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Become More Athletic

Increase Your Explosive Speed & Power

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Becoming strong is the goal of a lot of people who train and definitely worth working towards but for lots of people who do a lot of weight training, this can lead to a significant decrease in speed and agility, which if you also play a sport is a serious disadvantage.

If your goal is to not only be strong but also fast and explosive then the secret may lie within your muscles. There are 2 types of muscles in your body; slow-twitch muscles and fast-twitch muscles.

How many you have of each will largely depend on your genetics. Although both fibre types can hypertrophy, another word for increase in size, fast-twitch fibres possess a greater capacity for growth. Genetics influence fast-twitch fibre distribution within each muscle group. There are 2 sub-types of fast-twitch muscle fibres, however these are the ones you need to focus on increasing as they are the ones responsible for explosive speed.

These are a few tips you can follow and add to your training plan to become more explosive.


Train Accordingly

Add some exercises to your routine that are proven to aid development of fast twitch muscle fibres.

Effective exercises include Vertical Jumps, Broad Jumps, Power Cleans, Power Snatches and Depth Jumps. These should be implemented into a plan of a minimum of 3-4 times per week along with those heavy compound lifts.

Focus On The Force

This isn't a Star Wars reference, we're referring to the force of the movement during each rep. The more force produced, the greater the contribution of fast-twitch muscle fibres. For example, if you're doing a bent-over barbell row, focus on an explosive upward movement and a slow release back to the starting position. This will incorporate more muscle fibres into action.


Emphasise The Eccentric

Hypertrophy is required to maximise stimulation of fast-twitch muscle fibres and this is best achieved with eccentric training. An eccentric emphasis produces greater gains in hypertrophy than concentric or isometric. Train using movements that emphasize the eccentric in order to place a heavier demand on those fast-twitch fibres.

Mix Up Your Workouts

Instead of having separate workouts for your heavy lifting and plyometrics, mix them up. Plyometrics performed prior to a heavy lift can help awaken the central nervous system which allows you to lift more. For example, try doing a heavy bench press of 80-90% of your max for up to 7 reps followed by a set of explosive plyo push-ups for up to 10 reps.


Get In The Zone

You have to be in the mood for heavy lifts. There's no going half-in with them as you'll only be disappointed and most likely injure yourself in the process. Put on your favourite music, get a training partner to encourage you, hit yourself a few times, whatever it takes to make sure you get the weight up!

These are just a few of the things you can do to improve your explosive speed and power but taking these steps and implementing them into your training plan will do wonders to your explosiveness and aid you in your future lifts as well as any other sports or exercises you do.

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