This is just one question out of many! View the full listing of FAQs here.
Do Plyometrics Work? What About Air Alert's System?
I was reading your site about vertical jumping, I was wondering if plyometrics workouts work or does it just "trick your muscles" and then the extra inches just fade away? I also wanted to know if you could visit the site airalert.com. Do you think that this is a good program to try for someone like me. I'm 15, 5'11", 165 and I'm quite strong. I bench 225 and squat 425. Should I try plyometrics because you need to be strong or should I try AA2 because I belive it will work better? I just would like your honest opinion.
Plyometrics definately work! However, the problem stems from the fact that most coaches and athletes do not know how to implement a proper plyometric program. As I have mentioned in previous Q & A posts there is a difference between simple jumping activities and plyometric training. Dr. Mel Siff's Facts & Fallacies book goes into great detail on this subject.
Air Alert's system is greatly flawed in several respects. If simply repeating jumping movements made one have great verticals there would be no reason for any athlete to work in the weight room. They would simply have to work on their sport over and over again and this would allow them to perform at elite levels. Sprinters would just have to run all the time to become faster, pitchers would just have to throw to throw harder, and so on. Obviously this is not the case as sports conditioning is used by all athletes.
Air Alert may work in the sense that many athletes are in very poor condition. There is nothing magical about the system though. If you refer to my "Getting In Shape" series you will find I speak about the same topic. I also find it hard to believe that you are properly squatting 425. Please do not take this the wrong way, you may believe that you are properly squatting that weight, but I have never seen a high school athlete with your body statistics properly lift this weight. Are you able to squat to the point where your hamstrings almost cover your calves? That amount of weight is not only challenging for the legs, but the trunk as well.
It is also important to remember that you must also perform fast lifts that improve your speed-strength. This is the main reason I am a big fan of Olympic lifts and their variations. This form of training is the most neglected or improperly used form of lifting for most young athletes and their coaches. Please refer to my "Weightlifting 101" series. This will give you some ideas of simple ways of performing these types of movements.