White Men Can’t Jump…

… and other plyometric truths.

The East Germans — back before the Berlin Wall came down — knew a thing or two about Olympic training.  Remember their women’s swim team in the 1976 Montreal Olympics?  I sure do, and many current NFL linebackers can only dream of shoulder and neck definition like those chlorine-soaked poolside beauties sported in the Games.  Let’s overlook the fact that many of those swimmers used chemical supplements to reach their goals…

The East Germans and/or Soviets, so I have come to learn, also invented plyometric training, or “jump training” to the uninitiated.  It involves having your muscles exert as much force in as short a time as possible, with the goal of gaining greater power and speed.  That means you get to do a bunch of jumping around.  Which should enhance overall fitness.

Everfeet, don't fail me now!

Everfeet, don’t fail me now!

Sadly for those of us struggling to get more fit, today’s fitness & health gurus love plyometric training and impart its benefits at every opportunity.  Walk into any gym and glance over at a personal trainer working with a client.  I’ll wager the student is either jumping onto and off a weight bench — or over one — or they are doing some sort of hopping lunge routine.  With or without weights!  Hey, let’s pretend there a logs rolling down the hall and we have to jump over them in order to get out!..  Woh!

The problem for me is that I have flat feet and wear orthotics.  [Very sexy!]  This means God did not intend for me to do a lot of jumping while here on earth.  He put me — and my feet especially — very close to the ground.  But my Power 90 dvd and its big brother, P90X, have a lot of plyometric exercise included in their home-based workouts.

I don’t dispute that plyometric training is useful in an overall fitness routine, just that it is especially challenging for Ol’ Flatfoot to utilize.

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