ALL Reps Must be Done using 100% Force – Lifting and Training for Explosive Power

When you are training for speed, power, or vertical jumping you will need to train your fast twitch fibers. When you are training your fast twitch fibers for maximum contractile explosion the biggest mistake that you can make is to carry on with a set up to exhaustion to the point where you can no longer execute the move at 100% acceleration ergo you are just trying to complete the reps.

Olympic Weightlifting Greats Norbert Schemansky

Norbert Schemansky


That is big NO NO! When training for strength or explosiveness in general, it is not important to complete high volume reps and push through failure and aspire for pumps. That kind of training will even be counterproductive. Pushing through failure is good for bodybuilding but that is not good if you are training for explosive force – remember that bodybuilders have more type 1 fibers than power lifters?

Why is it counterproductive? Because training for explosive strength requires you to condition your fast twitch (type 1) fibers for maximum contractility and/or condition your slow twitch fibres to contract more like their fast twitch brothers – got that one from Jump Manual.

So that means in every set once you reach the point when you cannot “explode” anymore, STOP. Because that means you are no longer recruiting the fast twitch dudes that you want to condition in the first place.

Thus as a guideline: All reps must be done at 100% force – whenever you are starting to slow down, STOP and resume only when you can do the reps gain with 100 explosive force again.

That is the same reason why power-lifters especially Russian lifters would rarely go to failure – they always “leave some in the tank” means that if they would fail at 8, they would only do 7. Stopping their sets just a rep or two shy of failure ascertains that they are training their fibers for full 100% force of contraction every single time (which is why Russian lifters kick ass).

Remember to Specialize:
The basis of a rational, intelligent, and logical approach to exercise or any other arena of human endeavor is the recognition that only the specific appropriate knowledge can lead you to engage in the appropriate action required to achieve a goal.

Carrying on with sub-maximal reps will only condition the wrong fibres and keep in mind this phrase in Karate-do:

The Way you Train is The Way you react

Therefore if you want to increase your speed, increase your vertical and improve your explosiveness, do your reps – ALL OF YOUR REPS explosively and train your fibres to contract with 100% force! Eat your eggs, people!

A-Lifter- Don't forget to leave your comment/feedback below.  If this article was helpful, I am sure our book Real Talk Muscle will help you even more in your quest for muscle gain. Check it out you can read the first few chapters as well.
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