Developing Power vs. Strength

12 Sep

Power is defined as the ability to produce strength quickly.  It is essential to performance in almost every sport since virtually no skill is ever performed slowly.  Fortunately, power is trainable.  Although Speed is a key component of power, Strength also plays a key role.  If you aren’t strong and cannot exert great amounts of force, then you simply won’t be powerful, no matter how fast you move.  To get stronger, you’ve got to train with heavy loads.  Your training program should incorporate three to five sets of exercises performed at no less than 80 percent of your max.  Exercises like Squats, Romanian Deadlifts, Bench Presses, and Rows – done once or twice per week, with heavy loads – will help you get stronger.

Power is a Trainable Skill

The ability to focus, react, and explode as quickly as possible at the right moment is a skill.  Therefore, it must be practiced year round.  This is best accomplished by devoting at least one day per week to power training, more as the season approaches.

Power workouts can include Olympic Lifts (Power Clean, Power Snatch, Push Jerk, etc.) and their variations, Medicine Ball Throws, Plyometrics, Squat Jumps and anything else that involves explosive movements. Every rep should be fast with perfect technique.

It’s not about how much you can lift, but how fast you can lift it. This means you should keep the volume low (no more than six reps per set of Olympic Lifts); lift at 60 to 80 percent of your max; and rest for two to three minutes between sets to fully recover. Also, perform just a few quality exercises rather than a wide variety of exercises at which you might not be as proficient.

Power is Sport-Specific

There are differences between training to increase your vertical jump, improve your long jump, throw harder, and explode out of the starting blocks.  Strength training helps to provide a base.  Power development must reflect the demands of your sport(s).  This can be accomplished by directly practicing your sport or incorporating exercises that mimic the movements you are trying to improve on the  field or court.

Your thoughts?

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11 Responses to “Developing Power vs. Strength”

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