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31 May 2013

Jump Muthafucka, Jump

As I've said before, the jump squat is to the competition back squat what liquid Viagra is to porn stars— it enables you to perform at the highest levels without fear that you’re going to go limp in the middle of the competition and make a total ass of yourself.  The jump squat makes getting out of the hole (the bottom of the squat) a simple affair, because you’ve conditioned your body to literally explode out of that position.  The powerlifting back squat is a fundamentally slow affair, and could easily be conducted to the slower parts of a Wagnerian opera in a Viking helmet.  Slowly grinding through the squat sucks, though, and the very worst part is that second at the bottom wherein you pause for a moment to wonder “is it really possible to get the fuck out of here with my life?”

Just as Justin Bieber is often asked the question "why don't you fucking die already?", I am often asked the question "why don't you do pause squats?", in spite of the fact that I've answered this question repeatedly.  To recap, I despise pause squats because they make sitting in the hole an even more protracted affair than it already seems to be.  For me, it ingrains a very bad habit of going slack in the hole, as well as staying there like I'm pausing a bench, in competition.  That, I discovered, is a terrible habit to have, and a hard one to break.  Thus, I abandoned the pause squats I'd been doing for a few months after my first full meet in 2009 and began experimenting with other methods, whereupon I decided jump squats were a far better option.

Though I've mentioned these in the past, I've not really gone into any great detail on how I conduct them.  Frankly, I thought the performance of these would be more or less self-explanatory- put bar on back, squat, jump off ground.  Not that much to it, really.  Since I initially posted on the subject, however, it's come to my attention that people like far more direction than I would in the performance of any given exercise.  As such, I shall provide it.  Due to the fact that you're leaving the ground, low bar squatting is out the window- if you attempt a low bar jump squat, there's a very real option you'll wake up in the hospital with a broken back and small stumps at the shoulders where your arms had previously been.  Rather than ending up a potential freak of nature, you might want to just squat high bar.  Quite frankly, I despise high bar squatting, but using it as a supplement, especially if you're a low bar squatter, gives you much more quad-dominant training, which will ultimately help your low bar squat.  Another thing that will help your regular squat is the varied stances you should be using with the jump squat.  As a general rule of thumb, you will widen your stance with each successive set.  I find that I use more or less the same stance from 135 through 315, then begin spreading my stance from 405 upward.  By the time I hit 505, I'm using my regular squat stance, only with a high bar (which is far harder than it has any right to be).


You'll notice that I go heavier than an Acacia Strain breakdown on jump squats.  Conventional wisdom, a sense of self-preservation, and a modicum of sanity would generally indicate otherwise, but I have been hovering around 80% of my one rep max of late on jump squats.  The only other maniac of whom I've heard who does jump squats as a part of his regular routine is Kolkaev, and even a man who willingly subjects himself to the dangers of a 600 lb no-hands barbell back squat doesn't go over 185 lbs on jump squats.  Frankly, I'm not sure why this is- maybe it's because I drink gallons of Diet Coke in lieu of the sedative-laced drinking water most people consume (Salon), it's the result of psychosis brought on by years of stimulant use, my giant brass balls, my desire to impose my will on the universe, or some fault with the rest of humanity.  Nevertheless, I go considerably heavier on jump squats than do most people, it seems to pay off on the platform, and I'm far more used to exploding out of the hole than a roomful of poorly endowed Japanese at a bukkake porn shoot.

If you're still skeptical, consider the following reasons to employ jump squats in your training:
  • explosive training induces more hypertrophy than slow reps (Chapman).
  • the utilization of different tempos in a training cycle produced far greater strength gains and hypertrophy than did a single tempo (Verkhoshanskii).  Thus, if you're using jump squats in concert with squats off the pins or regular back squats (or better yet, all three), you'll compound your gains like you're a fund manager named Madoff.
  • fast eccentric movements lead to a higher concentration of type IIb than type I muscle fibers and greater strength gains than do slower repetitions (Paddon-Jones).
  • consciously attempting to move explosively, regardless of the speed of movement, results in far greater  full-range strength than slower movements (Young).
  • old ladies had huge rates of strength development with heavy explosive training, and if they can do it, you people damn well better be able to (Caserotti).
  • going heavy on these works wonders- a study pitted  two groups of lifters against each other, one group doing 30%1RM jump squats and the other going with my much more awesomer 80%1RM, and the heavy jump squatters had significantly greater increases in their 1RM and their 1RM/bodyweight ratio (McBridge). 
Ian Middleton did make a good point I'd not really taken into consideration when developing this technique or recommending it to others- the participant's bodyweight.  Frankly, I generally give a person's bodyweight the same type of consideration Mel Gibson gives to good public relations.  Nevertheless, it stands to reason that the heavier a person is, the lower they should load their jump squats.  This is because a jump squat really includes the lifter's bodyweight in the total load lifted, as they're leaving the ground.  Additionally, the heavier a lifter is, the greater eccentric force they generate in their landing, which will affect their recovery rate considerably.  As such, he recommends utilizing a percentage of total system weight (body weight + one rep maximum bar weight) rather than simply utilizing their one rep max.  As this might seem somewhat confusing to those of you with widely spaced eyes, here's his example:

