Power Training

This Post has been added to my new site, Health habits. You may want to take a look there as I have been busy adding new posts.

In my post, Muscular Strength made simple, I introduced you to some of the theory behind the different types of muscular strength.

But, enough of theory, today I will show you how to maximize your muscular power.

By the end of this post, you will know the ‘whys’ and ‘how-tos’ about getting brutally strong and powerful.

To get you started, I will also give you a ‘tried and true’ program designed to turn you into the strongest, fastest, most powerful version of yourself that you could ever imagine.

I can’t guarantee to turn you into the Incredible Hulk.



But I can sure as heck guarantee that you will be bigger and stronger than the ‘before’ picture.

What is Power?

Simply put, power is the ability to move heavy loads, fast.

To do that, we need to do two things. Build your maximum strength as high as possible and teach your muscles to contract as fast as possible. Simple.

Before We Begin

This program is designed for trainees who:

Make regular visits to their doctor and have been cleared for resistance training. That means you have no medical conditions that could be aggravated by moving large weights very quickly. Serious.

Have established a basic level of physical fitness. This is not a beginner program. I will be writing an article on establishing a basic level of physical fitness in the near future.

Do not have serious muscular imbalances. While this program is designed not to cause muscle imbalances; it is not a rehab program. I will also be writing an article on that topic in the near future.

Are serious about transforming their body. Don’t waste your time if you are not willing to commit yourself fully to this program.

Power = Maximum Strength + Maximum Speed

To develop Power, you need to combine maximum strength with maximum speed.

In a linear periodization model of resistance training, strength and speed training are never performed concurrently. However, my review of the current literature as well as my first hand experience has led me to believe that training both strength and speed at the same time is not just possible; but essential.

With this method, we avoid the de-training effect of switching from one program emphasis to another.

In the linear model, hard fought strength gains begin to dissipate soon after strength training is abandoned for speed training. The same holds true for losses in speed. You are always playing a game of two steps forward and one step back.

Another benefit of concurrent strength/speed training is that since gains in strength/speed are happening incrementally and simultaneously, your increasing speed is not effected by your increasing strength, and vice-versa.

In a linear program, you might focus of 4-8 weeks on your maximum strength. During that time, you might increase your max strength by 10% (X + 10%). Due to lack of stimulation, your speed my drop by 3% (Y-3%). After completing the strength portion of your program, you shift your focus to speed training.

However, not only are your muscles slower, but you are asking them to lift weights 10% heavier than they have lifted.

Now you are two steps forward and two to three steps back.

Train both strength and speed together and they both increase together. Your strength may only increase by 8%, but your speed will also increase by 8%.

Strength + Speed = Power

Maximum Strength Training

In my program, maximum strength is trained twice per week.

During each workout, you will focus on 1 major movement. That movement will be performed in consecutive sets of 3 repetitions until you can no longer perform 3 repetitions. You will continue adding weight to consecutive sets until you reach your 1 Rep Maximum.

After your major movement is completed, you will perform a series of complementary exercises in sets consisting of 5 to 10 repetitions.

Each of the two maximum strength workouts will focus on a different movement.

As well, since this workout is very intense, you WILL perform a thorough warm-up before hitting the serious weights. Not just cardio. Calisthenics, dynamic stretching, overhead squats, snatches, or light weight training is required.

Maximum Speed Training

Like maximum strength training, maximum speed is trained twice per week.

Like max strength day, you will focus on 1 major movement. While it doesn’t have to be the exact same movement as max strength day, it must be in the same family of movements.

Like max strength day, you will be performing sets of 3 reps. However, the number of sets will be predetermined and the weight will be between 50 and 60% of your 1 Rep Maximum on that lift.

For simplicity’s sake, you may want to keep your movements consistent between max strength and max speed day.

Like max strength day, you will be performing a series of complementary exercises after finishing the main movement.

Off Days

Off days should focus on rest and repair of your body. This program will test both your musculature and your nervous system. Stretching, chiropractic, massage, light cardio, restorative yoga, hydrotherapy, etc. is recommended.

Movements

While this program was originally designed for strength athletes, by replacing the traditional power moves with more athletic moves, this program can be modified to suit any sporting or general fitness requirements.

For the purpose of this article, I will provide a wide variety of exercise options; grouped into movement families. I am listing the families and some selected exercises below.

