Author Topic: OLD: Instant RFD Part 1: Effective Stimulation For Days  (Read 3360 times)

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OLD: Instant RFD Part 1: Effective Stimulation For Days
« on: February 21, 2010, 04:24:35 pm »

Just moving this into the performance training section.
Pay no attention to the logos, it's now.

Instant RFD Part I : Effective Stimulation For Days

By: Andrew Darqui

The information in this article is for educational purposes only. I do not advise or encourage anyone to attempt to apply the information in this article. Do so at your own risk.

In this small article I will demonstrate an effective advanced method of stimulating instant performance results that last up to a few days.

 Before I go on, it would not be fair to explain any of this without pointing you towards one of the best sources of information I have ever read: “ SUPERMETHODS OF SPECIAL PHYSICAL PREPARATION FOR THE HIGH CLASS ATHLETE” By Yuri Verkhoshansky. Most of the information in these series of articles are derived from my own experimentation & implementation of the concepts detailed in SUPERMETHODS. If you would like a comprehensive discussion of shock and stim, refer to SUPERMETHODS. You can find this publication at

 The most effective stimulation methods I have utilized are:

 - High volume + high intensity depth jumps
 - High volume + low - moderate intensity depth jumps
 - High intensity + low volume squatting
 - High frequency + [moderate - high intensity] low volume squatting (also barbell squatting/lunges/stepups)
 - High doses of caffeine (Instant stim)
 - ISO extension stim / Squat stim (Instant stim)

 This article covers high volume depth jumps of low to moderate, or high intensity. The sections are as follows:

 1. What do I mean by stimulation?
 2. What is a depth jump?
 3. Immediate results: Real life examples
 4. Concerns & risks
 5. Closing

 If you already know what depth jumps and stim/potentiation are, just skip to section 3.


 We all know that practice & competition environments differ greatly. On the big stage, pretty much everyone gets nervous. Getting nervous is the key here - it simply means your nervous system is becoming highly excitable. A highly excitable nervous system can produce greater force at a faster rate (RFD), produce faster unloaded movements and react faster to various stimuli; in other words - the nervous system is now firing optimally for athletic performance.

 One of the keys to improving athletic performance is to tap into this nervous system excitability during various training sessions or prior to peaking for a specific event. There are instant and latent stimulation methods.

 Instant stimulation methods include:

 - Psyching up for training (yelling/cursing/music/intense focus)
 - Utilizing stimulants such as caffeine/smelling salts
 - Training in a dedicated/motivated/intense environment
 - Using weights or advanced exercises to stimulate instant gains in performance of another exercise (Refer to SUPERMETHODS for a detailed description).

 The actual STIM METHOD could be as simple as performing heavy lifts near maximum, resting for a certain period of time, then performing explosive exercises (jump squat) or ballistic movements (jumps and sprints). An example here could be performing heavy squats singles, resting, and then performing jumps squats or moderate intensity depth jumps.

 This article demonstrates a form of latent stimulation, also known as supercompensation. Simply; What you do on day 1 helps to significantly enhance what you do on day 3 or 4. In this example; day 1 consists of a very intense training session in which the body’s systems are stressed maximally. On day 2 or even perhaps day 3, performance could well in fact be completely horrible. On day 4 performance should reach levels beyond that of day 1 because of how the body adapts to such intense stimuli.

 Depth jumps and intense squat sessions are the most effective way at producing these results. These exercises have their own unique differences in how they achieve this stimulation. From experience;

 - Heavy squat stim sessions have you feeling animal-like on day 3-4. Jumps and sprints might feel a little more “muscled” than
 normal. The number of quality repetitions (such as jumps) seems to die out somewhat fast after reaching a peak.

 - Intense depth jump sessions have you feeling somewhat normal on day 3-4. Jumps and sprints feel more effortless. The number
 of quality repetitions (such as jumps) seems to be greater.

 Regardless, the results of each method improves performance. Athletes who are naturally stronger (small explosive strength deficit) might get more benefit from the depth jump session. Athletes who are naturally more reactive (large explosive strength deficit) might get more benefit from the squat sessions. It is not set in stone - both types of athletes may benefit just as much from either method.


