Absolute Power

Here's what we will talk about today

  • Who needs power?
  • Strength and speed continuum
  • Importance of rest during power training
  • Recommended protocols for power training (sets and reps)

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, but in terms of dominating your training it also absolutely rocks. 

I want to address a big misconception out there. Even if you are not a competitive athlete you NEED to include power into your training. In some shape or form it just needs to be there.

As we age power is one of the first things to go, and if we don't train it at all it will go even faster. Power will help endurance athletes stay safe, help strength athletes get stronger. And everything in between. Power is completely necessary whether directly or indirectly. 

When understanding power we need to discuss the speed strength continuum. It looks something like this.

< Speed --------- Speed Strength --------- Power --------- Strength Speed --------- Strength >

On one end we have speed. Think sprinting, on the other end we have strength, think lifting heavy weights. 

Most of us spend time on one end or the other. When in all actuality we need to spend time all up and down this continuum. Power, as you can see is the marriage between strength and speed. There is an element of weight being moved, sometimes our own mass, and there needs to be an element of that weight being moved quickly. 

 

Through the development of power, the better and more efficient we will get at expressing power and the more demanding it becomes on our nervous system. However it can also serve to help fire up our nervous system when performed properly. That is why a lot of times big power movements like weighted power exercises or even plyometrics will best serve to be performed early in the session for two reasons. 

  1. The body is at it's freshest just after the warm-up. I'm talking Febreeze fresh. As a result the nervous system is most ready to go and we get the most out of our power training.
  2. As mentioned before, power training can help supercharge our nervous system in a way, get our muscles firing better so that we can actually get more out of the rest of the subsequent workout.

Because of all the interplay pure power has in our nervous system, we don't want a lot of high reps, nor do we want short rest periods. The better we manage our rest periods the more effective our power training becomes, and the more we get from it. 

Below are are the general recommendations for power, (These may vary depending on the type of power we want to train, but for our purposes I want to keep this a little more black and white at the moment)

  • Sets: 3 to 6
  • Reps: 1 to 5
  • Rest: 3-5 minutes
  • 20-30 total reps per session

At its basic foundation this is power.

- Dave