Upper Body

Vertical Push

Major Movement – Military Press, Push Press, Side Press – standing, seated, 1 hand, 2 hand

Supplementary – see corrective exercises

Vertical Pull

Major Movement – Chin-Ups, Pull-Ups

Supplementary – Straight Arm Pulldowns, Pullovers

Horizontal Push

Major Movement – Chest Press – flat bench, incline bench, decline bench, standing cable/bands

Supplementary – Tricep Extensions (Skullcrushers/Tate Press, Close Grip Bench Press, Dips)

Horizontal Pull

Major Movement – Row – Cable, Bent-Over, Standing, Seated, Barbell, Dumbbell, 1 hand, 2 hand

Supplementary – see corrective exercises

Lower Body

Walk / Lunge

Major Movement – Bulgarian Lunge, Step Ups, Static Lunges

Supplementary – Walking Lunges

Squat

Major Movement – Squat – Olympic or Power, Front Squat, Overhead Squat, Box Squat, Deadlift

Supplementary – Hip Thrust – 1 leg or 2, 1 Leg Deadlift, Pull Through, Glute-Ham Raise or here.

Core

Supplementary – Ab Wheel, Ab Flexion – Crunches (various), Leg Raises, etc…, Woodchops, Side Bends, etc…

Corrective / Postural

Corrective exercises depend on your structural imbalances. I plan on doing an article on this topic, but in the mean time, Eric Cressey is a great source of postural / corrective exercises. Here is an article. His site. Mike Robertson is another good source of info. Gray Cook is another.

Equipment

Your body doesn’t know what type of equipment you are working with. All it knows is that you are putting them to work. Equipment is up to you: Bodyweight, rubber bands, bow flex, cast iron weight, barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, bodybars, sandbags, hydraulic machines, cables, etc…

Setting Up Your Workout

Decide where you want to get Superhero Strong.

You need to pick one lower body movement and one upper body movement as your two main movements. I suggest that you look to address your weak points first. If your bench press is strong, but you can only perform 5 chin-ups…get ready to hang from that bar.

Another suggestion I will make concerns muscular balance and the most effective churning of your training program. If your goal for this program is to become the bench press king, then you should stick with the bench press as your focus upper body exercise. If, however, you are looking for a more overall athleticism, think about switching up your focus every 4-6 weeks.

Upper Body – Weeks 1-4 Bench Press, Weeks 5-8 Standing Cable Row, Weeks 9-12 Push Press, Weeks 13-16 Chin-Ups.

Lower Body – Weeks 1-4 Box Squat, Weeks 5-8 Rack Deadlifts, Weeks 9-12 Bulgarian Lunge, Weeks 13-16 Good Mornings.

I hope that I have made this approach to developing maximum strength / maximum speed understandable to everyone out there. Sometimes it is hard when you know that you are speaking to both beginner and experienced athletes.

Sample Program

This program will be designed to maximize muscular balance and promote Superhero Strength in a balanced way. If you have any questions, please comment at the end of this post.

Day 1 – Maximum Strength – Lower Body

Day 2 – Off

Day 3 – Maximum Strength – Upper Body

Day 4 – Off

Day 5 – Maximum Speed – Lower Body

Day 6 – Off

Day 7 – Maximum Speed – Upper Body

Week 1

Day 1 – Maximum Strength – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Supplemental Walking/Lunging exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Ab Wheel – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Supplemental Core Exercise – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Day 2 – OFF

Day 3 – Maximum Strength – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Horizontal Push Exercise – 6 sets of 10 reps

Corrective Exercise – Face Pulls – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Corrective Exercise – Push-Up Plus or Chest Press Plus – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Day 4 – OFF

Day 5 – Maximum Speed – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – 10 sets of 3 reps with 50% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Supplemental Lunge/Walk Exercise – 5 sets of 8-12 reps

Corrective Exercise – Hip Thrust, – 3 sets of 20-50 reps

Corrective Exercise – X-Band Walk – 3 sets of 2 min. each

Day 6 – Maximum Speed – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Horizontal Press Exercise – 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Vertical Push Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Vertical Pull Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 7 – OFF

Week 2

Day 1 – Maximum Strength – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Supplemental Walking/Lunging exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Ab Wheel – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Supplemental Core Exercise – 3 sets of 15-25 reps

Day 2 – OFF

Day 3 – Maximum Strength – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Horizontal Push Exercise – 6 sets of 10 reps

Corrective Exercise – Face Pulls – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Corrective Exercise – Push-Up Plus or Chest Press Plus – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Day 4 – OFF

