The Explosive Total Body Workout

High-intensity, explosive training builds muscle power, core stability, strength and overall fitness in less than half the time of traditional methods. If you’re looking to switch things up and transform your physique, this may be exactly what your body needs. The best part? It only takes 60 minutes, three times a week.

The Explosive Total Body Workout


High-speed, explosive training overloads the fibers and creates more muscle tension than any other form of training, yet few people incorporate it into their training programs. This explosive workout applies scientific principles to bring quick results. It builds muscle strength and size rapidly, promotes fat loss, builds fitness quickly, activates anabolic hormones and creates long-term changes in the muscles that promote life-long fitness.

Explosive training activates a metabolic pathway called mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) that regulates muscle growth and repair. X-PT also maximizes the time the muscle tissue is under quality tension, which is vital for muscle hypertrophy. Explosive training builds muscle satellite cells – which are genetic structures that increase the ability of the muscles to make new proteins –  and triggers the release of growth hormone (IGF-1), testosterone, and epinephrine that streamlines the body by promoting muscle growth and reducing fat.

The Explosive Total Body Workout

Quality is more important than quantity for building powerful, functional muscles and cutting fat. Recent studies from Canada and Brazil showed that explosive training activates more muscle fibers and improves muscle tone and shape rapidly. Brazilian scientists found that power training (lifting weights at fast speeds) is an effective method for increasing muscle mass, strength and power. They compared traditional tempo training (2-3 seconds concentric or push; 2-3 seconds eccentric or recover, with power training— 1 second concentric; 2-3 seconds eccentric). Increases in muscle power were three to four times greater in the power group than the traditionally trained group. Increases in muscle mass and strength were also best in the power-training group.

Canadian researchers, led by Tim Shepstone, found that high-speed training increased muscle cross- sectional area and the size of fast-twitch motor units (muscle fibers and their nerve) better than slow-speed training. High-speed explosive training accelerated fat loss and promoted muscle protein synthesis and caused larger increases in muscle mass and strength than traditional strength training. They did muscle biopsies that showed that high-speed training was best for increasing the size of fast-twitch muscle fibers and that it created the most damage to Z-bands— muscle fiber structures that are particularly susceptible to injury during weight training. Scientists believe that Z-band damage and repair is the major process involved in making muscles larger and stronger. They concluded that the greater hypertrophy seen from fast eccentric training was due to a greater amount of protein remodeling as a result of greater Z-band damage.

The Explosive Total Body Workout


High-speed, explosive training has a large potential for injury if you progress too rapidly. A few keys to keep in mind:

  • Start off with light weights and progress slowly
  • Don’t do this workout more than three times a week
  • Cut back on sets if you feel excessive fatigue and soreness
  • Incorporate all the elements that promote muscle hypertrophy, including adequate dietary protein and caloric intake, rest, hormone management, and training program structure

The Explosive Total Body Workout


Do this workout three days per week (for example Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Do the high-intensity weight workout before interval training. Do each exercise as quickly and explosively as possible while maintaining good form. Use weights that allow you to complete each set explosive and increase the weight as you get stronger. Rest for 1 minute between sets.

Follow each high-speed weight training session with a high-intensity interval training program on an elliptical trainer, stationary bike, treadmill or arc trainer. Warm up for two to three minutes by exercising at a slow pace— approximately 50 percent of maximum effort. Sprint as fast as you can for 30 seconds, and then slow the pace to 30 to 50 percent effort for two to four minutes.

The Explosive Total Body Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 1-3 10
Deadlift 1-3 10
Standing Military Press 1-3 10
Bent-Over Barbell Row 1-3 10
Dumbbell Bench Press 1-3 10
Dumbbell Triceps Extension 1-3 10
Barbell Curl 1-3 10
Rope Crunch 1-3 10
Leg Lifts 1-3 10
HIIT Cardio Sprints 4-6 30 seconds*
* Recover for 2-4 minutes at 30 to 50 percent effort



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