POWER – is the ability to perform a movement and exert the maximum force specific to the situation it is applied. In sport, power movements include single maximum efforts: like when throwing a discus or javelin, movements performed rapidly at a maximal level over a short duration: like in a 100m sprint, through to repeated variable power output: as when cycling long distance that could be described as power endurance. This feature focuses on the shorter duration applications of power and how you train to increase power in the gym.
For a phase of power training to be both successful and safe a phase of strength training to develop controlled strength must first be undertaken. This strength phase should contain movement’s specific to the ultimate movements replicated in the sport or power movement. So if you are a Rugby player who recruits maximum power to sprint or tackle exercises like squats must be included to replicate pushing away from the surface bellow.
TRAINING TO INCREASE STRENGTH: The repetition range should be between 6-10 repetitions to failure, in a controlled tempo of around 3-4 (3 seconds on the effort and 4 seconds on the lowering phase). Aim to select at least 6 exercises in total and perform 3-4 sets per exercise. Focus on exercises that recruit multiple muscles and not too many exercises like bicep curls that are too targeted. Another important element to include is core stabilization/functional training, ask your instructor at the gym for ways in which you can incorporate a level of core/balance training into the exercises you have selected. You should train in this manor for ideally 5-6 weeks before transitioning to Power training and gradually incorporate some faster repetitions into your sets.
POWER TRAINING: It has been shown that a combination of fast high repetition explosive movements alongside short maximal efforts, are the best way to improve explosive power for sport. The focus should be performing the movement quickly but with maximum control over technique in both types. Aim to incorporate the following types of exercise into your sessions for around 2 times per week for 4 weeks following a period of base strength training.
SHORT MAXIMAL EFORTS: For explosive leg power choose exercises like squats and single lunges with heavy weights performed explosively over 3-6 repetitions maintaining a range of movement specific to the real life movements aim to be explosive on the effort and controlled on the return (aim to keep the recovery phase short but safe).
HIGH REP RAPID MOVEMENTS: Chose exercises like plyometric box jumps, weighted box step ups, weighted overhead lunges and short sprints. These movements should be performed for around 10 seconds in rapid succession and perform only 3-4 repeats of each as these type of exercises fatigue the body quickly so quality is key over quantity. Always focus on correct technique and increase the weighted resistance gradually, at first you may find your body weight alone is sufficient when working at these fast explosive paces.
Muscle Shakes BUILD is the ideal training partner when training for power.