Sunday, September 27, 2020

Weight Training for Broad and Triple Jumpers - John P. Jesse (early 1964)

 The first two of 11 episodes are out.
Nothing else even comes close.
It is, quite simply, gonna be OUTSTANDING!


Sleep? You need to be told how important sleep is and instructed on how to sleep? 

Man, your problems run pretty deep if that's the case. 

Anyhow, all of Mr. Starr's articles done for the Crossfit bunch are now open to the public here: 

I'd really rather spend the time it takes to transcribe this John Jesse article. It's always better to add something new to the interwebs, as opposed to just pete and repeating what's already available. 

What follows below is interesting to me because it gives an indication of how weight training was used to improve specific athletic performance during that era that was live and going on five-and-a-half decades ago. Some books are mentioned that may be of interest as well. As always, though, a mind capable of thought will be able to see how these methods and the coach's logic behind them could be applied to other sports. Hey, if lifting itself is the sport you might think about looking at weight "training" as something like auxiliary movements that increase your efficiency in the lifts chosen to improve. The chosen lifts are your "sport" and I don't mean just the two Olympics or three Powers. Any major lift you choose to improve, seen as your sport. Or not. No matter, it's fun to look at "older" training literature sometimes, whether you are able to find a reason or way to apply any of it now or in the future or not.

The Article

A review of literature and periodicals relating to track and field techniques reflect that:

1) tremendous leg and abdominal strength is required by broad and triple jumpers for optimum performance in their events;

2) a general recognition by coaches that weight training contributes to overall strength and development in jumpers; and

3) a scarcity of material relating to specific methods of weight training for the development of strength in the muscles primarily used by athletes participating in these events. 
Optimum performance in the broad and triple jumps calls for the following qualities: 
1) great speed;
2) great jumping ability;
3) great skill; and
4) great strength in the related muscles. 
Among authorities there appears to be a greater emphasis placed on speed and jumping ability in the broad jump, while skill and strength are more strongly emphasized in the triple jump.
Kenneth J. Doherty [Modern Track and Field, 1960] comments that none of the Soviet triple jumpers were great runners or jumpers. Ruddi Toomsalu [Training and Technique of Soviet Hop-Step-Jumpers, 1960] writes that "strength exercises occupy about 40 to 50 percent  of the total training" for Russian triple jumpers who are among the best in the world as to performance records. Mikio Oda [The Hop, Step and Jump - clinic notes, 1956] states that "in training triple jumpers, I stress development of the legs as much as technique." Eng Yoon Tan [Research into the Hop, Step and Jump, 1959] writes, "Speed seems to be a very important factor in the triple jump, but of even more importance appears to be tremendous leg strength and muscular coordination." 
These comments raise an interesting question. How much further could American broad jumpers like Owens, Bell, Bennet and Boston, blessed with great speed and/or jumping ability. have jumped if they had applied 30 to 40 percent of their overall training program to the development of strength in the legs, abdomen, back and shoulders. 
The broad jump consists of four aspects: 
1) The run up consisting of a sprint at maximum speed with a slight gathering of forces during the final 3 or 4 strides. The sprint employs the following movement characteristics: 1) high knee lift; 2) forceful leg thrust; 3) great bounce or spring in the ankles and toes; 4) vigorous arm action; 5) good leg speed; 6) adequate length of stride. 1 through 4 are almost entirely dependent on the strength of the muscles involved in these movements.
2) Take off with explosive force to attain maximum height without appreciable loss in forward momentum. Violent extension of the takeoff leg employing a heel-to-toe movement of the foot, assisted by the accentuated lift of the leading leg and the upward thrust of the arms with arched back and head up, is the primary factor in gaining height. Mortenson and Cooper [Track and Field, 1959] comment that an explosive takeoff if probably the most contributing force in determining the distance attained. 
3) Action in the air to maintain balance and position the body for landing.
4) Perfect timing based on a well timed action with the legs held high till contact with the ground. Dean Cromwell [Championship Technique in Track and Field, 1949], Doherty [above], and Mortenson [above], write that keeping the feet high prior to landing is the most difficult aspect of broad jumping technique to learn and requiring extremely strong abdominal muscles. Theoretically, it has been estimated that for every inch the heels are kept up, a jumper will gain 1-1/2 inches in overall distance. [Geoffrey Dyson - The Mechanics of Athletics, 1963]. As the heels contact the ground, it requires a vigorous contraction of the knee flexors to bend the knees and of the abdominal muscles to bring the body forward. 
The triple jump consists of: 
1) a spring action for the approach;
2) a takeoff for the hop with emphasis on jumping forward, rather than up;
30 hop, step, jump aspects with emphasis on neuro-muscular coordination, balance, great rebound strength in the legs and the mechanical factors relating to distance covered in each aspect; 
4) a landing similar to the broad jump.
Eng Yoon Tan [above] comments that knee pickup is one of the most important things that one has to master in the triple jump, particularly of the hopping leg. 
In order to design a program for jumpers that emphasizes development of strength in those muscles classed as primary movers [Philip Rasch and Rober Burke - Kinesiology and Applied Anatomy, 1963] in a specific body movement, we should be familiar with the more important muscles used in the broad and triple jumps.
We must first concentrate on development of explosive power in the muscles that flex and extend the hip, knee, ankle and foot joints. 
High knee action in the sprint, that takeoff in the broad jump and of extreme importance through the different aspects of the triple jump is derived from the contraction of the hip flexors. The most powerful is the iliopsoas, a combination of two muscles originating of the upper rear of the pelvic girdle and crossing diagonally downwards where they insert to the upper end of the thigh bone. 
Two other prime movers in hip flexion are the pectineus and the rectus femoris, the latter also being an extensor of the knee joint. The abdominal muscles are called into action to improve the leverage of the hip flexors. They contract to lift the anterior rim of the pelvis causing the contraction force of the hip flexors, whose tendons run over the anterior rim, to be applied more nearly at right angles. [Gertrude Howley - An Anatomical Analysis of Sports, 1961].


