Plyometric and Strength Training Program For Men's Basketball by Nathan Williams

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The following plyometric and strength training program is designed for use during the pre-competition phase from mid-February to mid-March, which is when the pre-season games begin (figure 1). It is assumed that all athletes have a solid base from the training during the specific preparation phase (SPP) and the general preparation phase (GPP). As shown in figure 1, all athletes will have just completed maximum strength training and speed training, focusing on increasing running speed.

At this stage of the year, all athletes should have:

  • good all round strength levels
  • a minimum squat of 150 percent body weight as recommended by the NSCA position paper on plyometrics (if not, depth jumps will be replaced in the plyometric program)
  • basic general plyometric training completion during GPP/SPP, including bounding, hopping, and skipping movements

The following program is not designed for athletes with injuries whose programs will need to be individualized to allow them to recover prior to the commencement of the competition phase. Prior to beginning this program, athletes will be advised that if they or the coaching staff notices that they are fatigued, the plyometric component should be avoided due to the requirements it places on the body, especially the central nervous system. Two weekly sessions of structured plyometrics are used rather than three due to the large amount of SSC exercises these athletes perform as part of basketball games and their team training.

All plyometric sessions will be preceded by a thorough warm up that includes stretches of both the upper and lower body. Initially plyometric sessions will last up to thirty minutes, but the time will decrease (due to lessened volume) as the intensity is progressively increased each week. All exercises will be demonstrated, emphasizing technique and “fast but soft feet.” The weight training program follows these plyometric sessions so that other days are free for endurance training, skill development, team training, and active recovery sessions. The aim of the strength and plyometric program is to increase the athlete’s overall strength and explosiveness with special emphasis placed on increasing the vertical jump distance and ball passing distance and speed.

The exercises in this program (figure 2) progress from less specific to more specific over four weeks while the volume decreases as the intensity increases. The decrease of volume is noticeable in weeks three and four as conditioning training time decreases by 10 percent to allow technique (skill) training to increase (figure 1). Work to rest ratios begin at 1:3 but are decreased to 1:2 at week three. Foot contacts are kept at less than 120 per plyometric session. Monday is primarily focused on the lower body with some upper body plyometrics while Wednesday is focused on the upper body with some lower body plyometrics. This was designed to maximize recovery time for the larger lower body muscle groups prior to games on Saturday.

The strength training program uses movements where power can be maximized through a large range of motion (e.g. jump squats, bench press throws) as well as through using dumbbells as it has been suggested that one-handed exercises may be more sports specific in this case (Marlow 2002). The major exercises are increased from 30–40 percent each week, which allows for increased intensity while still maximizing power output (Wilson 1994). Due to time constraints, some muscle groups that players would have trained more specifically during the GPP and SPP phases (e.g. biceps, latissimus dorsi) have been left out. Individuals may wish to include more specific work here if time allows.

 


Annual training and competitive plan

Months Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Competitions   C                   P P P N N N N N N   N N N N N I I I I I          
Periodization Off GPP SPP Pre-season   Competition Finals Competition/finals Transition
Macrocycles - Conditioning General basic Specific basic       Unloading       Tp Peak              
Endurance - Aerobic capacity Max aerobic power Anaerobic/lactic power Anaerobic/lactic capacity Maintain  
Strength - General Maximum Power Maintain  
Flexibility - Develop Maintain  
Speed - Develop running speed Develop movement speed  
Technique (skill) - Maintain basic / remedial Improve basic Learn advanced Maintain/develop rhythm and coordination  
Tactics (team play) -   Maintain basic/learn advanced Learn advanced Consolidate and synchronize  
Psychology - Assess skills/dev indv program Specific mental skills Competition/ motivation dvpt Refine & maintain Finals Prep Refine Finals  
                                                                                                       
Testing     X     X   X     X        
% Training time:  
Conditioning - 70 60 60 50 40 30 20 20 20 20 20  
Skill - 30 40 40 25 30 40 40 40 30 30 20  
Tactical - - - - 25 30 30 40 40 50 50 60  
100%                          
Training load  80%                          
60%                          
                                     

C = High performance camp                             Off = Off-season                                 

P = Pre-season game                                        GPP = General preparation phase

N = National basketball league game    SPP = Specific preparation phase

I = International series                           Tp = Taper

Figure 1. Annual training plan for NBL and international basketball player (adapted from Reaburn and Jenkins 1996).



