The Different Types of Power Training

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The Different Types of Power Training

"Below are four methods of power training. A prerequisite to starting one of these routines is the development of a solid base of functional strength. Power training, particularly plyometrics and ballistics, becomes less effective and the risk of injury is increased if a phase of anatomical adaptation has not already been completed.

Heavy Strength Training

Strength training alone can increase explosive power by positively affecting the top half of the power equation or the peak force production (9,10,11). Most athletic movements also start from a stationary position and it is this early phase of moving a resistance (be it a medicine ball or bodyweight) that requires the most effort. Therefore the greater an athlete's strength is, the more explosive this initial phase of motion will be. However, once this initial inertia has been overcome less force and more speed is required to continue the movement and heavy strength training becomes less suitable.

Additionally, lifting weights of 70-100% 1-RM has also been shown to reduce the rate of force production which is counter-productive to power development (12). This may explain why in strength trained individuals heavy resistance training is less effective at increasing vertical jump performance compared to ballistics or plyometrics for example (11,13,14).

For an athlete who already has a solid base of strength training (+6 months) gains in power are minimal with further weight training (15,16). Of course, untrained individuals can significantly improve their power with weight training (15,17) and this is a safer and more favorable mode of training than some of the advanced techniques that follow.

Explosive Strength Training

Once a plateau in strength has been reached, more sport-specific types of power training are required. One of these training methods is a variation of traditional resistance training. As mentioned earlier, maximal power production occurs when moderate loads of about 30% 1-RM are used.

Completing traditional weight lifting exercises as fast as possible with relatively light loads produces in theory, the greatest power output. Unfortunately there is a problem with this approach...

Lifting a bar rapidly loaded with 30% 1-RM is difficult to execute, particularly in the final phase of the movement. The athlete must decelerate and stop the bar in order to keep it under control (18,19). This deceleration activates the antagonist muscles negatively affecting power output and hinders the required adaptations (11,20).

Ballistics and plyometrics avoid this problem, as there is no deceleration. The athlete is free to jump as high as possible or throw an object as far as possible without restricting the movement" (http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/power-training.html).

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