My case for power training
Background//goal: The physical expression of power is often significantly overlooked by exercise professionals; my goal today, is to change that.
Introduction to power: Power = Strength x Speed = Force x Velocity = mad/t
Weight x Distance / Time
Power in its simplest form takes a strength movement and adds the component of time to it (Zatsiorsky & Kraemer 2006).
10 Reasons to Power Train
- Power does not develop through non-power training – strength training alone does not do enough to develop our functional capacity for power (Hedrick & Wada 2008).
- It improves body composition – Power training elicits neuroendocrine responses advantageous to enhancing body composition. These responses include an increase in testosterone to cortisol ratio, and an increase in growth hormone concentrations (Häkkinen et al. 2002; Hedrick & Wada 2008).
- It is better for fat loss than steady state training – Power training compared to the same frequency of SSE exercise was associated with significant reductions in total body fat, subcutaneous leg and trunk fat, and insulin resistance in young women (Trapp et al. 2008).
- Because we lose power faster than strength – As we age we lose our capacity to generate power at a rate greater than which we lose our strength (De Vos et al. 2005).
- It is the greatest predictor of functional performance – Muscle power has a higher relationship to performance in daily activities, dynamic balance, postural sway and the ability to prevent and recover from falls, than does strength (De Vos et al. 2005; Magrini et al. 2016).
- It helps prevent degenerative diseases – Power training is the single best method of training for maintaining and developing bone density (Magrini et al. 2016; Vicente-Rodriguez 2012). It is also tied in importance in the maintenance of brain health (Doidge 2008; Lie & Nusslock 2018).
- It facilitates healthy aging – Power training and steady state training increase telomerase activity and telomere length, which improve our cells regenerative capacity and thus leads to a healthier aging process (Werner et al. 2018). It also specifically improves the functional capacity of the mitochondria.
- The best in the business do – Louie Simons from Westside barbell, Joe De Franco and Mike Boyle, few of the most well-respected coaches in the industry, all strongly advocate power training as a supplement to their strength work.
- It helps us break through mental barriers – Being powerful inspires a great belief and confidence in oneself. There are no training modalities better than power training, and specifically, no exercises greater than the box jump to help people break through mental barriers to performance and regain their confidence.
- It improves our motor control and learning abilities – “(the) great skill complexity required for power movements (high reliance on intra and intermuscular coordination) facilitates the development of the broadest physical ability spectrum” (Hedrick & Wada 2008).
Force x Velocity Continuum:
Training Power – Guidelines:
- Build a baseline level of strength and flexibility – you should not be performing power movements in ranges you can’t get to comfortably under control. You should also have some degree of strength in the body parts you are using for your power movement.
- Use a gradual progression from lower to higher velocities – start small, with low velocity and with low volume. You are safer doing a heavy prowler (strength speed) than sprinting in your first week of power training
- Do it first – power should be incorporated into the start of the session, often during the preparation phase of your training.
- Be fresh and stay fresh – power is not developed under fatigue, make sure you are recovered from your previous workout and previous sets. You should not finish the power portion of your workout and feel fatigued.
Training Power – at Viva:
Two of our best options are to incorporate it as a circuit within our warm up, or to do it as a circuit immediately after the warm up.
Example – Option 1- During warm up
(foam roll ITB and adductors)
- Windscreen wiper sequence 6 each side
- Banded glute bridge – 6 reps w. 2 second pause at peak contraction
- Jump Variation – 4-6 reps w. 5-10 second break between reps
- Spiderman rotation – 4 each side
- Band pull apart – 8 reps
- Wall throw – 2-3 each side
- Farmers carry – 20-30 seconds
*Repeat 2-3 times
*Rest until breathing has normalized between stations.
Example – Option 2 – Post warm up
(perform your own warm up of release, mobilize and activate)
- Jump variation – 4-6 reps w. 5-10 second break between jumps
- Slam/Power row/Crunch toss – 4-6 reps w. 5-10 second break between reps
- Swing/Sled/Horizontal jump/Sprint – 4-6 reps or 5-8 seconds
- Throw/Power push-up – 4-6 reps
- Turkish get-up – 1-2 reps each side (control)
*Repeat 2-3 times
*Rest approximately 30-60 seconds between stations
If you or anyone you know thinks they would like to begin to reap the benfits of this style of training – please contact me at VIVA and I can organise an intro pack of 3 x 1-1 personal training sessions for just 99.
~ Dr Jay 🙂
De Vos, NJ, Singh, NA, Ross, DA, Stavrinos, TM, Orr, R, Fiatarone Singh, MA 2005, ‘Optimal Load for Increasing Muscule Power During Explosive Resistance Training in Older Adults’, The Journal of Gerontology, vol. 60, no. 5, pp. 638-647.
Doidge, N 2008, The Brain That Changes Itself, Scribe, Melbourne, Australia.
Häkkinen, K, Kraemer, WJ, Pakarinen, A, Tripleltt-Mcbride, T, Mcbride, JM, Häkkinen, A, Alen, M, Mcguigan, MR, Bronks, R & Newton, RU 2002, ‘Effects of Heavy Resistance/Power Training on Maximal Strength, Muscle Morphology, and Hormonal Response Patterns in 60-75-Year-Old Men and Women’, Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 213-231.
Hedrick, A & Wada, H 2008, ‘Weightlifting Movements: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?’, Strength and Conditioning Journal, vol. 30, no. 6. pp. 26-35.
Johnston, A, De Lisio, M & Parise, G 2008, ‘Resistance Training, Sarcopenia, and the Mitochondrial Theory of Aging’, Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 191-199.
Lie, PZ & Nusslock, R 2018, ‘Exercise-Mediated Neurogenesis in the Hippocampus via BDNF’, Frontiers in Neuroscience, vol. 12, no. 52, pp. 1-6.
Magrini, MA, Dawes, JJ, Elder, CL & Kluge, MA 2016, ‘Power Training and Functional Performance in Middle Aged Women: A Pilot Study’, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, CO, USA.
Trapp, EG, Chisholm, DJ, Freund, F & Boutcher, SH 2008, ‘The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women’, International Journal of Obesity, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 684-691.
Vicente-Rodriguez, G 2012, ‘How does Exercise Affect Bone Development during Growth?’, Sports Medicine, vol. 36, no. 7, pp. 561-569.
Vincent, G, Lamon, S, Gant, N, Vincent, PJ, MacDonald, JR, Markworth, JF, Edge, JA & Hickey, AJR 2015, ‘Changes in mitochondrial function and mitochondria associated protein expression in response to 2-weeks of high intensity interval training’, Frontiers of Physiology, 6:51.
Werner, C, Hecksteden, A, Morsch, A, Zundler, J, Wegmann, M, Kratzsch, J, THiery, J, Hohl, M, Bittenbring, JT, Neumann, F, Bohm, M, Meyer, T & Laufs, U 2018, ‘Differential effects of endurance, interval, and resistance training on telomerase activity and telomere length in a randomized, controlled study’, European Heart Journal, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 34-36.
Zatsiorsky, V & Kraemer, W 2006, Science and Practice of Strength Training, Human Kinetics, Champaign, Illinois.