Week 1

Day Activity
Monday Plyometrics, following through warm up and stretching:

Alternate bounding, 10 reps X 3 sets at 75% intensity

Alternating push off, 10 reps X 3 sets at 90% intensity (using 6-inch box)

Underhand medicine ball throw, 10 reps X 3 sets at 90% intensity

Squat jump, 10 reps X 3 sets at 90+ % intensity

Weights, focus on power:

Front squats, 6–8 reps X 3 sets at 30% of 1RM (using front squat harness if needed)

Leg curls, 8 reps X 3 sets explosively performed

Calve raises, 8–12 reps X 3 sets

Crunches, 8–12 reps X 3 sets

Tuesday Tactical/technique training
Wednesday Plyometrics, following thorough warm up and stretching:

Alternate bounding with kick outs, 10 reps X 3 sets at 75% intensity

Clap press ups,10 reps X 3 sets at 80% intensity

Medicine ball chest pass, 15 reps X 3 sets at 90%

Weights, focus on power:

Dumbbell bench press, 6–8 reps X 3 sets at 30% of 1RM

Hang cleans, 6–8 reps X 3 sets explosively performed

Triceps push-downs, 8 reps X 3 sets explosively performed (modified form to simulate the chest pass movement)

Thursday Tactical/technique training
Friday Rest
Saturday Pre-season game
Sunday Active recovery session
Week 2
Day Activity
Monday Plyometrics, following thorough warm up and stretching:

Alternate bounding, 10 reps X 3 sets at 80% intensity

Lateral step-up, 10 reps X 3 sets at 90% intensity (using 6-inch box)

Squat jump with sprint, 15 reps X 3 sets at 90+ % intensity

Weights, focus on power:

Front squats, 6–8 reps X 3 sets at 40% of 1RM (using front squat harness if needed)

Leg curls, 8 reps X 3 sets explosively performed

Calve raises, 8–12 reps X 3 sets

Crunches, 8–12 reps X 3 sets

Wednesday Plyometrics, following thorough warm up and stretching:

Lateral press-ups, 10 reps X 3 sets at 80% intensity

Star jumps, 15 reps X 3 sets at 90% intensity

Medicine ball chest pass, 15 reps X 3 sets at 90+ %

Weights, focus on power:

Dumbbell bench press, 6–8 reps X 3 sets at 40% of 1RM

Hang cleans, 6–8 reps X 3 sets explosively performed

Triceps push-downs, 8 reps X 3 sets explosively performed (modified form to simulate the chest pass movement)


Week 3
Day Activity
Monday Plyometrics, following thorough warm up and stretching:

Double leg butt kicks, 15 reps X 3 sets at 80% intensity

Lateral jump over box, 10 reps X 3 sets at 90+ % intensity (using 12-inch box)

Depth jump, 10 reps X 3 sets at 100% intensity (6-inch box)

Weights, focus on power:

Jump squats, 6–8 reps X 3 sets at 30% of 1RM

Glute ham raises, 8 reps X 3 sets explosively performed

Crunches, 8–12 reps X 3 sets

Wednesday Plyometrics, following thorough warm up and stretching:

Pullover medicine ball pass, 10 reps X 3 sets at 80% intensity

Alternate bounding, 15 reps X 3 sets at 90% intensity

Double clap push-ups, 10 reps X 3 sets at 100% intensity

Weights, focus on power:

Smith machine bench press throws, 6–8 reps X 3 sets at 30% of 1RM

Hanging snatch, 6–8 reps X 3 sets explosively performed

Dumbbell shoulder press, 8 reps X 3 sets explosively performed

 
Week 4
Day Activity
Monday Plyometrics, following thorough warm up and stretching:

Rocket jumps, 15 reps X 3 sets at 90% intensity

Lateral jump over box, 10 reps X 3 sets at 90+ % intensity (using 12-inch box)

Depth jump to rim, 8 reps X 3 sets at 100% intensity (with ball in hand, dunks optional! 12-inch box used).

Weights, focus on power:

Jump squats, 6–8 reps X 3 sets at 40% of 1RM

Glute ham raises, 8 reps X 3 sets explosively performed

Crunches, 8–12 reps X 3 sets

 

Wednesday Plyometrics, following thorough warm up and stretching:

Overhead medicine ball pass, 10 reps X 3 sets at 80% intensity

Pogo jumps, 15 reps X 3 sets at 90% intensity

Medicine ball pick up and pass, 10 reps X 3 sets at 100% intensity

Weights, focus on power:

Smith machine bench press throws, 6–8 reps X 3 sets at 40% of 1RM

Hanging snatch, 6–8 reps X 3 sets explosively performed

Dumbbell shoulder press, 8 reps X 3 sets explosively performed

 

Figure 2. Strength and plyometric program for basketball pre-competition phase.

References

Marlow L (2002) Basketball Conditioning: Power. Courtside: Official Magazine of Basketball Coaches Assn, 14.

National Strength and Conditioning Association. Retrieved on August 4, 2006 from: http://www.nsca-lift.org/Publications/posstatements.shtml#Plyometric.

Reaburn P and Jenkins D (1996) Training for Speed and Endurance. Australia: Southward Press.

Wilson GJ (1994) Strength and Power in Sport. In: Bloomfield J, Ackland TR, Elliot BC (1994) Applied Anatomy and Biomechanics in Sport. Victoria, Australia: Blackwell Scientific Publications, pgs 110–19.

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Submitted by DMorgan on Fri, 07/18/2008 - 8:57pm.

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