It may not be apparent at first glance, but being strong and being powerful are two different physical qualities.
Strength is your ability to overcome resistance.
Example - a grinding deadlift 1 rep max
Power is your ability to explosively overcome resistance.
Example - a snappy power clean @ 70% of 1RM
If you’d like to improve your power, here are some best practices:
Build a strength base
- Strength is a foundational fitness quality
- A strong foundation is a prerequisite to developing power
- Before you can produce force quickly, you have to be able to produce force.
Move a light(ish) load with maximum intent
- If your focus is to train for power, force and velocity are two opposing qualities that need to be reconciled. If the load is too heavy, the speed that you’ll be able to move it will be low (too low to develop power).
-- Throw a medicine ball into the next province.
-- Lift a sub max barbell like you’re trying to break the sound barrier (30-70% of 1RM works well).
-- Grab a couple of light Dbs and try to jump into the stratosphere (max effort jumps are probably one of the purest expressions of power that we have).
Do not train close to failure
- Quality trumps quantity.
- As soon as you feel yourself slow down, stop your set.
-- Training slow makes you slow.
- When you can’t match your previous set’s output, call it a day, or switch to a different focus.
Get lots of rest.
- It may not seem like it, but training for power is neurologically very fatiguing, and the nervous system often takes longer to recharge its battery than the cardiovascular system or muscular system.
- Even though you won’t feel breathless, and your legs won’t feel like jelly, be sure to take your time in between sets.
- This will ensure each set is as explosive as possible.
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