We examined the effects of 2 plyometric training programs, equalized for training volume, followed by a 4-week recovery period of no plyometric training on anaerobic power and vertical jump performance. Physically active, college-aged men were randomly assigned to either a 4-week (n = 19, weight = 73.4 +/- 7.5 kg) or a 7-week (n = 19, weight = 80.1 +/- 12.5 kg) program. Vertical jump height, vertical jump power, and anaerobic power via the Margaria staircase test were measured pretraining (PRE), immediately posttraining (POST), and 4 weeks posttraining (POST-4). Vertical jump height decreased in the 4-week group PRE (67.8 +/- 7.9 cm) to POST (65.4 +/- 7.8 cm). Vertical jump height increased from PRE to POST-4 in 4-week (67.8 +/- 7.9 to 69.7 +/- 7.6 cm) and 7-week (64.6 +/- 6.2 to 67.2 +/- 7.6 cm) training programs. Vertical jump power decreased in the 4-week group from PRE (8,660.0 +/- 546.5 W) to POST (8,541.6 +/- 557.4 W) with no change in the 7-week group. Vertical jump power increased PRE to POST-4 in 4-week (8,660.0 +/- 546.5 W to 8,793.6 +/- 541.4 W) and 7-week (8,702.8 +/- 527.4 W to 8,931.5 +/- 537.6 W) training programs. Anaerobic power improved in the 7-week group from PRE (1,121.9 +/- 174.7 W) to POST (1,192.2 +/- 189.1 W) but not the 4-week group. Anaerobic power significantly improved PRE to POST-4 in both groups. There were no significant differences between the 2 training groups. Four-week and 7-week plyometric programs are equally effective for improving vertical jump height, vertical jump power, and anaerobic power when followed by a 4-week recovery period. However, a 4-week program may not be as effective as a 7-week program if the recovery period is not employed.
(C) 2003 National Strength and Conditioning Association