American triple jumper and first-time Olympian Christian Taylor completed his gold-medal conquest in London, backing up his claim that "Christian doesn't crush under pressure."
Taylor went above and beyond the call, posting a personal best distance of 17.81 meters. Learn the training methods that helped Taylor rise to Olympic stardom, right in his own words:
1. My coach is not a fan of tapering. [Before leaving for the U.S. Olympic Trials,] I did Hang Cleans for eight sets of two reps, and on the final two sets, I did two reps of 245 pounds. To have that consistent strength to be able to do it twice, and not just hit a peak and not be able to do it again, that's something I can carry over to the Jumps. You don't want to hit just one jump and not be able to hit it again. You want to be able to hit it, and then also be able to respond if somebody else surpasses that.
2. I don't Squat, which is uncommon for jumpers. When I Squat, my back tightens up. So I do a lot of Leg Presses. I'll mix it up by doing the Heavy Leg Press, then other times I'll do the Single-Leg Press, which will be a little lighter. The Single-Leg Press is like a punching motion, which helps me with the jump, as far as being able to anticipate and react to the ground. [Watch video to learn how to perform the Single-Leg Press.]
3. Box Jumps are huge for me, but I don't always jump for height. I'll jump off the box and then jump up again to get the explosive, fast-twitch muscle fibers working. [Learn about the Plyo Box Jump and Depth Box Jump exercises.]
4. I'll do some Bench Press, but not too much. I don't have the big, jacked arms like Tyson [Gay] and [Usain] Bolt. I don't do a lot of upper-body training, but instead I do a lot of full-body lifts like the Snatch, Hang Cleans and other lifts that engage the full body.
5. Mondays are heavy sprints days. I'll do 12 40s at a pretty fast effort with two minutes rest. It's really getting that lactic acid buildup, waking up the muscles, and really focusing on pushing out. I also like to sprint at the end of my jump sessions. I'll run a 60, 40 or 90s, which helps flush my legs out.
Photo: Thomas Boyd/The Oregonian
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