Everyone knows the importance of strength work in the eccentric phase when we want to maximize the gains of strength and above all, thinking of the gain of muscle mass as the main objective. The capacity to apply force in this phase is up to 30-40% greater than in the concentric phase and the ideal application time is 6 seconds; a shorter time would not generate more motor recruitment and a longer time could bring us closer to isometric fatigue.
When we include work with electrostimulation (EMS) we must take into account:
- We recommend the use of EMS in its analytical format when you want to intensify the training of a particular muscle because all attention and energy will be focused on it to maximize the result and minimize the risk of injury by “distraction” of stimuli.
- The EMS facilitates the eccentric work when we train alone, because, of course, it is not easy to increase the loads in that 30-40% to boost the eccentric because it could be a problem in the concentric since we would be working above our maximum and we could not move this weight. This is simple when we train with our trainer or partner because it can help us in this concentric phase and we would work alone in the eccentric. And how does electrostimulation interfere? The EMS is capable of generating contractions that simulate and even exceed that 140% total without being dependent on the external load. That is to say, the electrostimulator as a generator of internal resistances is capable even with low or non-existent external charges of making the eccentric phase very difficult and generating the necessary voltages to obtain the expected results.
- We recommend a very progressive work of the loads of this type of training (intensity of the equipment, external loads, times and total volume) because it is a training, if I can express it in this way, “highly destructive” at microfibrillar level and an excess of “stiffness” could play against us. It is therefore essential to always respect the principle of “training progression”.
- Including the EMS in a performance with loads brings with it the advantage of the “no need” of high weights being in itself a pro-joint health approach.
And how to apply it:
- Initially, you should always carry out an adequate warm-up that includes vascularization (8Hz with EMS) and it is advisable to combine it before or during short cardio training such as 8 to 15 minutes of indoor cycling.
- Carry out 3 to 6 series of 12 repetitions with external load (according to level and condition) progressive in difficulty, without reaching maximums.
- ECCENTRIC WORK WITH EMS: select a programme between 70 and 80 Hz as these are the ones that will provide us with the highest levels of muscular hypertrophy. The ideal time of contraction by electrical impulse will be 8 seconds to carry out this sequence: 2″ concentric + 6″ eccentric. The importance lies in the fact that we will be simultaneously 6 seconds of eccentric phase with the electrical impulse and generating very high tensions independently of the external load.
- Greater intensity of the electrostimulator will mean working with lower external loads and vice versa, and as for how to “play” with these two factors I do not think there is a better rule than that of adapting to the specific needs of the athlete or their discipline.
- During the recovery phase of the equipment it is advised to remain at rest, normally the equipment will work in this phase at 8 Hz which will increase the blood circulation and with it the contribution of nutrients or they will work (according to brands or programs) between 1 and 4 Hz which will increase the level of endorphins in order to reduce the sensations of pain.
- The total volume and density of the training will be selected by the Sports Science professional who will adapt to the needs of the individual.
- A minimum of 20 minutes of recovery should be reset, either with moderate cardio or electrostimulation, with the vascularization programs (8 Hz) once again being a good “recipe”.
After this type of training and even more, having been included electrostimulation it is necessary an adequate hydration and supply of nutrients post-training.