Powerful leg thrust for sprinting, explosive takeoff in the broad jump and rebound extension in the triple jump is provided by the extensors of the hip and knee working in conjunction with the flexor muscles of the ankle and foot. The greater the power of these muscles in complete extension of the leg, the greater is the acceleration of the runner and greater is the vertical height attained by the jumper. Prime movers for hip extension are the gluteus maximums (buttocks and three muscles of the posterior thigh, biceps femoris, semitendinosus and sememembranosus, commonly known as "hamstrings.")
The primary extensors of the knee are quadriceps femoris, the anterior muscles of the thigh. Plantar flexion (extension) of the ankle and foot joints is accomplished mainly by flexion of the powerful gastrocnemius and soleus muscles at the rear of the calf. The flexor hallucis longus, which flexes the big toe, assists in plantar flexion and gives the "push off" in jumping, provided the jumper toes forward or slightly inward [Howley, above).
It should be pointed out here that keeping the heels high during the jump prior to landing is due more to the strong action of the hip flexors which raise the thigh to the body, the quadriceps femoris which straighten the leg at the knee and to the flexibility of the "hamstring muscles", rather than the abdominal muscles. The latter are not "prime movers" in this muscle action. They only assist the action of the hip flexors as stated above. 
Vigorous arm and shoulder action which supplements leg action in running and assists upward body momentum at the takeoff is derived from a balanced development of the shoulder girdle muscles that control movements of the upper arm. Strength in the pectoralis major (chest), anterior deltoid (shoulder), and upper trapezius for raising of arms and equal strength in the posterior deltoid, teres major and latissimus dorsi muscles for downwards and backwards extension of arms, provided a synchronization of arm action with leg movement during the approach run, and action in the air after takeoff, which counteracts the lateral oscillation of the trunk. 
At the takeoff, it is recommended by authorities that the jumper hold the head and chest high and arch the back. Fisher [in Championship Track and Field, 1961] comments that this assists in proper hip swing. Combined with a deep breath, it also takes up the slack in the abdominal muscles. Prime movers in arched back and head-high muscular movements are the splenius capitas (back of neck and upper back) and a group of muscles commonly known as the erector spinae that run parallel to the spinal column.
As stated above, strong abdominal muscles are required to assist in keeping the heels high during the jump. They also flex the spinal column in bringing the upward body forward at the time of landing. The prime movers in spinal flexion are the rectus abdominus and external obliques (sides). 
Strength in the knee flexors (hamstrings) is important to the jumper in landing and also influence the leg speed of the runner. Knee flexion shortens the arc of the leg swing which lessens the resistance to be moved thus enabling the leg to be moved faster.
Program Fundamentals
1) Program should begin in late summer; workouts should be 3 times a per week, with a day of rest between each workout period, until start of practice season; 2 days per week during practice season; discontinue during competitive season with exception of Bent Leg Knee Raise 2 days per week to maintain and improve strength of hip flexors. Weight training periods should be after activity on the field is competed.
2) When 8 to 10 repetitions are suggested, begin with 8, add 1 each exercise period until maximum of 10 is reached. Then add the suggested weight increase (2.5, 5 or 10 lbs.) and begin over at 8 repetitions. A 5 lb. increase in dumbbell weight means 2.5 lbs. added to each bell. Total repetitions in dumbbell exercises means for each arm individually. 
3) Progressive overloading of the muscle is required for strength increase. Whatever the weight used, the athlete must strain to complete the final one or two repetitions in a set. If completed with ease the weight is not heavy enough.

