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Explosive Strength Traininga

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  • Explosive Strength Traininga

    Hello, barbell medicine team. I´ve recently been interested in developing some explosive strength because I do not want to specialise in low velocity force production. I´ve started doing some power cleans but I´ve realised that, if strength is specific, I would only be developing explosive strength in that range of motion and joint angles. Therefore, i would lack explosive strength in, for example, the movement that the bench press requires.

    I think this is the reason Jordan has answered previous questions regarding similar topics saying that he might not recommend performing power cleans, but rather other exercises that mimic the explosive task you want to improve on more closely.

    However, this raises my main question. How do you control for true explosive performance? For example, in the power clean, if you do not explode sufficiently, you will never be able to get to the top position. On the other hand, if I simply decide to perform the bench press explosively, how can I control that I am truly working the explosive aspect of the movement? Lets say I perform a rep with 25kgs in what I think is an explosive manner. After this successful rep, I decide to try 30kgs. How can I know if I´m still in the explosive range instead of having decreased bar speed so much that I´m no longer developing this kind of strength? I think it would be quite easy to increase the weight sacrificing bar speed without noticing and therefore progress would be difficult to monitor.

    Thank you in advance, and not only for answering my question, but for all the incredible content you put out and the effort you take to help all of us.

  • #2

    Thanks for the post and an interesting question, for sure

    I think the only ways to truly know if you're being explosive to a particular degree is either to directly measure bar velocity with a tendon unit, speed4lifts device, or similar OR physically displace yourself or an object, which can subsequently be measured.

    For upper body stuff, this might be an overhead ball toss, chest pass, static "shot put" with any implement, explosive push-up to a raised surface, jerk, etc.

    That all being said, even if the velocity decays a bit during a set of a particular exercise you're trying to do at a high velocity, you're still likely getting the desired fitness adaptation.

    Hope that makes sense.

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