Mixing up your training methods periodically is a great way to keep your body guessing and your muscles growing. Our daily workouts do a pretty good job at providing variety on a regular basis but another great way to mix up you training is by doing some High Volume Explosive Training routines, otherwise known as HVET. High volume explosive training can turn on biochemical pathways that trigger muscle hypertrophy and mobilize fat-burning hormones to help you torch fat and get that lean, athletic look. HVET uses 6 to 8 sets per exercise and each rep is performed “explosively”. What does “explosively” mean exactly? This is when you push through the eccentric (the contraction of a muscle during it’s lengthening) phase of a lift quickly and powerfully, then lower the weight (or retreat) from the lift slowly. A good rule of thumb, let’s say for bench press, would be 1 second up and 2 seconds down.
How does it work exactly? Muscle physiologists from Harvard recently discovered that muscle tension (i.e. muscle hypertrophy) is one of the most important factors in triggering muscle growth. So high muscle tension, particularly in the lengthening/eccentric phase of a lift, produces a larger amount of muscle fiber recruitment and thus will more rapidly increase growth. Researchers at McMasters University in Canada (led by a Dr. Tim Shepstone) did a study which showed that high-speed eccentric muscle exercises helped to increase muscle hypertrophy and stimulate growth more rapidly than slow eccentric training. Through biopsies they were able to observe that the high-speed eccentric movements caused more damage (good damage) to muscle fibers. Muscle fiber damage and repair is a large part of how we can grow our muscles (note: we are referring to small fiber injuries and not severe injuries).
If you want to try some HVET training, you can use a lot of our current workouts and adjust the way you explode through the lifts. Naturally we post a fair amount of HIIT days that are great for working into an HVET program. Here is an example of how you could set it up:
Monday/Wednesday/Friday: DO NOT USE HVET MORE THAN 3 TIME PER WEEK AND SPREAD WORKOUTS PROPERLY
Train explosively with our suggested workout or your own workout during the lifting phases and rest 1 minute between sets. Go for 8 sets of between 8-10 reps per exercise.
High Intensity Interval Training. We post a lot of these workouts and you can look at one here.
Distance Cardio for 30+ minutes
As always, don’t forget to take a full rest day to let your muscles properly repair and recover!
-The MidwestFit Team