Should you be training with weights in an explosive manner? Or is a slow, gradual and controlled lifting style the way to go? That all depends on your goals, your experience, and some other factors. Let’s dive in!
If you have a history of knee, ankle, shoulder, or other problems, then explosive training will put your body at risk. Perhaps it was this kind of training that got you injured, or perhaps it was just age, genetics or the luck of the draw. Whatever the cause, if you already possess an underlying injury, then you will benefit yourself to avoid putting too much stress, particularly explosive stress, upon the joints, tendons, and muscle groups of your body. Stick with slow controlled training.
Football players and many other strength trainers actually do train for explosiveness in the gym. It’s part of their sport. Even if you don’t play a sport, you might wish to develop some of that explosive power that is displayed by those in the gridiron. Are you a powerlifter? If your goal is to move a particular amount of weight, then you will certainly need to develop that explosive kind of power that comes from training as fast and heavy as possible. On the other hand, if you are bodybuilder, that changes things. Actual muscle is built as a result of the controlled movement of weight, using the muscle groups as much as possible, as opposed to the tendons and joints of the body.
Ectomorphs are people who possess naturally skinny body types and slight, narrow frames. If this is your body type, then you will want to avoid the use of jarring, heavy compound movements. You aren’t built well enough to withstand long-term training of this manner. On the other hand, if you are naturally thick and muscular (possessing a mesomorphic physique) or carry fat (as an endomorph), then the heavy style of explosive training may suit your body type – and joints – much better.
Momentum can be your best friend, or your worst enemy in the gym. If you wish to build muscle, then you will want to control the weight as much as possible. On the other hand, if you wish to develop explosive power and the ability to really run through a brick wall (figuratively), then training with explosive power will be desirable. Or, you may learn that some combination of the two is satisfactory for reaching both your muscle building and strength building goals. Every football player wants to look decent with his shirt off, and every bodybuilder wants to be strong. Perhaps the solution for all lifters is some combination of the two styles.
Whatever your desire, always be sure to warm up thoroughly and stretch out your muscle groups to ensure you are able to minimize the risk of injury when training. Good luck!