Want to improve your explosive strength? Change training method to make progress. This will help you avoid strength growth stagnation. Read the advice from Romain, the Domyos club coach, to develop your explosiveness.
Why gain explosiveness?
To improve your muscle quality and effectiveness of your workout, you should put the emphasis on physical preparation. Explosiveness must be the foundation of everything: It allows you to develop the power and increase the ability to react faster. It's all about developing a maximum of strength in a minimum amount of time. Here are some effective training techniques for this: plyometrics, working with loads in short series. It's up to you to follow the right programme for success!
To improve muscle quality, here are some techniques to remember and include in your training program.
Working with loads in short series.
The aim of short series of efforts is not to ultimately increase your mass, but to improve the strength of your movements. You shouldn't do more than 5 repetitions per set with loads over 80% of 1MR (= Maximum repetition, i.e. the load that you are able to lift once). This workout will make you use the rapid fibres in your muscles and thus work on your explosiveness. This doesn't work out your structural factors (very low muscle mass gain), but on improving nervous factors (recruitment, synchronization and coordination of motor units).
Do not perform isolated exercises or on a machine for this type of workout. Use the Bulgarian method which fits perfectly in the context of a strength cycle. This consists in alternating heavy and lighter loads during the same series with movements performed as fast as possible. The aim is to get the most out of the sensory contrast induced by lifting heavy loads followed immediately by lighter loads. This way, you will use the strength and speed in your white fibres. This way, you will develop your explosive strength.
In practice, alternate concentric strength exercises = repetitions performed with a heavy load (at least 80% of 1MR), and speedy reps with a lighter load (approximately 30% of 1MR). Perform the whole series without any rest. For example, after warm-up:
squat neck 5 repetitions at 80% then 5 jumps feet together high
bench press 6 reps at 80% 1 MR then 10 to 15 reps at 40% 1MR (or 15 press ups). Rest for 2 minutes and then perform 5 series more.
Please note: This training method can be kept for 4-5 weeks.
Plyometrics is often favoured by athletes who require explosive strength. It develops both strength and speed. Used in weight training, this is a perfect way to improve muscle explosiveness and reaction speed. The idea is to combine an extension movement after a bending movement. The aim is to train the muscle to react faster and stronger, which in turn improves muscle fibre recruitment. Generally speaking, these exercises are good for strength workouts. However, best to be careful as plyometrics can be traumatic if poorly executed or performed too often.
Working out the upper body: jumping push ups
The starting position is the same as for regular push ups. The aim is to bring your arms down quickly and to push your body up explosively, so that your hands lift up from the ground. You go back down and repeat immediately. This way you use a maximum of fast-twitch fibres. For more advanced push ups, you can clap your hands when jumping up. Please note: you shouldn't perform this workout more than once a week and only for a maximum of four consecutive weeks.
Lower body workout (quadriceps and calves): jumps
You can exercise with horizontal jumps (quadriceps). Perform a series of jumps with feet together. Use a skipping rope to work on your vertical jumps. In each of the jumps, remember to tuck in your body and position it correctly during the extension. Gradually practice by starting with horizontal jumps. Increase the difficulty with vertical jumps to work on drop height.
One last thing: before each series, warm-up the body on the bike or treadmill. Don't forget to hydrate properly during the session. Explosiveness and fast execution will be yours!