4) Exercises should be done at a moderate pace unless otherwise stated.

5) Weight training is the most effective method of gaining strength. It should be an integral part of the overall training program, but is not intended to substitute for any aspect of speed, skill and endurance training for a jumper.
1) Starting weights have been suggested for each exercise. They are only guides.
2) Weight increases are used when maximum repetitions are attained.
3) Progression on repetitions is one per workout.
1) Modified Forward Raise - 
Dumbbells at sides, palms facing toward body. Raise arms forward, elbows slightly bent, till they reach overhead Lower weights; as they reach shoulder level, incline the body forward from the waist at 45-degree angle. Continue bringing the weights downward past the body and upwards to the rear as far as possible. Lower weights to the sides and bring body to erect position. Perform one set of 8-10 repetitions. Average starting weight is 15 lbs. in each hand Increase each bell 2.5 lbs. when 10 reps are reached. Okay . . . full front raise, lower going into bentover straight arm kickback. 

2) Alternate Bench Press - 
As one dumbbell is pressed upward, the other bell is lowered simultaneously. One set of 8-10 reps with each arm. Average starting weight is 25 lbs. each hand. Increase 2.5 lbs. each bell when 10 reps attained. 

3) Alternate Rowing Motion - 
Bend at the hips to a parallel to the floor position, head up and back straight. Perform one set of 8-10 reps. Average starting weight is 25 lbs. each hand. Increase 2.5 lbs. each bell when 10 reps attained. 

4) Half Squat - 
Stand erect, feet about 16 inches apart, toes pointed straight ahead, weight on shoulders, head up. Bend knees to 45-degree angle, about half way between the erect position and a parallel squat. Return to erect position and straighten legs completely. Use very heavy weights and perform these half knee bends at a rapid pace. 2 sets of 10-15 reps. Suggested starting weight is 150 lbs. Increase by 10 lbs. when 15 reps are achieved.
5) Standing Weighted Boot Bent Knee Leg Raise - 
Raise knees to chest. Perform 2 sets of 8-10 reps on each leg. Starting weight is 5 lbs. Increase 25 lbs. when 10 reps attained.
6) Knee (Leg) Extension - 
Extend leg to full lock position. Perform 2 sets of 8-10 reps. Start with 30 lbs. and increase 5 lbs. when 10 reps attained. 
7) Leg Curl - 
Perform 2 sets of 8-10 reps. Start with 20 lbs. Increase 5 lbs. when 10 reps attained.
8) Straight Legged Deadlift with Shoulder Shrug - 
Stand on a raised platform with shoulder width grip on bar. Bend forward and lower as far as possible, keeping arms straight as you return to erect position; then "shrug" the shoulders upward towards the ears as high as possible, then lower the shoulders back as far as possible and then lower them back to normal position. Repeat the entire cycle for one set of 10-15 repetitions. Start with 55 lbs. Increase bar 10 lbs. when 15 reps attained.
9) Heel Raises - 
Place the balls of feet on a wood block with feet about 16 inches apart. The toes may face straight ahead of slightly inward. Raise as high as possible on toes, then lower the heels as far as possible. Perform 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions. Start with 50 lbs. Increase 5 lbs. when 10 reps are attained.
10) Bent Knee Situps - 
Quite a long bit here on the straight leg vs bent leg variety. Perform 2 sets, 8-10 reps. Start with 5 lbs. and increase 5 lbs. every two weeks. 
11) Reverse Abdominal Curl - 
Also known as the Lying Knees to Chest exercise. Bring bent legs to chest and raise hips six inches off ground. Start with iron boots. Add 2.5 lbs. to each boot every two weeks. Perform 8-10 reps.
12) Bouncing Split Squat - 
An extremely effective exercise for development of explosive power in the hips and legs and also for increasing flexibility of the hips. Stand erect, with barbell on shoulders, leap into the air, at the same time splitting the legs, one to the front with bent knee and the one to the rear with leg nearly straight. When landing, try and get the hips as low as possible. Immediately rebound as high as possible, reverse the direction of the legs and land in a low position. There must be no hesitation between jumps, only a continuous rapid motion. perform one set of 16-20 repetitions (8-10 reps each leg forward). Start with 30 lbs. Increase 5 lbs. every two weeks.
Triple Jumpers
Triple jumpers may add one exercise, hopping with weight on the shoulders. Place a light barbell on the shoulders and work up from 10 to 20 hops on each foot. This not only develops strength, but also balance. Increase 2 reps each workout period until you reach the maximum of 20 hops, then increase the barbell 5 lbs.
In Season Exercise
During the competitive season, both broad and triple jumpers should perform the Bent Leg Raise (5). This movement will keep the hip flexor muscles strong, greatly aiding performance. Perform this valuable exercise twice weekly. 2 sets of 8-10 reps with regular weight increases.



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