The need for speed

Power, what is it?
 
UNLIMITED!
 
If you get that reference pat yourself on the back.
 
In regards to training it’s the ability to apply your strength quickly.
 
You can have people that are monstrously strong, yet not very powerful.
 
Much the same way you can have people that might not have epic amounts of strength and yet are very powerful in regards to performing specific tasks.
 
Power based movements or training isn’t for everyone.
 
This is because people lose the ability.
 
They don’t practice it enough because like strength, it’s a skill.
 
As we age this diminishes dramatically and at an alarming rate if it isn’t practiced regularly.
 
I’ve known people in their 30’s that while strong have no ability to accelerate, this is quite worrying.
 
To better understand this you will need to look in to the Force-Velocity Curve.
 
There are plenty of books and courses on the topic, so I won’t bore you with a lengthy explanation.
 
 
A simple way to remember it is this –
 
High force = Heavy lift done slow (because it’s heavy)
High velocity = Lighter lift done fast
 
Power = The heaviest loads you can most at the fastest speeds effectively.
 
Simples.
 
In programming certain clients training I like to follow this little set up.
 
– Flow
– Fast
– Slow
 
This translates in to some form of movement complex to get the body primed, hence the term flow.
 
Second is the power elements of training. These can eb bodyweight movements, classic lifts, odd objects or some sort of sporting necessity/skill.
 
Finally it’s time for lift a tad heavier which will slow the pace of the lifts down, not too much so that it’d detrimental, just more a case of classic strength work to add some lean mass.
 
*Personally I would still advice people to lift concentrically as fast (powerfully) as possible with the loads they are using, CAT style ala Dr Squat as this will force more motor unit recruitment, meaning more overall gains in the end.
 
Using the above how would you put that in to a session?
 
Here is an example:
 
Flow – Mobility Complex
Fast – Kettlebell Snatches, Kettlebell Jerks
Slow – Deadlift, Presses, Pull Ups, Postural Work
 
Then perhaps some classic stretching to finish up, or plan in a couple of stretching based days or perhaps do yoga once or twice a week.
 
Power style training is great fun, and very rewarding.
 
Reps classically are less then 5, while not set in stone it’s a good starting point.
 
When looking at this kind of method you want to move each rep as fast as possible wile maintaining good form, if you start to slow or form goes you stop and rest.
 
Loading is up for discussion depending on the goal.
 
You could use anywhere from 30-80% of 1RM for power work.
 
Sets, it ends up being fairly high 6-8 is common for 4-5 reps, 8+ more so when doing 3’s and below.
 
Rest periods can clock in up to 5min, perhaps more, or just as soon as you feel ready to go again, go by feel on this one.
 
Splitting your training days in to Pull-Push-Legs, or Lower-Upper, maybe Anterior-Posterior all work, as does full body, my best advice is to find one that you enjoy as that will become more sustainable in the early stages.
 
Try the Flow-Fast-Slow approach, you’ll find it quite enjoyable.
 
I will even give you three sample days to get you going.
 
Leg Day –
 
Fast – Box Jump 2-3 reps, 8-12 sets, rest as needed
Slow – Front Squat & RDL, 4-6 reps, 4-6 sets, rest 2min
 
Push Day –
 
Fast – Push Press 2-4 reps, 8-10 sets, rest as needed
Slow – Ring Dip & Ring Chin, 5reps, 7sets, rest 2min
 
Pull Day –
 
Fast – Power Clean 2 reps, 12 sets, rest as needed
Slow – Bent Over Row & Farmers Walk, 8-6-4-8-6-4reps (20m on farmers walk each set), rest 2min
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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