 and squats 255-260. So do you think he can get there in 10 Weeks squatting heavy once a week?
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    Originally Posted by Bills10 View Post
    Ok great thanks! He's not doing depth jumps he is doing depth drops and sticking the landing thats why they are high. How does my routine look other than that? He really wants a 2x bodyweight squat. He weighs 155 and squats 255-260. So do you think he can get there in 10 Weeks squatting heavy once a week?
    Sorry didn't read that very closely.

    Hard to say, I know nothing about the needs of your brother. In all honesty as long as he's squatting and deadlifting with good form it really doesn't matter that much what else he does. You'll get 80% of your results from using variations of those movements. Trainers want to do all these "advanced" exercises and they are largely time fillers.

    That will be a tough goal I think. Just focus on one goal and make it specific and measurable.
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    thanks! sorry it took me so long to thank you. One last question and I promise I will leave you alone haha. What did you think of my routine and what would you change? I know it is just a cookie cutter routine for you but in general what do you think is good or bad. My brother is naturally pretty quick just slender and not too strong although he worked himself up to a 1.6x bodyweight squat. He always played basketball and soccer his whole life but now he just wants to take it to another level as far as strength training and explosiveness goes. He was the typical athlete who just played sports year round and never lifted weights until this past year. He has not had any injuries from what I know of anyways. 5'10" 155lbs probably low teens body fat just a typical good athlete.
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    Originally Posted by Bills10 View Post
    thanks! sorry it took me so long to thank you. One last question and I promise I will leave you alone haha. What did you think of my routine and what would you change? I know it is just a cookie cutter routine for you but in general what do you think is good or bad. My brother is naturally pretty quick just slender and not too strong although he worked himself up to a 1.6x bodyweight squat. He always played basketball and soccer his whole life but now he just wants to take it to another level as far as strength training and explosiveness goes. He was the typical athlete who just played sports year round and never lifted weights until this past year. He has not had any injuries from what I know of anyways. 5'10" 155lbs probably low teens body fat just a typical good athlete.
    It'd be easier just to give you a generic program. PM your e-mail if you want it.
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