While plyometric training is widely used by sports coaches as a method of improving explosive power in athletes, many prescribe volumes in excess of the NSCA recommendations. The purpose of this study was to assess voluntary and evoked muscle characteristics to assess the neuromuscular impact of a high volume bout of plyometric exercise that was non-exhaustive. Ten athletes who did not have plyometric training experience and were in their competitive season for club-level sport volunteered for the study. After at least two days without high-intensity activity, subjects were assessed on maximal twitch torque, time to peak torque, rate of twitch torque development, twitch half relaxation time, rate of twitch relaxation, and voluntary activation by the interpolated twitch technique before, immediately after, and 2 hours after a high volume plyometric training program (212 ground contacts). Data were analysed by repeated measures ANOVA and described as mean ± SD and Cohen's d. Statistically significant decrements appeared immediately after the training protocol in the total torque generated by MVC (p<0.05, d=-0.51) and twitch (p< 0.01, d=-0.92), rate of twitch torque development (p<0.01, d=-0.77), and rate of relaxation (p<0.01, d=-0.73). However, we did not observe any differences that remained statistically different after two hours. There were no significant differences observed at any time point in time to peak twitch, half relaxation time, or voluntary activation. We conclude that high volume plyometric training results primarily in peripheral fatigue that substantially impairs force and rate of force development. We recommend that coaches carefully monitor the volume of plyometric training sessions to avoid neuromuscular impairments that can result in sub-optimal training.
Drinkwater, E., Lane, T., & Cannon, J. (2009). Effect of an acute bout of plyometric exercise on neuromuscular fatigue and recovery in recreational athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23(4), 1181-1186. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e31819b79aa