 The video below is an example of a depth jump:


A depth jump is a specific exercise to overload an athletes nervous system & musculoskeletal system. Instead of using typical external resistance such as weights,  you use kinetic energy of your body during freefall. The higher the box - the more kinetic energy you accumulate during freefall. Upon landing, a very sharp development of muscular tension occurs due to the instantaneous landing. This instantaneous landing causes a surge of impulses which promotes a faster and more poweful switching of eccentric to concentric work [Verkhoshansky].

 This surge of impulses during the switch from eccentric to concentric work is where the positive adaptations take place. Improving the force developed & improving elastic energy utilization during this switch directly improves performance. Interestingly, the use of depth jumps from boxes higher than 30" has been used to develop maximal strength via explosive strength increases.

 The type of tension one is exposed to during a depth jump is much different than that of barbells. The most important difference is how muscle is recruited. In a traditional barbell lift, muscle is recruited voluntarily. However, in a depth jump, the muscle recruited upon landing is forced. This forced recruitment is very effective at teaching the body how to develop large forces incredibly fast.

To perform a proper depth jump, a few key concepts must be used:

 - Before stepping off the box, one must visualize that of achieving the highest jump height possible. Contrary to popular belief, do not focus on getting off the ground as fast as possible, this reduces force production.

 - Take a few deep breaths. Take one leg off the box, point toes up (dorsiflex), and bring the hands together. Inhale one more deep breath and hold it (to protect the spine and “stay tight”). Drop off the box while looking straight ahead.

 - Try and time the arm swing properly as you land (landing must be on the mid-foot, never landing directly on the heel, it is ok however if the heel eventually makes contact with the ground). Upon landing, one’s arms must be very near or at the “ready position”. To achieve this - start your arm swing downward as you’re in freefall. As you hit the ground, your arms should now be at the ready position, ready for you to spring back upward. Eventually this will become a reflex. If you are having problems with the timing, just focus on getting the arms back before you land.

 - Produce very forceful arm swing with nearly straight arms, jump as high as you can forcefully pushing your toes through the ground, and then reach as high as possible. At this point, it is natural for you to exhale the breathe you were holding.

What you do in between reps & sets is also important:

 - In between reps, use relaxed breathing. Keep focusing on obtaining maximum jump height. Run a few of the previous concepts through your mind; such as pushing the toes through the ground and forcefully swinging the arms up.

 - In between reps, perform light shaking of the arms and feet in a relaxed manner.

 - In between sets, try not to think about much. Utilize light dynamic stretching exercises such as leg swings. arm swings, light torso rotations, and light toe hops.


 Below I will illustrate how effective high volume depth jumps are at improving rate-force development in only one session. Each graph illustrates a slightly different implementation of the utilization of depth jumps for significant short-term supercompensation in four different athletes. These examples occurred in trained athletes who have been utilizing depth jumps in low volume and varying intensities prior to these sessions (in conjunction with other jump variations and sprints); this is important because it rules out the complaint that the athletes simply improved immediately because of lack of familiarity with depth jumps. No other training was done during these sessions or the rest days that followed.

 The protocols of the graphs below are as follows:

 A. Two sessions, 4 sets of 10 depth jumps from a 30” box. Five minutes rest between sets, 30 seconds rest between reps.
 B. Two sessions, 4 sets of 5 depth jumps from a 18” box. Five minutes rest between sets, 30 seconds rest between reps.
 C. Two sessions, 4 sets of 5 depth jumps from a 24” box. Five minutes rest between sets, 30 seconds rest between reps.
 D. Three sessions, 4 sets of 5 depth jumps from a 30” box. Five minutes rest between sets, 30 seconds rest between reps.

 The lines in each graph refer to each jump, plotted, for each set. The red line refers to DAY-1. The green line refers to DAY-2 (where the supercompensation occurs). The blue line (in graph 4) refers to DAY-3. Each day (session) is separated by two complete rest days (DAY-1, rest, rest, DAY-2).

