You know how Facebook shows you memories from past posts?
I got this one today from several years ago when I broke my first backboard on a dunk:
I was in India at the time.
The Sports Authority of India had invited me to train their Olympic jumpers.
I’ll tell you about the technique I was teaching them in a minute.
Anyway, I get to their training facility before giving the training and I just start doing some warmup dunks at the court across from the training center there.
It’s really hot out so I get loose pretty quick and Im feeling pretty good, so?I start doing some 2 handed dunks and cocking the ball back behind my head.
On this one dunk, the backboard just shatters.
The rim came off in my hand, and I ended up landing on my feet standing there with blood dripping down my arm.
That was the first time I had broken a backboard. Totally surprised me.
It ended up being great proof for the training I was going to do for the athletes (who were all watching)
The next day at the training there was a crowd of onlookers leering at the outdoor gym.
And they were staring at me wide eyed…
I asked them what they were looking at…
“Sir, is it true you can fly? We heard about the dunking and that you break the backboard sir. Can you come to our scrimmage sir?”
So I end up going with these guys later to scrimmage with them.
At 6’3 I was the tallest guy there except for this one guy who was probably 68. Real tall and skinny.
The scrimmage ended up turning into just a dunk fest. It was fun.
After the game… I went to shake the 6’8 players hand…
He dropped to his knees and kissed my feet, then started making symbols and gestures.
I had no idea what to do… I asked my new friends… “What is this guy doing?”
“He is treating you like a God, and he is praying to you for the blessing to fly like you.”
In India there are many gods, and to become a god all you need to be is worshipped like one.
I didn’t know what to think lol. I was very flattered. 🙂
So thats apparently how I became a god in India!
I may not have been able to magically endow these athletes with explosiveness.
But I was able to teach them exactly which muscles are needed to jump higher, and how to make them fire at maximum strength and speed.
One of the training techniques I taught the Olympic Athletes there at the Sports Authority training center was:
Central Nervous System Activation.
The way your body activates your muscles to fire is by sending an electric impulse (a literal shock) from your central nervous system to your muscles.
If you can train your body to send a faster signal, your quickness increases and therefore your jumping height increases because:
Strength x Quickness = Explosiveness
The fact is, it doesn’t matter how strong you are. It doesn’t even matter if you have good technique…
If you can’t make your muscles move at the speed they’re capable of, you’re never going to get the full jumping potential out of your body.
Athletes can get so many immediate gains in their vertical leap and their overall quickness simply by retraining their central nervous system to send a stronger impulse to their muscles.
And the cool thing about all this is that I don’t just know this “theoretically”…
I’ve hooked athletes up to special machines and watched the signals, and how different signals affect their system.
Basically you can retrain a new central nervous system skill.
It’s called an “intra-muscular skill”.
In India one of the ways that I taught them to do this was through:
Shock Training (or Progressive Plyometrics)
I’m talking about the right kind of plyometrics here, not the stuff you hear about on youtube and from people that don’t know what plyometrics were actually designed for.
Plyometrics were originally developed in Russia as a form of “shock” training, not the lose weight type stuff most people in the U.S. use it for.
If I was to hook up an EMG machine to the muscles you’re using to jump, and you jumped… you would see how they activated.
You would see how the electric current passes through your muscles and how intense it is.
And then if you were to jump off a box and land, you’d see that the shock of landing would activate at an even higher rate of intensity. And a higher box would show an even higher amount of activation.
By doing this over and over your body actually trains itself to make those stronger signals rather than just react to landing.
So now you’ve got a muscle fiber that’s capable of a certain amount of force (strength), but you’re using it as explosively as possible (quickness).
Because let’s face it, even if you had enough strength in your legs to lift a truck, if you could only lift it very slowly, it’s not going to help you jump any higher.
You’ve got to be able to use your strength quickly.
You have to do this the right way for it to work though. For example, you have to make sure that you land in the same position and angle you use to jump, because if you don’t, that shock training won’t carry over to your jumping movements and your vertical won’t increase.
There’s a lot of other training techniques that I taught the Olympians in India. But this is a good one. Very simple and will give great results when implemented correctly.
I go over all the principals for for building an explosive vertical and the exact step-by-step workout I’ve developed and proven over the years in my program called The Jump Manual.
If you’d like you can check it out here.
I also have a free workbook you can download that outlines our single best exercise I discovered from my 10+ years of research. We developed this exercise in our research lab after hooking up tons of athletes to EMG machines and figuring out what movements increase vertical leap.
You can grab a free copy of it here if you like.
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