When I was at the CrossFit Games, they were handing out WOD Talk magazines, a new magazine obviously geared toward CrossFitters. I read the magazine on my recent flight home and found some of the content to be pretty interesting. One of the articles that stuck with me was written by Ryan Moody about using box jumps to improve your lifts and overall CrossFit performance. Since the guy has a 63″ standing box jump PR, I figured he must know a thing or two about box jumps.
I’ll start with the theory behind his methods. He has found that by working on box jumps and the jumping movement, you can shorten the amount of time it takes your muscles to move from a stretching to contracting action. The shorter this period becomes, the more powerful the result for that muscle contraction. In simpler terms, it’s like using a 3 second squat to jump onto a box as opposed to just jumping onto the box. Obviously the slow muscle contraction of the 3 second squat will make it much more challenging to end up on top of the box. In more complex terms he relates it to Post-Activation Potentiation (PAP) training, where you do a heavy resistance exercise and follow it up with an explosive activity. This leads us to his training methods.
What he suggests in the article is doing a strength movement, coupled with an explosive movement and following it up with a metcon. An example he gives is doing 5 heavy sets of a lift and in between each lift perfom: 2-1-2-1-2 reps of standing box jumps at 75% of two-rep max box jump height and 80% of max box jump height, respectively. Then follow that training up with a metcon lasting 5-20 minutes. Hmm, this sounds very similar to the training we already do in the gym, and adding a few box jumps here and there for accessory work (if you’re interested) wouldn’t be difficult to do.
Most people could benefit from a little accessory work be it mobility, hamstring strength, body weight movements, or even explosive training. If you’re interested in adding some accessory training, such as explosive training, to your daily routine, be sure to talk it out with a trainer. If you’re interested in reading more about Ryan Moody’s training you can check out his websites, www.TheXwod.com and TheRyanMoodyProject.blogspot.com. Also, if you’re interested in checking out the WOD Talk magazine, visit WODTALK.COM.
Citation: Moody, Ryan. “Leap & Bound Your Way To New PR’s, Literally.” WOD Talk July/August (2012): 14-17. Print.