Having the ability to be both strong and powerful gives you a better chance at reaching your athletic potential.
Simultaneously achieving both requires you to:
FIRST – Identify your starting point:
Level 1 – NEW TO WEIGHT TRAINING
Level 2 – STRONG BUT NOT POWERFUL
Level 3 – ATHLETE WANTING TO BECOME A BETTER ATHLETE
SECOND – Physiological effects of resistance training have a time course and require patience.
Week 1 – 8: Your gains will come from neural adaptations that have caused a change in your central nervous system.
Week 8 – 14: If you have been consistent with your resistance training up to this point, now is when you will notice increases in muscle hypertrophy.
Week 14 onwards: Strength and power development progresses with specific training.
THIRD – The longer you’ve been training, the closer you get to a point of diminishing returns making it harder to make gains.
Hard work and consistency will be what gives you the small wins once you’ve reached this point.
HOW TO TRAIN FOR STRENGTH AND POWER AT THE SAME TIME:
- Focus on quality in movement, not quantity
- Use comfortable loads so you recover well
- Train using compound, unilateral and isolation movements
- Train using reps between 12-20
- Don’t double up on the same movements on consecutive days.
Give your body a chance to move correctly and don’t overload yourself. Initially you will make big gains quickly so do not rush.
- Quality in movement is still your priority
- Increase your loads but stay submaximal; there is no need to max out on big weights yet
- Focus predominantly on compound and unilateral movements. Make isolation movements an accessory, not a main component to your session
- Train using reps between 8-12
This is where you will notice muscle gain and changes to your body shape. Increasing the muscle size is important as it will increase the contractile properties and potential to improve muscle rate of force development once you reach level 3.
- Perfect your movement technique
- Train by moving both heavy weights at low volumes (force specific), and lighter weights fast (velocity specific). If too much emphasis is on one, the inverse effect is a decrease in the other. Finding the right balance between both force and velocity will ensure you’re improving in both
- Focus on compound and power movements. Employ unilateral and isolation training as an accessory for injury prevention and joint longevity
- Train strength using 2-6 reps and power using 1-3 reps (depending which season you’re in).
A stronger athlete possesses a greater ability to produce power under loaded circumstances. In order to be both strong and powerful, you must know how and when to implement specific intensities by training optimally on the force velocity time curve.
The journey to gains is simple:
- The nervous system adapts creating a quick spike in strength.
- Muscle develops which increases the contractile properties.
- Serious strength and power can be developed with the right program.
- Persistence and consistency give small wins, especially through plateaus. The resilient athlete is the one who goes on to become a great one.