This week we will be covering the power section on the force-velocity curve. Power is the next step down after strength- speed which we covered last week. The power section is where the product of force and velocity is maximized. The equation for power is force times velocity. The power section is where the two variables are maximized. Power can be trained at a very large range of percentages. It is largely dependant on the athlete at hand. For example, for a more strength-based athlete, maximal power may come at a higher percentage, however for a more speed-based athlete power may come at a lower percentage. These percentage ranges can occur from 30-80%, VBT can also be a valuable asset in this training block. As with percentages bar velocities can vary widely, however, most athletes' maximal power will fall between .7m/s and 1.1m/s. There is a large variety of exercises that can be used to train power. Athletes can implement Olympic Lifts, as well as compound lifts. These lifts can all be used as long as they are performed in the correct percentage or velocity ranges. The power section can sometimes be hard to maximize but, this does not mean that it is not a very vital section to an athlete's performance.
Power should be trained by almost any athlete in any sport. As outlined above maximal power may be at a higher percentage or lower bar velocity for more strength-based athletes. This is just the opposite for more speed-based athletes. However, this does not mean that strength-based athletes can not benefit from training at the lower end of the power range. Additionally, speed athletes can benefit from training at the higher end of the power range. However, this does not mean that athletes should not train for their strengths. Strength athletes should not neglect training at the higher end of the power range, and speed athletes should not neglect training at the lower end of the spectrum. A prime example is a track and field athlete who is very fast on the track but not very strong in the weight room. Once this athlete has a strong strength base, they can transition into some power-based lifts. The athlete could perform some Olympic Lifts in the 60-70% range to train on the higher end of the power spectrum. But a lot of their time should be spent in the 30-50% to make sure they are maximizing their current strengths. This is just one of the many applications of power for athletes in many sports.
In conclusion, maximal power can occur in a large range. However, one must be able to assess where they currently are on the power range. Once this is done they can maximize their training by ensuring they are working on their weaknesses but not neglecting their strengths. A strength base is vital to all athlete's health and performance, but to transition these weight room gains to the field power should be trained. If you feel that a power block so something that could help you reach your athletic potential, then Peak Performance can help! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any inquiries, comments, or questions.
*Peak Performance is not a medical practice, everyone should check with their primary care physician before starting any exercise regime.