Day 5 – Maximum Speed – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – 10 sets of 3 reps with 53% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Supplemental Lunge/Walk Exercise – 5 sets of 8-12 reps

Corrective Exercise – Hip Thrust, – 3 sets of 20-50 reps

Corrective Exercise – X-Band Walk – 3 sets of 2 min. each

Day 6 – Maximum Speed – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Horizontal Press Exercise – 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Vertical Push Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Vertical Pull Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 7 – OFF

Week 3

Day 1 – Maximum Strength – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Supplemental Walking/Lunging exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Ab Wheel – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Supplemental Core Exercise – 3 sets of 15-25 reps

Day 2 – OFF

Day 3 – Maximum Strength – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Horizontal Push Exercise – 6 sets of 10 reps

Corrective Exercise – Face Pulls – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Corrective Exercise – Push-Up Plus or Chest Press Plus – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Day 4 – OFF

Day 5 – Maximum Speed – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – 10 sets of 3 reps with 55% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Supplemental Lunge/Walk Exercise – 5 sets of 8-12 reps

Corrective Exercise – Hip Thrust, – 3 sets of 20-50 reps

Corrective Exercise – X-Band Walk – 3 sets of 2 min. each

Day 6 – Maximum Speed – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Horizontal Press Exercise – 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Vertical Push Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Vertical Pull Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 7 – OFF

Week 4

Day 1 – Maximum Strength – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Supplemental Walking/Lunging exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Ab Wheel – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Supplemental Core Exercise – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Day 2 – OFF

Day 3 – Maximum Strength – Upper Body

Warm-up

Incline Bench Chest Press – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Horizontal Push Exercise #2 – 6 sets of 10 reps

Corrective Exercise – Face Pulls – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Corrective Exercise – Push-Up Plus or Chest Press Plus – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Day 4 – OFF

Day 5 – Maximum Speed – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – 10 sets of 3 reps with 50% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 6-8 reps

Supplemental Lunge/Walk Exercise – 5 sets of 6-8 reps

Corrective Exercise – Hip Thrust, – 3 sets of 20-50 reps

Corrective Exercise – X-Band Walk – 3 sets of 2 min. each

Day 6 – Maximum Speed – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Horizontal Press Exercise – 4 sets of 6-8 reps

Vertical Push Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Vertical Pull Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 7 – OFF

Week 5

Day 1 – Maximum Strength – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Supplemental Walking/Lunging exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Ab Wheel – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Supplemental Core Exercise – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Day 2 – OFF

Day 3 – Maximum Strength – Upper Body

Warm-up

Incline Bench Chest Press – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Horizontal Push Exercise #2 – 6 sets of 10 reps

Corrective Exercise – Face Pulls – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Corrective Exercise – Push-Up Plus or Chest Press Plus – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Day 4 – OFF

Day 5 – Maximum Speed – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – 10 sets of 3 reps with 53% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 6-8 reps

Supplemental Lunge/Walk Exercise – 5 sets of 6-8 reps

Corrective Exercise – Hip Thrust, – 3 sets of 20-50 reps

Corrective Exercise – X-Band Walk – 3 sets of 2 min. each

Day 6 – Maximum Speed – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Horizontal Press Exercise – 4 sets of 6-8 reps

Vertical Push Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Vertical Pull Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 7 – OFF

Week 6

Day 1 – Maximum Strength – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Supplemental Walking/Lunging exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Ab Wheel – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Supplemental Core Exercise – 3 sets of 15-25 reps

Day 2 – OFF

Day 3 – Maximum Strength – Upper Body

Warm-up

Incline Bench Chest Press – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Horizontal Push Exercise #2 – 6 sets of 10 reps

Corrective Exercise – Face Pulls – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Corrective Exercise – Push-Up Plus or Chest Press Plus – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Day 4 – OFF

Day 5 – Maximum Speed – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – 10 sets of 3 reps with 55% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 6-8 reps

Supplemental Lunge/Walk Exercise – 5 sets of 6-8 reps

Corrective Exercise – Hip Thrust, – 3 sets of 20-50 reps

Corrective Exercise – X-Band Walk – 3 sets of 2 min. each

Day 6 – Maximum Speed – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Horizontal Press Exercise – 4 sets of 6-8 reps

Vertical Push Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Vertical Pull Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 7 – OFF

Well, I hope I covered everything. If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

My diet/nutrition blog

Advertisements

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: