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Weights Training - Power

  • Published in Coaching

Power

Strength is commonly substituted or interchanged with the word power. Power, however is a product of two abilities, speed and strength. In sports, it relates to the ability to perform the maximum force in the shortest period of time. In some sports, such as shot put, javelin and jumping events, it is crucial to overcome resistance with the greatest possible speed. In these cases, power is the major factor in determining performance.

Power is defined as the rate at which work is performed, or work divided by time. Work is force multiplied by the distance that the force is applied for. So in other words, for power to be greater you can either increase the force, increase the distance (or both) and decrease the time spent doing that.

Exercises that are great for power development are ones that allow you to mimic your sporting action as closely as possible. For rowing, doing this in the gym is quite difficult. Some exercises that are good though, include:

  • Power Cleans

  • Power Press

  • Bench Pulls

  • Bench Press

  • Leg Press

The aim of these exercises and power training is to turn the muscle bulk and strength you have gained in your previous training with the ability to move quickly and with force. Much of this adaptation is neural and through the development of co-ordinated movement patterns.

When training for power, quality of performance is just as important as the weight being lifted and the number or repetitions and sets being performed. It is important that the movement is of a high quality and technique is good.

Below is a sample programme for the power phase of training in the gym.

 

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Ergo

Ergo/run

15 minutes minimum

Bench Press

4

5 - 7

Power Cleans

4

5 - 7

Power Press*

3

5 - 7

Leg Press^

3

5 - 7

* Power Press is just like the "Jerk" part of the Clean and Jerk in weight lifting. In effect it is a shoulder press (in front of the head) performed from a standing position and with leg drive used along with the pressing action of the hands.

^ The leg press is performed in the same manner as previously except that speed and explosive movements are required, so much so that the sled can be pushed up and the feet leave the foot plate. Note that this can be hazardous, and experience is required as "catching" the sled involves high levels of force. 

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