In today's Movement post- I want to give some pointers on how to start incorporating some low level POWER work into your training routines.
Everyone knows the benefits of conditioning and strength work, but a piece that often gets left out is power. Power can be defined as "work per unit of time" in Science and Practice of Strength Training. Another way to think of it is expressing force development in an explosive manner. To achieve this- we have to blend strength and speed. For maximal power output- we have to maximize the force output as well as the velocity (or speed). Typically the highest power outputs are seen with powerful barbell movements such as the Push Press, Jerk, Clean, and Snatch.
Now- I don't think everyone needs to maximize their power outputs, but training power is a worthwhile endevour, even if just at the end of your dynamic warm up. Here's why-
1) Old age- We lose Power as we age quicker then any other physical quality (strength, cardio, flexibility, muscular endurance). For the older population- having some power could help them stay safe while living alone (such as catching themselves if they slip in the shower- a HUGE and legitimate concern among the elderly).
2) Injury Prevention- Not only for the elderly, but also for the rest of us. Typically, strength training helps to strengthen our tendons, ligaments, and other tissues of the body under high load. But, in life we don't always have high loads to deal with. We also need to absorb and display force quickly, such as running down the stairs to catch a subway car. If the tissues aren't exposed to the quick of absorption, injury can more readily occur.
3) Performance goals- Like I detailed in my article here (http://www.revolutionstrengthcoach.com/single-post/2016/07/24/High-Level-Athletes-Power-and-How-It-All-Relates-to-You-Article), if you are an athlete or just a weekend warrior, we want to be a well balanced, resilient athlete. Being able to express all parts along the Force-Velocity curve is an important aspect that is often overlooked in performance. Even powerlifters use a method know as the Dynamic Effort method to be able to express the strength more quickly.
4) Vanity- Have you ever seen a sprinter at the Olympics without an awesome body? I know they are Olympic athletes, but the same concepts hold true for them as it does the general population. When our fast twitch muscle fibers fire- they utilize glucose as their main fuel source. To keep it very simply- mobilize your sugar and helps to quicker utilize more stored fat as fuel.
5) Fun- What do kids most often do while playing? Running, jumping, skipping, throwing, rolling, etc. We lose these abilities many times as we age and begin working, but I have never had or seen a client who couldn't find enjoyment in getting back to these childlike movements. Creating some movement variability outside of the typical weightroom/gym exercises also helps to not only keep the client healthy, but makes the workout feel less like a.... workout.
Try some easy Power movements during or before your next workout. Keep it simple- and perform them while fresh.
Think of jumping rope, skipping, throwing a medicine ball (if space allows), etc. See how much more into your workout you are!