Optimal Jump Training Without Restrictions
"Arioch" recommends squats, plyometrics, and speed work with submaximal weights to improve jumping height:
An athlete wishing to improve his vertical jump should not only squat, but perform a variety of assistance work specific to both improving squatting strength as well as specifically improving jumping skill. As jumping requires a great expenditure of force in a minimal amount of time, exercises such as squatting should be performed to increase muscle power, as muscle cross-sectional area significantly correlates to force output. (30) When wishing to increase one’s power through squatting to assist in the vertical jump, one must train to generate a high degree of force.(31 ,32 ,33 ) This is done by squatting a dynamic manner, where one is attempting to generate a large amount of power while using submaximal weights. This has been shown to provide a great training stimulus for improving the vertical jump. (34) A program consisting of a session once-weekly heavy squatting, ballistic lifting, and plyometric training, with each being performed during a separate workout, should provide maximal stimulus while allowing maximal recovery and supercompensation.(35,36)
30 Force-velocity relationships and fatigability of strength and endurance-trained subjects. Kanehisa H; Ikegawa S; unaga T
Choi, J. Y., Takahashi, H., Itai, Y., & Takamatsu, K. (1997).
31 Comparison of training effects between power-up type and bulk-up type in strength training. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 29(5), Supplement abstract 54.
32 Hellebrandt, F. A. (1972). The physiology of motor learning. In R. N. Singer (ED.), Readings in motor learning (pp. 397-409). Philadelphia, PA: Lea & Febiger.
33 Christina, R. W. (1996). Major determinants of the transfer of training: Implications for enhancing sport Performance. In K-W. Kim (ED.), Human Performance determinants in sport (pp. 25-52). Seoul, Korea: Korean Society of Sport Psychology.
34 Wilson, G. J., Newton, R. U., Murphy, A. J., & Humphries, B. J. (1994). The optimal training load for the development of dynamic athletic Performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 25(11), 1279-1286.
35 Morrissey, M. C., Harman, E. A., & Johnson, M. J. (1995). Resistance training modes: Specificity and effectiveness. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27, 648-660.
36 Kraemer, W. J., & Newton, R. U. (1994). Training for improved vertical jump. Sports Science Exchange, 7(6), 1-12.
To me this sounds like a weekly training program consisting of:
- one workout where you work on maximal strength with squats and perhaps deadlifts
- one workout where you work on speed and power by squatting with submaximal weight for a few reps done with as fast a bar speed as possible. This reminds the modern reader strongly of Louie Simmons' dynamic effort workouts. One could perhaps also use squat jumps, cleans, power cleans, snatches, power snatches, or jumps with dumbbells or a weight vest.
- one plyometric and jumping technique workout
Restricting Jump Training to Bodyweight Exercises
I suspect that loaded work would be dramatically more efficient than bodyweight-only jump training, but Coach Sommer's Building the Gymnastic Body does mention pistols (one-legged bodyweight squats, keeping the whole foot flat) and jumping pistols done for distance and height. He recommends adding a weight vest to those, too. I've tried these, but only dabbled.