I want to talk today about what habitual jump training has to do with your fiber size, your fiber recruitment, neuromuscular patterns, and firing rate.
Basically it has very little to do with your muscle fiber size. Habitual jump training is not going to do a whole lot to make you stronger, or to increase your fiber muscle size. And this is because in order to become stronger, you need to provide great amounts of resistance to your muscles. When it’s a pure body weight program, with very few one leg movements, there’s not going to be a great increase in fiber size. Although, those who have not done any resistance training are going to notice some increases in strength.
I also want to talk about fiber recruitment. Fiber recruitment is the amount of muscle fiber that’s recruited during a particular exercise or movement. And because habitual jump training is done with no weight, and is done at a low intensity, the fiber recruitment is going to be lower, and that’s just the fact of it. You’re not going to be recruiting all the muscle fibers and working all the muscle fibers that you can.
Also I want to talk about neuromuscular patterns. Basically a neuromuscular pattern is any type of skill your body uses your muscles in order to perform. So any time you’re manipulating your body with your muscles, there’s a neuromuscular pattern, or a combination of neuromuscular patterns, taking place. Neuromuscular patterns are used to play the piano, to sprint, to do jumping jacks, basically any activity.
Now there is a plus side with habitual jump training, and that is that you are training your body to jump. Not everyone is accustomed to the movements, the arm swings, everything involved with jumping. You know babies learn to walk, kids learn to run, sprint, and eventually at some point you need to learn to correctly jump. Your body will learn habitually, by doing something over and over, your body will have the memory of how to jump. And it will be a new or strengthened muscular pattern of jumping.
Now the down side is that that neuromuscular pattern will be a submaximal pattern. Because habitual jump training, there’s so much volume involved that most of the jumps are at a submaximal level. That means you’re not jumping as high as you possibly can each time, and your body knows that, and that neuromuscular pattern includes that. So most of the pattern that you’re strengthening is at a submaximal level, and that’s not what you want to be training if you’re wanting to jump at your maximum height. So that’s the down side.
Lastly I want to talk about your firing rate. When you exert a force, your muscle fires–more than once. In fact, there’s a firing rate, and that determines how much strength or how much torque you have during that movement. And once again because habitual jump training requires so much volume, you’re going to end up pacing yourself and your firing rate is be lowered as well. Basically habitual jump training isn’t going to be optimal for increasing fiber size, or fiber recruitment, it’s not going to give you an optimal neuromuscular pattern to create or strengthen, and it’s not going to optimize your firing rate.