Dear Nathan Rohlff,
I wish help you translating the part of “Scientific contribution” regarding the story of Shock Method that has been published on this site only in Russian version. As you can see I describe those moments as a novel like really they happened.
“The invention, or development, of the Shock Method started in the fifties thanks to the problems met by a young jumpers coach of the Moscow Aeronautical Institute, Yuri Verkhoshansky.
This Institute didn't have a sporting plant for indoor winter training. The Track and Field jumpers' winter trainings were primarily focused to the maintenance of their general physical condition through the use of winter sports (ski, skate) and some running and leaps on the snow.
The Russian winter is very long, so it was a big problem to maintain the athletes specific performance.
One day it was so cold that also outdoor running was not possible. Verkhoshansky didn’t want live them without physical exercises, he found an old barbell in the utensils store and said them to try to train with the barbell in the little space under the stairways. At beginning they used only the Weightlifters exercises, later the coach invented more specific exercises. In the spring, after a winter spent with this type of training, the athletes gained very good results. After these unexpected results Verkhoshansky understood the main importance of barbell exercise in jumpers training.
At that time Y.Verkhoshansky was also doing a research on the biodynamical structure of triple jump technique. He discovered that in the triple jump the pressure on the support, during the push up, reaches 300 kg. None of his athletes was able to perform the Squat with such overload on the shoulders. So, he start to search how create the conditions to make possible to perform the legs push up movement with overloaded of 300 kg.
The first Verkhoshansky’s idea was to perform the Squat with not complete legs folding because it allowed to increase the weight of overload. Nevertheless, the use of this exercise immediately brought vertebral column injuries of his lanky jumpers (low back pain).
The second idea was to perform a kind of vertical Leg Press with the help of two assistants which maintained the barbell for not making it fall. But this attempts showed that also two people were not able to maintain such heavy barbell and for this reason the exercise could be vary dangerous.
Returning to reflect on the causes of the big strength effort in the triple jump a new idea has come out: “may be it’s possible to create the conditions for such strength effort using the energy of human body fall”. So Verkhoshansky started to find a practical way to realize this idea in the only place that he had at his disposal, the narrow and tall space among the stairways of the Institute’s building.
In this way has been invented the jumps in low with rebound in aloft, Drop Jumps and the Shock Method.