Bodybuilding Plyometrics for Hypertrophy
Plyometric training was originally called "shock" training which was invented by a coach from the Soviet Union called Yuri Verkhoshansky. During the 1970's the East European athletes were always taking first place in sports like track and field, weight lifting and gymnastics.
The world was captured by this type of training as it was a perfect bridge between the force that one can generate and the explosive power one can get in order to drastically increase the reactive strength of an athlete. The plyometric drills that the East European athlete were required to do developed the force of a movement by quick loading of the negative or eccentric contraction.
It is the eccentric contraction that causes stretching of the connective tissue and tendons including the muscles. This muscle/tendon unit then stabilizes the negative force and is able to store it up like a compressed spring which can then release with maximum force.
It is this reflex action that is stronger than any normal muscular contraction pulling in the opposite direction. This is the plyometric movement which can easily be seen when we throw a ball because we swing our arm back to cause the same reactive force in the opposite direction.
A bow would be a good example of reactive force because to shoot an arrow one needs to pull in the opposite direction creating a buildup of the potential energy. When the arrow is released the kinetic energy going in the opposite direction is more than double the force of the eccentric contraction.
This is true for muscles because when we increase the speed of the eccentric force (downward movement) we will automatically increase the upward concentric force because of the buildup of energy. This means we need to take notice of the speed of our downward, eccentric forces.
The more eccentric force you can tolerate the stronger you will be at concentric movements. Plyometric efficiency or static-spring efficiency can be measured in a simple push-up. How high you can push yourself off the ground, how much weight can you push and how fast will all explain exactly how plyometrically efficient you are.
One can train the upper body using plyometrics very easily by selecting about 50% of your 1RM and then in a bench-press position from lock-out at the top of the movement you suddenly release the weight and let it fall to just above your chest. From there you explode back upwards as fast as you can and then complete 4 to 5 sets of 3-5 reps each.
Adding plyometric training to your bodybuilding workouts will increase your strength and hypertrophy.