Increase Upper Body Strength With PowerDot
If you recall from my previous blog I discussed how you could use the PowerDot to help build strength.
An EMS stimulus fires all motor neurons in the area being stimulated. It creates an uncoordinated contraction which is isometric by nature. Studies have shown that the muscular tension produced by EMS is up to 30% higher than a maximal voluntary contraction.
There is a motor learning aspect related to using EMS in the space of strength work. This helps an athlete not only learn how to recruit muscle fibers but also fire a greater number. The usage of EMS for strength teaches the body how to call upon more fast twitch muscle fibers. Not only that, but there are theories that state using EMS creates not only intermuscular change but also intramuscular change.
Studies show that you can achieve strength gains up to 30% after 10-15 treatments (person and training age specific. Studies from Kots of the USSR) in a period of 3 weeks. These strength gains do not come from an increase in muscle mass or Cross-section, but rather CNS related training.
So, the next two articles look to dial the PowerDot into training a bit more specifically, upper versus lower body training. This article will deal with utilizing the principles discussed in the first article and tuning them into upper body strength work.
The important component to remember is Central nervous system fatigue and making sure that when you do the PowerDot, ideally 3-4x a week for the specified rotations, you are adhering to your micro cycle to hit the PowerDot on “like” CNS days. For instance, if you are doing a heavy high intense day on a Monday, then this is the day to utilize the PowerDot. You want to avoid using it on a lesser intense day that is supposed to allow for mental recovery. Remember from training principles that fatigue can lead to constant fatigue which leads to over reaching which turns into over training (if you do not adhere to recovery, super compensation protocols).
So, what would a microcycle look like from this?
It really comes down to how your week is structured but I will lay out an easy game plan below.
1. Analyze your plan and see what days are your heavy high intense days and what days are suppose to be your lighter intense days and/or moderate days. This structure follows an undulating plan. If you are doing block periodization then probably Monday/ Wednesday/Friday are your more intense days. If you are doing a concurrent or conjugate plan then these will be your max out days.
2. Look to line up these 3-4 days and schedule a pm session for the PowerDot, 2-3 hours post training session.
3. Set the PowerDot up and connect it to the upper body part you are looking to train and let it run.
4. Remember the principles from article one with intensity. Get it as high as you can sustain without cause extreme pain or discomfort for the scheduled time
5. Maintain this format for 3-5 weeks then cycle off for 1-2 weeks and re-apply for areas that you are looking to target.
Stay tuned for the next article that will discuss applying the PowerDot for the lower body.
Jason Leydon, CSCS
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