After trying to reverse my loading for the total system weight, I realized that it wouldn't provide any kind of useful example.  I generally use 455 for doubles and 405 for sets of 5, which is 70% of my 1RM and 62% of my 1RM.  If you'd like to convert that for yourself, feel free.  If you'd just like to use common sense, it'd probably be easier than doing the mostly useless arithmetic   If you're fat, use lower percentages.  If you're skinny, use higher percentages if you want.  Problem solved.

Squat as if Arnold was watching you.

In terms of sets and reps, I don’t recommend high reps for these due to the fact that your speed drops precipitously as your reps increase.  As the study I alluded to above stated, that's not necessarily a bad thing, at least until you actually lose the ability to jump off the ground.  Wishing you were moving quickly only goes so far in jump squats.  As such, I'd keep it to 4-10 sets of 1-5 reps.

There you have it- jump squats, in all of their glory.  Go do them.

Caserotti P, Aagaard P, Buttrup LJ. and Puggaard L. Explosive heavy-resistance training in old and very old adults: changes in rapid muscle force, strength and power, 2008. Scan J Medicine & Science in Sports, 18: 773–782.

Chapman D, Newton M, Sacco P, Nosaka K.  Greater muscle damage induced by fast versus slow velocity eccentric exercise.  Int J Sports Med. 2006 Aug;27(8):591-8.

Harvey, Matt.  Your tap water is probably laced with antidepressants.  Salon.  41 Mar 2013.  Web. 30 May 2013.

McBride JM, Triplett-McBride, Davie A, Newton RU. The effect of heavy-vs. light-load jump squats on the development of strength, power, and speed, 2002. J Strength Cond Res 16:75– 82.

Middleton, Ian.  Jump Squats.  How Much To Load?  Published online.

Paddon-Jones D, Leveritt M, Lonergan A, Abernethy P. Adaptation to chronic eccentric exercise in humans: the influence of contraction velocity. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2001 Sep;85(5):466-71.

Verkhoshanskii IuV, Biru AA. Patterns in the long-term body adaptation of the athlete to
physical loads. Fiziol Cheloveka. 1987 Sep-Oct; 13(5):811-8. Print.

Young WB,Bilby GE.  The effect of voluntary effort to influence speed of contraction on strength, muscular power, and hypertrophy development. J Str Con, 1993 7(3), 172-178.


  1. What do you think about using bands for these? I read somewhere they were good for jump squats since they keep the bar pinned to your back instead of having it crash down on your back.

    1. Try them, and have your family let us know if you die in the attempt.

  2. Replies
    1. I couldn't possibly think of something I'd have less interest in measuring.

  3. thought: if one were to try to find a "middle ground" (i can just about feel jamie wanting to rip my head off like was bieber's non-testicles for writing that) in loading, it would probably be a weight with which one's jump height would decrease. this would let one maintain good speed for a while, without it being "speed work" (bleh) since it's actually a load that significantly affects the movement. that'd probably more suited to something like paul's stuff, though (~75% et al).

    1. Just put a loaded bar on your back and do jump squats. I'm not in the business of debating loading protocols. If you don't suck, jump squats will help.

    2. have done so before already at different intensities, and found then all fun. jump squats are pretty damn awesome.

    3. Science seems to support doing them at any and all loads from 30%-80%. As with everything else, I prefer to do them with heavier loads. If you read the jump squat article I cited from Diesel Crew, there's not a real consensus on how they should be loaded.

  4. im gonna start with my 40kg weight vest and work up from there because im a pussy

  5. im the same guy from the above two post, Jamie, homie I got sumthing for ya, only because your already the deadlift king you deadlift so much now you don't have to deadlift at all, which is awesome!, anyway- add weightvest to your heavier near maximal deads, do you thing it will over load and strengthen your posterior chain even more? man I don't know just thinkin,now ive remembered your heavy shrugs. meh for example say you 1rm deadlift is 100kg but maybe you could pull 100kg wearing a 10 kg weightvest so now its 110kg of workload on the body might stimulate growths/adaptions. hit me back yo

  6. 1) Preventing the bar from leaving your back can be done with liberal use of basic cerebral processing.

    2) This blog does not cater to the middle ground.

    3) The giving of suggestions regarding training methodology to an individual who is surpassing you in all lifts is unwarranted, and is diagnostic criteria for irreversibly atrophied leydig cells, and suggests mullerian duct development.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Your need for approval is bewildering.

