Dear Warren Buirch,
the optimal moment to start Shock Method training is related not so much to the age as to the training experience and the special strength preparedness level of athlete.
Shock Method has the most powerful training potential. In another words, this method is able to increase the explosive strength of athlete when the use of other methods are no more able to assure it. For this reason, it’s opportune to start Shock Method training only when the athlete has already realised the training potential of the other less powerful methods. The sequence to introduce explosive strength exercises in training process is:
1. Jumps and bounces without overload
2. Barbell ½ Squat Jumps
3. Russian Kettlebell Squat Jumps
4. Depth Jumps.
Before to use Barbell Squat Jumps and Russian Kettlebell Squat Jumps, the athlete needs to enforce his legs (to increase the legs extension maximal strength). So, after the period in which are carried out the bounces and jumps without overload and before to start with Barbell ½ Squat Jumps, he must incorporate in his training program the Barbell Squats using the methods of maximal strength increasing (high overload and slow movements).
Subsequently, he can increase the training potential of these methods using the combinations of slow Barbell Squats with high overload and explosive Squat Jumps in the same microcycle and after they achieve the improvement, also in the same training session (Complex Method). Only when the athlete achieves the increasing of his explosive strength through the use of all the above combinations of exercises, he can start to use Shock Method.
These are the main rules for all kinds of sports.
In the case of gymnast and figure skating athlete, who usually has a very short sport carrier and achieves high sport results very early, the rules of Depth Jumps are a bit different. It’s impossible to use overload exercises in pre-adolescent and adolescent age. So, the high level gymnasts and figure skating athletes could start to use Depth Jump after the period in which they use the jump exercises without overload.