We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As a side note, things like box jumps and plyometrics (and the Olympic lifts, power cleans and snatches) are really not indicated for older athletes. We have, in general, no need to train explosive movements and the forceful, sudden movements are just injuries waiting to happen. Sticking with the strength building exercises is a better path as we get older.
Got a lot on my plate today, but I'll try to find my references tonight for the following:
I agree that ballistic movements for older athletes are more likely to result in injury than non-explosive movements. However, seniors tend to lose power to an even greater degree than they lose strength. That said, the issue then becomes (1) how much power - versus plain strength - does grandpa need/want?, and (2) what's the trade-off, i.e. the risk of injury versus the benefit of more power?
We lose power and we become more prone to injuries from explosive movements because (1) we don't train explosively as we age, and (2) as we age, our tissues become less elastic. Whether the latter process can be slowed down/halted/reversed by the careful addition of ballistic movements is what we need to examine if we agree that gramps would be better off with more power.
In my experience, the type of movements that are most likely to cause problems in seniors (other than sitting on the sofa and doing nothing) are negative (eccentric) ballistic movements. Picture the catching phase of Cross Fit's wall ball exercise or the receiving phase of a squat clean.
In my experience, seniors often get injured because they can't handle ballistic forces, i.e. they get injured when they fall not only from the impact with the ground, but also from the sudden force that caused the fall. Indeed, many orthopedic docs state that when granny falls and breaks her hip, it was the break that came first, not the fall, and the break was due to a sudden force that she couldn't handle (often because she had no muscular strength/power to handle the stress with the result that the stress was fully applied to her already fragile - osteoporotic - skeleton).
PS - I would never allow BD's trainer to institute a program involving ballistic movements for my granny!
Agree with your basic argument, just fleshing out a few things here.
The key to remember is that power is just strength expressed quickly. The stronger you are, the more power you can display. There is no more powerful athlete than an Olympic lifter. They move very heavy weights over long distances very quickly. First they get strong and then they practice moving submaximal loads quickly and efficiently. Someone with a 405 deadlift will always clean more than someone with a 315 deadlift.
Granny falls and breaks her hip (or breaks her hip and falls) because she is weak and her bones are brittle. Strength training takes care of both those issues efficiently. Added strength means she can recover from an off balance position better, preventing the fall, and doing weight-bearing exercises with barbells increases bone density, reducing the chance of breaking a bone if she does happen to fall. Having her do power cleans or jumping exercises would be just silly (as is the excessive cardio that BD is so enamored with).
RE Plyometrics - several strength coaches for pro teams have personally told me that an athlete should be squatting 2.5X body weight before incorporating plyometrics, e.g. box jumps, into their training as ploys are essentially designed for the purpose of converting strength into explosive movement (rate of force development). In other words, many of the people doing ploys have no business doing them and are simply jumping on a fad.
"Athletes first need to increase force output (maximum strength), and then the ability to apply this force under ever-shorter timescales in movement skills specific to their sport."
"Maximum strength is a crucial factor in developing high power outputs."
Exactly what I said in my second post. Cronshaw knows what he's talking about! :-)