One great truth about strength is that it has different faces. I mean who’s stronger…Is it the guy that can squat 700 lbs., or is it the guy that has a 40 inch vertical? Obviously these are both great examples of strength, but the point is that BOTH are very different. Being different is what makes these types of strength so special. Aside from being different both do demonstrate an impressive level of power.
Power is defined as the rate of doing work. So in terms of lifting and movement the elements of power can be manipulated a number of different ways. We can manipulate the intensity, the speed, and the time at which we are performing the task at hand to yield us a greater result of power just like the two examples I presented in the previous paragraph.
In terms of our performance this is huge…and as a nice side effect we can obtain a lean, strong, athletic physique at the same time. So what can we do to acquire more power production and to build a nice lean athletic physique?
Well the truth is that there are a number of ways to do this, but for the sake of today’s post I’m going to be covering 5 different tactics that we can implement to improve our whole power producing experience. Let’s take a closer look at the list. Go ahead and buckle your chinstrap and get ready to put in the work.
Master The Technique: This may seem like the obvious, but as a general rule of thumb I always find myself stressing the fact that quality always trumps quantity in terms of developing strength and athleticism.
If you’re attempting to advance a movement in terms of performing it faster, with additional load, or with a more advanced level of control (with more power) then you can’t expect to do so unless you have mastered the technical control of the movement.
Emphasize The Eccentric Portion Of The Movement: In terms of finishing a lift or exercise we often tend to focus on the “lockout,” or the end of the ROM. However, none of that would exist without first having a solid foundation of control during the descent of a given movement.
As an example if we’re talking about the squat you’ve got to be able to descend into the squat with a solid level of control in order to exert yourself and to transition into the concentric phase of the movement to stand up and complete the lift.
The descent (eccentric) portion of the movement is essentially a stretching of the band of muscles that sets the body into a position to perform much like a spring that is coiled and ready to unfurl all the potential force that is produced during the transition of the eccentric and concentric portion of the lift/movement.
Once this is mastered then we can make that transition between these two contractions more rapid by performing it with greater speed. Of course, this leads me into the next element of how to go about producing power.
Perform The Lift/Movement Faster: Once again power is the rate at which work is done and if we can perform a lift faster then we are going to develop more power. It’s one thing to be strong, but it’s a completely different deal to possess explosive power.
Look at it this way…if you are capable of performing a squat movement, or even a loaded squat movement with greater speed as you ascend up out of it then you are capable of generating a greater amount of force production. Greater force production will yield a greater chance for you to hit a heavier PR due to the fact that you can power your way out of a deficit during the base of the lift. Remember the two examples I gave at the beginning of the article?
Implement Plyometrics: Plyometrics are a big part of my program and it’s for good reason. The thing about plyometric training is that it conditions us to perform short burst rapid movements in a more effective manner.
In addition to this you can steer the direction of your plyometric training to suit whatever goal you want within your power development. In other words you can perform plyometrics that have a more conditioning effect such as jump roping and sprinting (which are also great for getting lean), or plyos can be leveraged to help us engineer greater force production for a lift such as you would get from a box jump, or from more intense depth jumps.
Sprint More: I know I already mentioned sprinting in the previous paragraph, but I want to emphasize that sprinting in particular is a good way to add to both your power development and overall conditioning.
Remember that sprinting, or more specifically your gait, is part of your 7 key primal movements. By practicing the act of sprinting you can kill three birds with one stone here. You can develop more explosive power, work to master the gait, and build towards a leaner meaner athletic physique. It’s a win/win/win.
Just keep in mind the stronger you get the more you should emphasize honing your skills for more power development. In addition to this the act of developing more purposeful athletic power will enable you to more readily acquire that lean aesthetically pleasing physique that you’re always busting your ass to have. At least this way you’re on a fast track to do it…pun intended!
I hope you enjoyed today’s article and if so then don’t be shy by posting up in the comment box below. Stay strong and keep training smart.
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