T Nation

Slow or Explosive Movements?


Hi C,

Im a 19 year old trainer with a little less than 6 months serious weight training under my belt.

As a result im super weak and for the next 6 months am working solely on building a solid foundation of strength before i start bulking/cutting and worrying about the astectic side of things.

My question is,

during my workouts should I be preforming my movements with a slow and steady pace i.e. 1 up 1 hold and 3 down or should I be focusing on explosive speed?

Take pull ups for instance, should i be preforming the movements slow and deliberate to really hit the muscle or should i be going as fast as I can while keeping solid form?

Thanks C.


CT recommends explosive reps. Sometimes i take a real light weight and do some slow reps with the bench press for example but most of the time i just start with about %50 of 1RM and start to pop the reps right away and ramp the weight to my work sets but your shoulders will let you know if you should. :slight_smile:

I usually do some arms circles prior to pressing though.

Read The Perfect Rep article.


Actually, the combination of Trib and Pendlay articles got me going on explosive/speed training. Been doing it for about 2 wks now. It allows me to train everyday. Main movements I do w/ speed and 30-60 sec rest between sets. It's a nice break from the 90%+ training. Louie advocates it, although a different program. I operate usually in the 40-70% range. Sometimes I throw in the last set at 80%.

My days look similar to this:

A - Box Squat 8x2 then hypers, abs/obliques
B - Speed Bench 8x3 then lat and tricep work
C - Deadlift (alt. between sumo and conv.) 8x2 then hypers, abs/obliques, traps
D - Push Press 8x3 then shoulder and lat work (plyo pushups)
E - Power Cleans 5x3 then hypers, abs/obliques

As soon as the weather gets better, will add some hill sprints and general walk/jogging 2-3x per week.

I find this training more appealing as I don't get beat up as much, recover faster and continue to get stronger. You don't need to operate at max weights to increase your 1RM. This type of training will keep you strong and in shape for a very long time and probably injury free as long as you have good form.