Adding speed to your weight workout has been a taboo for many years and trainers are always coached to teach their clients slow and controlled movement. Ballistic and fast paced reps are usually considered contraindicated yet are used widely in sports such as martial arts and gymnastics. I agree with slow and controlled movement whole heartedly but there is a time and place for fast controlled movement, speed, agility and skill! The first place to apply this is in resistance training. Athletes are one of the populations which benefit greatly but it is also good for fat loss. You need to keep these type of workout to avid exercises who have experience are moderately fit.
Pilates uses an exercise called hundreds which essential is a strict form of fast, short ab crunches. This is one example where pulse training is utilized.
You do not want to use pulses for large movements such as lat pull downs or areas you can jar the joints. Some exercises which you can shorten and use for pulses would be squats, chest presses, and ½ rep movements with leg curls, bicep curls, kickbacks and rear fly’s. Shortening the movement avoids any joint snapping since you stay within the range of motion and in some cases only using a ¼ to a ½ of the range normally used.
Weight is kept light again to avoid injury but this style of training does work well for cutting and fat loss. Circuits can use pulse type reps bringing additional results with muscular endurance.
Some people use pulses in their warm up exercises then go on to train in their normal speed or fashion.
I do not suggest a beginner try this but those who are intermediate or advanced would do well trying it out. Here is a program suggestion you can try out.
Make sure to warm up for 5 mins, light jogging on the treadmill at 5mph or an easy light warm up on your choice of cardio machines. Once that is done, give your body a 10 second stretch per muscle group. This is a trial so use only 20 reps per set and keep the speed slightly faster than what a second would take. Ensure to stay within range of motion, never full extensions.
Start with some partial squats followed by partial bicep curls, tricep dips, 90 degree elbow bend side deltoid raises, mid back row machine, chest press machine, crunches, and low back extensions done face down on a mat. You can rest a min or so in between sets and between exercises. Also make sure to drink water throughout this workout.
For those of you looking to melt off some fat you can use the above doing a set of each back to back non stop or for those who are very advanced, throw in a minute of jumping jacks or skip rope between each set still working non stop. This is a true cardio workout and will get your heart rate up considerably.