We’re back again this week on the Nitramine blog with our concluding chapter to our mini-series on plyometrics. We’ve covered what they are, the different types of plyos you can do, how they benefit you, and we’ve even touched on the “graduate” level to plyometrics called post-activation potentiation (PAP).
Today, we unveil to you two grueling PAP complexes that will push your body to the max and give your training a much needed facelift, so hang on, because things are about to get ROUGH!
- Research indicates PAP is more effective in highly trained individuals than a casual gym goer
Meaning if you’re not already highly conditioned and training consistently, you won’t be able to get the most “bang for the buck” from this training protocol. Spend some time building a solid foundation of strength and conditioning and then attempt this once you’re set.
- Perform these complexes for a time of approximately two to three weeks
Think of these as a “peaking method” as the can be used 2-3 weeks prior to a competition or athletic test (i.e. NFL Combine)
- Push yourself!
This should seem obvious, but the whole goal of PAP is to develop power, strength, explosiveness and a bit of hypertrophy. So, the instant you are not able to jump as high or as fast or move as explosively, the SET IS OVER.
Just going through the motions won’t reap the same benefits as going to the max.
Now that we’ve got those points covered, let’s have some fun!
Upper Body Complex
The structure of this complex and the lower body complex will be: Main Lift, Explosive Bodyweight Lift, Weighted Accessory Lift, Accelerated or Assisted Lift.
The main lift
The main lift should having you hit failure somewhere in the 5-10 rep range. If you’re goals are more strength oriented, stick to 5 reps (80% 1RM), if they are more hypertrophy centered, opt for 10 reps (60-70% 1RM). Ideal choices for this would be the Barbell or Dumbbell bench press.
The explosive bodyweight lift
Explosive Bodyweight lift: again aim for 8-10 repetitions and choose a movement that mimics the pattern of the main lift. Examples here are full-body plyometric pushup (pushing your entire body into the air).
Remember here to BE EXPLOSIVE! We can’t stress this enough, you need to try to push yourself as hard and as fast away from the ground on each and every rep. If you can only do 5 reps, then write it down and aim to improve each time. The first few times you try these workouts, you’re going to have your butt handed to you!
The weighted accessory lift
The Weighted Accessory Lift is aimed to promote “reactiveness.” The first two exercises will take a toll on you, so the goal here isn’t to max out with another heavy lift, so pick a weight that is challenging yet still allows you to maintain a certain level of explosiveness to the movement. An ideal choice here would be the Dumbbell Push Press, again 5 reps if you’re interested in strength gains and 8-10 reps if you’re looking for hypertrophy.
The accelerated or assisted lift (or core exercise)
Our final movement is the Accelerated or Assisted Lift or Core Exercise. You should be severely sucking wind at this point. The lift here will be a pushing pattern involving a weight less than body weight.
An example here would be a band-assisted push up. Alternatively, a core exercise can be used here that still engages the upper body. This option is more suited to those that workout at home and may not have access to the bands that would be needed for the band-assisted push up. Any variation of a front or side plank held for 60 seconds is the perfect fit here.
Ok, we’ve taken care of the upper half, now let’s abuse the legs some!
Lower Body Complex
Ok, it’s now Day 2, and you’re ready to attack the lower half of your body. Hopefully you survived Day 1 and can actually move today. Same rules apply for all the lifts for the lower body that we just covered in the Upper Body Complex.
Again, it’s worth re-stating to push yourself and be explosive! Try to jump through the roof when doing these plyometric moves and choose a weight heavy enough to be challenging. You need to get your central nervous system (CNS) firing with the main lift so you should be struggling somewhat on those last few reps.
- Main Lift: Barbell Squat, Dumbbell Squat, or Bulgarian Split Squat (8-10 reps/leg)
- Explosive Bodyweight Lift: Jump Squat, Broad Jump, Lunge Jumps
- Weighted Accessory Lift: Dumbbell or Barbell Squat Jump, Weighted Vest Vertical/Broad Jump, Dumbbell or Weight Vest Lunge Jump
- Accelerated Lift or Core Exercise: Assisted Band Jump Squat, Line hops, Side Plank with leg lift (30 seconds/side)
You’ve got your complexes now and ready to start using these, but how many are you doing?
The key to remember here is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, meaning that the total demand of doing all of these exercises back-to-back-to-back will be greater than an individual exercise. This brings us to the next point.
Aim to do 3-5 sets of each complex, resting 60-120 seconds after completing one full round. There is NO rest between exercises other than the 10-15 seconds it may take to transition from one exercise to another.
There you have it! Two post-activation potentiation complexes designed to not only provide a much needed face lift to your stale training program, but also to push you past your limits and unlock a new level of strength, power, and muscle!
Give these two complexes a try and let us know how it goes! Just don’t say we didn’t warn you when you’re completely wiped out!
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