Cherif, et al 2012 completed a great study. They split the national handball team into two groups of 11. Each group completed conventional handball practice and weight training. The experimental group added interval sprints and plyometrics.

The intervals used were the 10/20 protocol (the Tabata protocol discussed here) for 2 bouts of 8min with 10 min rest between bouts. They also completed a plyometric drop jump program. This protocol was followed for 12 weeks.

It was demonstrated at the end of the 12 weeks, the experimental group jumped 2.4-2.7% higher and could run 1.2-1.3% faster on sprint tests.

This raises a question of where to invest your training time. If a protocol is going to improve your power output by 2.5% and you are not playing on a national or professional team- why are you doing it? You have limited training time and can be served better by following other programs of more conventional means. This is not to discount plyometrics or sprints (which we have discussed numerous times) simply that in this study, it appears to not significantly alter the physical outcomes of elite handball players.

If you are a weekend warrior with only a few hours a week to get your fitness time, consider what will give you more bang for your buck. Weight lifting and running should form the basis of your regime. If your fundamentals are sound and you are healthy, getting fancy with plyometrics is fine (and encouraged) but consider who you are and what your goals are.