T Nation

Explosive Reps

Hi CT,

Recently i have thought about my goals hard and I know that i want to build as much strength as possible but also build dense muscle.

I saw some gains doing pump style training but I feel that as someone who is not naturally that explosive, I should be lifting every rep as fast as possible. Incidentally the only time i could get my traps to grow was when i started doing explosive snatch low pulls, shrugs never worked.

Do you think lifting explosively for multiple sets of low reps, or just intending to lift explosively on assistance work is ideal for building muscle or is it wise to stick with traditional bodybuilding approaches. Really i guess im asking whether its optimal and you need to increase the sets to get the volume required.

thanks in advance!

[quote]Chigishev wrote:
Hi CT,

Recently i have thought about my goals hard and I know that i want to build as much strength as possible but also build dense muscle.

I saw some gains doing pump style training but I feel that as someone who is not naturally that explosive, I should be lifting every rep as fast as possible. Incidentally the only time i could get my traps to grow was when i started doing explosive snatch low pulls, shrugs never worked.

Do you think lifting explosively for multiple sets of low reps, or just intending to lift explosively on assistance work is ideal for building muscle or is it wise to stick with traditional bodybuilding approaches. Really i guess im asking whether its optimal and you need to increase the sets to get the volume required.

thanks in advance!

[/quote]

Well, you are asking a former olympic lifter (me)… so I’m obviously going to be biased toward explosive reps! Trying to lift as explosively as possible or using lifts that are explosive in nature (olympic lift variations, explosive pulls) will force the body to recruit more fast twitch fibers and over time develop the capacity to recruit them. Since these are more prone to growth, the better you are at recruiting them, the more you’ll grow from your training.

Furthermore, explosive and heavy lifting, because they recruit more fast twitch fibers will give the muscles a denser look. Why? For two reasons: (1) fast twitch fibers tend to be superficial (on the surface of the muscle), developing them will give you a harder look (2) explosive and heavy lifting improve neural efficiency, and keep the CNS “wake-up”… and it keeps the muscles in a constant state of partial tension (this is what tonus is).

Now, that is obviously not a permit to use loose form… explosive lifting have a higher force production, and thus the potential for injury is greater if you do not use proper form.

Multiple sets of 3-5 reps on explosive movements will build muscle for sure.

It’s probably not kosher to mention Waterbury in CT’s forum but his Hugh in a Hurry is all about speed and explosive reps. Plus find CT’s article on The Perfect Rep. Both are great.

[quote]newtonslaws wrote:
It’s probably not kosher to mention Waterbury in CT’s forum but his Hugh in a Hurry is all about speed and explosive reps. Plus find CT’s article on The Perfect Rep. Both are great.[/quote]

I have nothing against Chad at all, last time we met we got along fine. I always mentioned that we share many basic principles, but we differ in our applications.

CW is a bit more gimmicky than CT :). He did get me to fall in love with gymnastic rings though. Not a chance thats gonna happen with sandbag training!