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Power Development for the Athlete

Now that we are rolling out of the “Off-Season” phase and focus of training, the qualities that we are trying to develop as athletes will change as well.

The main goal starting in the month of January for the Spring athlete is this: POWER PRODUCTION!

During the process, it’s still vital that our athletes chase strength gains as well. Your power production is based on your foundational relative strength base.

Think of it this way. A heavy load (like a loaded Trap Bar) will take an extended period of time to get lifted off of the ground, while a ton of force production is occurring.

When we focus on power production, we want to take that same amount of force we produced with the heavy load, but in a SHORT amount of time.

We have spent months on getting you to move better, cementing new movement patterns, getting you stronger within those movement patterns, and increasing your work capacity. Now, it is go time.

If you want to become elite, you must understand the importance of force production, and rate of force production.

To further understand the purpose of this article, let’s look at the Force-Velocity Curve and Absolute Strength-Absolute Speed Continuum

Force-Velocity Curve and Absolute Strength-Absolute Speed Continuum

Force-Velocity Curve; adapted from "Strength is Specific" v1.0
Absolute Strength-Absolute Speed Continuum

The Force-Velocity curve (top picture) illustrates the inverse relationship these two qualities have with one another. When force output is at its peak, velocity is at its lowest. When velocity is at its peak, force is at its lowest. Think back to the loaded Trap Bar example.

Therefore, Absolute Strength is all the way to the left of the curve, and Absolute Speed (bottom picture) is all the way to the right of the curve.

All athletic movements and competitive situations occur at the Absolute Speed end of the continuum. As we approach the season, we want to be as close to this end of the continuum as possible in our training.

Within the middle of this Force-Velocity curve lies Strength-Speed and Speed-Strength. In other words, moving a heavy load as quick as possible, and moving a lighter load as quick as possible, respectively.

If you want to move quicker, jump higher, sprint faster, hit a ball further, we must utilize our speed-strength and strength-speed qualities.

Strength and Power production is specific to a numerous amount of things. One of the most important is the contraction velocity of your muscles.

Having the ability to rapidly reduce and then produce force will make you a better athlete, and this is included within this power phase of training.

Increasing total body lean mass, force production, and rate of force production will increase athletic performance and decrease the likelihood of injury.

Programming Considerations

The best time to develop power production is when your nervous system is fresh and ready to go. This is earlier in your training session.

With that being said, you MUST give yourself time to rest between sets. The focus has shifted from work capacity and taking as little rest as possible to creating as much force as possible and letting your energy systems reset.

This is why we have the rest period chart posted in the gym at Infiniti Sports Performance. We want our athletes to understand the why, enhance the why, and produce the why.

Tempo, Rest Periods, and Energy Systems Chart

This is the most exciting time of the year. The season is inching upon us, and our training is going to get as specific as possible in regards to movement efficiency and contraction velocity.

Our ultimate goal as coaches for the athletes during this phase of training is to develop the conversion of power into a sport-specific skill.

So...why do you train?

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