    3. ahahahahah
      "This comment has been removed by the author."

    4. i took your advices, im being respectful to Jamie but I have fucked 340+ different chicks, anyway I will try these weighted squat jumps.

    5. I'm just busting your balls man.

      Have a good fucking workout. Rip some shit up.

  7. Finnish ski-jumper Janne Ahonen worked jump squats up to 160k / 352lbs for a few reps if I remember right... might have been more. He was just skin and bones when he did it.

  8. You still using your new balance minimus? I just bought some mx20v3's and figured they'd be the tits for these.

  9. Jamie, I had a serious thought here if you have the time or desire to answer: what would your lifts look like had you been locked in a hardcore gym for one year with Chuck Vogelpohl and Louie Simmons for one full year with a butcher/ rib joint in the back?

    Would you go backward or maybe increase your total? I know your training is night-and-day different from what these guys would have you doing which is why I ask...

    1. I would have quit lifting altogether. I don't have the patience to set up strongman implements, much less sit through three hour training sessions in which I do four sets. I would quite literally eat a bullet before I would train with geared lifters.

  10. These are the worst comments ever

  11. Have you found that jump squats cause knotting in your quads way more than other types of squatting? If so, have you found any ways to minimize it?

    It's nothing foam rolling or having someone stomp on your legs can't fix, but I'd rather not deal with it at all or keep it to a minimum. I remember going up stairs in high school and having my leg fall out from under me as the pain caused by the knotting was enough to make my body think something getting injured.

    1. Nope, not at all. You could try epsom salt baths, I suppose.

    2. Nothing will trump rolling it.

      Avoiding its next near to impossible, as its a natural body mechanism to trauma to induce tissue fibrosis. A really retarded one in certain circumstances.

      Steps to minimize:
      -You could try a stretching routine before and during
      -maybe a little pre-rolling and post rolling
      -Some topical diclofenac before, during, after.
      -Jump into a bath tub full of ice right after,
      -An ibuprofen for extremely bad sessions.

      Fibrous adhesions that have developed will need to be broken up though:
      -Foam rolling/massage.
      -I've heard it mentioned fast eccentrics being beneficial but never saw any use of it.

      -upon waking rollout your legs, slap some diclofenac on and go about your day. I've had to do this quite a few times when limping around on the job wasn't a good idea.

  12. Jaime, have you ever tried scotch eggs? Also, there's two films on tv right now, Shooter with Mark Whalberg and Jacobs Ladder with Tim Robbins. Which should i watch? I had two wanks today at work, and did NO jobs.

  13. There has been an unusual increase in phaggotry on the comments.

    We should go back to shit talking eachother.

    1. You're fucking right about that, asshole.

  14. yo Jamie et al. you gotta check out this aussie humor

  15. What the fuck is wrong with you people? I'm ashamed that I read this blog knowing that you morons like it too.

    Fuck's sakes.

  16. And since yall are apparently Jamie's personal crew of dicksuckers and won't say anything. Shouldn't a squat variation done for power out of the hole involve actually moving fast out of the hole? Congratulations on being able to jump a few inches off the floor AT LOCKOUT.

    If it works for you then it works for you, but I don't see any point at all to adding on an explosive calf raise thing and calling it a jump squat. I really don't see how it adds any increase in force production compared to just doing a normal squat fast.

    Am I missing something?

    1. Are you suggesting I jump off the floor at the bottom of the movement? What possible good could that do? Additionally, you missed my mention of this: Young WB,Bilby GE. The effect of voluntary effort to influence speed of contraction on strength, muscular power, and hypertrophy development. J Str Con, 1993 7(3), 172-178.

      I didn't bother to go into the additional force generated in the eccentric catch, as I didn't feel like making the article any longer, but there is a considerable additional load from the "catch" portion of the jump.

      One last note, given that I'm doing partial squats for over a thousand pounds, wouldn't you think I'd be using a bit more weight were this simply an explosive calf raise?

    2. Are you going to talk about your other tubular/radical squat variants soon? That might be quite good.

    3. 1) Fuck off Rant, you're an ass.

      2) Sorry that wasn't worded clearly, I meant that you're not moving particularly fast out of the hole. I don't doubt that you're attempting to move as fast as you can. Obviously you'd have to be, considering that you're about to jump off the floor with a shit-ton of weight on your back. But you're still not moving particularly fast in the hole where I would think it matters since the goal is increasing power out of the hole.

      I would think that one would get better results using a load which allowed for maximum power output for them.