A: On DAY-1 a PR of a 10’3” touch. On DAY-2 I hit 10’3” or higher 16 times, with a new PR of 10’4” touch (2 times).

4x10 Depth Jumps from 30

B: This is by far the best graph I will show you. Every single jump was significantly better on DAY-2.

Mini Shock

C: Most every jump was higher on DAY-2 than DAY-1. Only a few jumps out of the 20 were the same. None of the jumps from DAY-2 were lower than DAY-1.

4x5 Depth Jumps from 24

D: This graph is interesting because for the first 10 jumps, day 2 and day 3 significantly outperform DAY-1. Yet for the next 10 jumps, the results are mixed. The final 5 jumps actually have DAY-1 outperforming DAY-2 and DAY-3.

4x5 Depth Jumps from 30

What you should grasp from the graphs above, is that depth jumps in a session by themself can be a very effect "PR-breaker". There is also no need to rush into 4x10 shock, considering that 4x5 works quite well.

For people who have never done depth jumps, it is essential that they start out on 12" boxes. If after a few sessions it feels too easy, then perform a depth jump test to figure out the correct box height. Finding out the correct box height can be found in RJ's Reactivity Series Part 1. Performing this test will result in your maximum box height (MBH).

Once the MBH is known, training submaximally becomes safer. Anyone can implement low-box depth jumps, any time of the year. It is a simple non-magical movement. It is best to keep a decent level of efficiency at this movement if you plan on experimenting with more intense box heights (MBH). An athlete should never just jump right into a program that utilizes their MBH without proper progressive preparation.

Examples of low box heights based on MBH:

MBH=30+" box: <= 18" box for low intensity DJ

MBH=24" box: <= 12" box for low intensity DJ

MBH18" box: <= 6" box for low intensity DJ

Performing depth jumps at low intensity really targets the lower leg (calfs/achilles/feet). These improvements are noticed very quickly, but unfortunately can disappear just as quickly. Maintenance work with low box depth jumps can then become a good way to keep that new-found springyness. The most effective protocols I have used for low box depth jumps are 2x5-10.

As for high intensity depth jumps, the best protocols I've used are 3x3 and 4x2. Progressing into these rep ranges before attempting higher volume shock is absolutely essential. A progression of 3 to 4 weeks is necessary to reduce the risk of injury.

Experimenting with high volume shock should only be done at pre-planned times throughout the year, after a proper progression. For implementation of true shock, see Verkhoshansky's forum at Performing high volume shock with a 4x5 protocol drastically reduces injury risk while maintaining an effective stimulus. Unlike all of the other protocols, high volume shock should be the only training stimulus in your program. If you plan on implementing 4x5 from MBH, realize that there is to be no lifting and that shock alone will provide all of the needed training stimulus. Depending on your work capacity, there can be one or two active recovery rest days between each shock session. I personally would not exceed six sessions (4x5 from MBH) in 2-2.5 weeks.


 This is just an informative article on my implementations of shock. Care must be taken with every exercise, but especially if that exercise is a high intensity depth jump. If proper care & progression is not taken, injury can be the result.


 As an athlete, learning to get the most out of your body on demand is a very powerful tool. Not every session can be at peak level, but for those sessions or events that require peak performance, there are methods that can be utilized. The intensity of these methods do not come without risk. For those willing to take the time to prepare their bodies for such methods, greater results in athletic performance can be obtained.




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Re: OLD: Instant RFD Part 1: Effective Stimulation For Days
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2010, 02:25:49 pm »
Where can I find RJ's Reactivity Series? I'm still figuring out this great place.
"Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself."


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Re: OLD: Instant RFD Part 1: Effective Stimulation For Days
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2010, 02:37:13 pm »
Where can I find RJ's Reactivity Series? I'm still figuring out this great place.

its in his sig on tvs


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Re: OLD: Instant RFD Part 1: Effective Stimulation For Days
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2010, 03:46:55 pm »
"Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself."