Strong athletes succeed in any MetCon with a barbell, and sufficient strength can mask deficiencies elsewhere. Inadequate strength is a barrier to success, no matter how big your engine or advanced your skills. But fitness isn’t Strong Man or powerlifting. Raw strength is necessary, but not sufficient, for success. The critical performance parameter for fitness athletes is not strength but power. The principles of strength training are well-understood, and most popular strength programs effectively increase raw strength. However, these are an incomplete solution for the fitness athlete.
In Physics, Power is Force x Velocity. In the gym, we call it strength and speed. The challenge faced by athletes and coaches is this: high force and high velocity cannot happen simultaneously.
Velocity is determined by the speed of muscle contractions. Force is determined by the recruitment of motor units. Maximizing power requires optimizing the relationship between force and velocity.
An example may help. A baseball pitcher and a shot-putter both apply maximum power to throw a spherical object. But the respective contributions of force and velocity are very different.
The shot-putter relies heavily on force, whereas the pitcher relies on velocity. Therefore, their respective training regimes are very different.
Fitness athletes must express power across many different tasks and different loads, often under considerable fatigue. Some will be force-dominant, others are velocity-dominant.
Therefore, your training program should help you optimize the relationship between force and velocity regardless of the task at hand.
THE NEXT GENERATION: APPLIED POWER
To move beyond generic strength programs, we analyzed the components of power and built a program designed to help fitness athletes maximize power at any point on the force-velocity curve. We propose a framework in which Power is the synthesis of 7 physiological capacities, which are developed by 4 training parameters. The building blocks of power are Intensity, Explosiveness, Accessory Work, and Technique. (Just remember “I EAT”).
Intensity: Lifting heavy activates the highest force producing motor units while enhancing coordination among large muscle groups. There is no substitute for moving heavy weight. Applied Power uses targeted intensity, allowing sufficient recovery, and rotates high intensity stressors to reduce accumulated fatigue. We lift heavy, without wrecking the rest of your training.
Explosiveness: This refers to the Rate of Force Development (RFD), a neuromuscular adaptation which increases power without any gains in mass. Increasing RFD is critical to improving your Olympic lifts. The stretch shortening cycle (SSC) refers to the contribution of tissue elasticity to increasing power, such as at the bottom of a thruster or wall balls. Applied Power trains RFD and SSC explicitly to make you more explosive at any task.
Accessory work: Your “power ceiling” is set by the weakest link in the chain. For example, super strong legs won’t increase your clean if your upper back is comparatively weak. Generally, adding raw strength will make only a small impact if there is an imbalance somewhere. Our intake process identifies any imbalances and corrects them with targeted accessory work, allowing for the broad distribution of strength gains.
Technique: Technique is the ability to use the levers of the body to maximize force production, maximize force transmission, and maximize the speed of both. Biomechanics experts call this “motor learning” and the same principle applies in every sport: outstanding power does not occur without outstanding technique. Improved technique applies to all aspects of power production. We do technique drills as part of every session.
Intensity, explosiveness, accessories and technique, individualized for you. I. E. A. T. - Every day
Applied Power is personalized based on your needs and goals, so we start with an intake process to get a sense of your current strength levels and the relationship among your lifts. We use The Gains Lab Universal Calculator to rigorously analyze the relationship among your lifts and identify imbalances which are slowing your gains. Then we apply the I. E. A. T. methodology to develop your personalized power program. There are two ways to work with us:
Monthly subscription: When you choose this option, you will be billed monthly on the date you sign up. There is no contract, membership, obligation or minimum. Stay as long as you want. Sign up monthly.
Quarterly subscription: Quarterly subscribers are billed every 3 months on the date they signed up. You’ll also save 10% off of the monthly subscription price of $25, so you’ll pay $67.50 every 3 months. Again, no obligation. Sign up quarterly.
More questions? Send an email.