Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

This video clip from Mike Young, of Elite Track, is admittedly above and beyond the concern of the everyday TTP fitness enthusiast, however, it is highly interesting  stuff for all the training geeks out there (and I proudly include myself in that category 🙂   And there is a take-home message here for the everyday guys and gals as well: namely, concentrate the bulk of your training around the peak anaerobic power-based modalities.  Why?  Because the body’s retained proficiency in this modality is rather short-lived, as compared to gains made the strength modality.  In other words, the power-production gains realized in your training will dissipate much quicker than your strength gains.

Now obviously this clip is geared towards upper-level athletes and their coaches, but that doesn’t mean that we mere mortals and 9-to-5 stiffs of the world can’t glean something of use from the presentation.  In a nutshell, what Mike is saying is what I’ve already stated above — it is worth repeating, though: you’ll maintain your strength gains for much longer than you will your power gains.  This is of course assuming that you’ve built a solid strength base to begin with.  So what does this mean, vis-a-vis, the structure of our overall training plan?  Quite simply this: you’ll want to incorporate more power-oriented sessions within your overall workout plan (i.e., more instances of power-oriented work in relation to instances of strength-dominant work).

This finding is nothing new to me, or to the strength and conditioning community in general, although it is nice to see “horse sense” corroborated by properly performed science.  I love to see “old timer” wisdom validated like this.

Getting back for a moment to vertical jump testing, I know that if I hit a stretch of not working out (rare), or a protracted strength-oriented stretch (more common), I know it’ll quickly show in a decreased vertical jump performance, even though I might have bagged some good strength gains over the stretch.  I can go for long periods without doing significant strength work, however (assuming I’m still doing power-oriented work) and my strength numbers will not suffer.  From what I’ve seen, this is pretty much and across-the-board phenomenon, with both “sprint” and “strength” oriented athletes equally affected.

This lends credit to the old football recruiting maxim of “recruit speed and train strength”.

In Health,
Keith      

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Keith Norris is a former standout athlete, a military vet, and an elite strength and conditioning expert with over 35 years of in-the-trenches experience. As a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness space, he is an owner, co-founder and Chief Development Officer of the largest Paleo conference in the world, Paleo f(x) . As well, Keith is a partner in one of the most innovative lines of boutique training studios in the nation, Efficient Exercise. He’s also a partner in ARXFit training equipment, and a founding member of ID Life. In his spare time, he authors one of the top fitness blogs in the health and wellness sphere, Theory To Practice.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Keith,

    I hope the holidays were great for you! I’ve got some free time and am catching up on my TTP reading. I have definitely noticed the truth in what you say about strength vs power training . . . I can go without deadlifting heavy for a month, but so long as I keep doing hip dominant power movements, my numbers will remain high, if not improve. However, I have noticed that this is not true for me with one movement in particular. The standing press. I might be able to maintain my numbers, but unless I am pressing heavy every 8-10 days, it’s impossible for me to improve in the press. Is it possible that this is because the muscle groups are smaller, requiring more frequent training?

    Also, have you noticed these commercials recently that only exist to tout the fact that high fructose corn syrup is essentially healthy in moderation? I feel bad for the people who are watching that in ignorance and think “oh, i guess I’ll have a regular coke . . . with my fries . . .”

    -bryce

    • Bryce,
      Make sure you incorporate plenty of power-pressing movements (jerks, push-press, etc.). I also like to use overhead med. ball throws as well. All angles.

    • It may be part of your personal “make-up” then to do more strength work, proportionally, for the shoulder girdle. All part of “knowing thyself”, and tweaking your workouts appropriately.

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