      The majority of my lifting is done for maximum power (the other part of my training being 1RM type stuff) so I'm certainly not debating the value of things like jump squats. I think they're completely fucking awesome and they could benefit most people a huge amount (Especially considering how many people have disgusting genetics and are slow as shit)

      That's an interesting point about the eccentric catch. Similar effect to what you get from depth drops I would guess.

      It should go without saying that I'm not trolling you for the sake of making myself feel better about being weaker than you. But considering the intellectually challenged hominids who apparently read this blog, I should make it clear that I'm aware 1) you are strong as shit. 2) I'm not very strong nor do I have a hell of a lot of experience.

    4. If you want to make me fuck off gay boy, we can meet up.

    5. animalrage: Even if your goal is to jump at lock-out, it wouldn't be possible (particularly with heavy weights) if your initial momentum out of the hole is small. You just cannot get a grinding rep out of the hole to finish as a jump.

    what Jamie said

  18. Tried these for the first time yesterday. Any tips for keeping the bar on your back?

  19. Gentlemen,
    this is John Rambo, Anti-Feminist Soldier. I am posting this on behalf of Peter-Andrew: Nolan© also now known as Joschua-Brandon: Boehm©. I am doing this because, as a young men who knows Peter well, I know he has our best interests at heart.

    It is well known that five years ago, April 2008, I spent a month suicidal as I went through the process of disowning my former children. When I came out of that rather unpleasant experience I contacted other men who had been similarly affected. I realized that many men were killing themselves because of the criminal abuse of the family law courts all across the western English speaking world.

    As a direct result of this experience, and my compassion for my fellow men, I made a vow in June 2008 to re-introduce the rule of law into Australia and Ireland. Naturally, at the time I made the vow I had no idea how that might be done. We call it “throw your hat over the wall”. You make the vow and “figure it out later”.

    Along the way I have talked to many tens of thousands of men, perhaps as many as 100,000 men have seen at least one comment by me one way or another. What I heard from men in 2008 was that they were DESPERATE for a remedy for the crimes being committed against them in the family courts. They were DESPERATE to find a way to end the criminal effects of feminism on their lives. Because so many men told me the same thing I mistook this to mean they actually WANTED to solve the problems of the family courts and feminism. As I said. My mistake.

    Through very extensive research and labour, and collaborating with the best and brightest, the remedy for both the family courts and feminism was proven on 2009-11-26. A mere 18 months after I was suicidal. The court meeting that I did on 2009-11-26 I regard as one of the finest achievements of my life. Regardless? The very men I risked my life to create a remedy for have ignored that remedy, preferring to whine, bitch, moan and complain because that is far more rewarding to them than actually solving their problems. If they solved their problems they would have nothing to whine, bitch, moan and complain about.

    The remedy has now been available 2.5 times as long as it took to develop and has proved uniquely unpopular. I am hated for even talking about it. The blood of every man who kills himself due to criminal abuse in the family courts is on the hands of those perhaps 100,000+ men who have heard from me and done nothing. I did all I could. They did not. It is actually very simple.

    The mechanism for men to free themselves now is the Mens Business Association. The MBA provides individual based services to get men out of the control grid. Such services may well save the mans life from suicide. Going forward? It is necessary to create second economy outside the control of any government entity. Why criminals in governments can dominate and control men via the economy they will continue to do so. There is no reason for them to stop. The MBA is the proposal of a second economy outside the control of the government. This is a NECESSARY ingredient for men to live in freedom.

    Only a small percentage of men will want to live in freedom. Those men who want to live in freedom? You are invited to watch a short update on how we are going in our efforts to get the second economy going. Naturally? The second economy will grow just as quickly or slowly as men join in and contribute to it. Those who want to “stick with the government run economies”? You are welcome to do so. I wish you luck with that because you are going to need it.

    best regards

    your brother peter

    1. This is very good I have subscribed to your youtube channel,some men r beyond help they believe marriage,wife,children,providing is what men do,if men complain but r not willing to change, they r blind/brainwashed and dumb and will always be, I love attractive females therefore I don't get married or have a wife,many single females r available to me this way without nagging, as I build my assets and wealth.
      but Please Have Respect for Jamie and his Blog and try not to get far of topic without at least contributing to the topic discussion. thank you.

    2. PS ive listened to all stardusk,barberossa, venition,mgtow stuff validationwarfare etc. if a man chooses to marry or have children I highly respect this man for his choice. I highly respect and regard man and our choices, there r many great Fathers and married men there r also many great woman.but if/when men give up their masculinity and power and wealth to scummy,undeserving chicks and become gimps they lose my respect.

  20. Jamie, I believe you've misunderstood the point and/or the content of my question. Chuck Vogelpohl has nothing to do with strongman implements nor spending three hours for four sets.

    Not even sure how you came up with that answer to tell you the truth. Im pretty sure you couldn't have described his training less accurately if you tried

    I think you may have him confused with someone else.

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