The following technique is incredibly powerful for increasing strength, power and performance. It is advanced and works best once you have already achieved a solid base of strength.
So if you are a raw beginner, simply bookmark this page and come back to it after a few productive months of serious strength training.
For everyone else, get ready to break through strength plateaus and hit personal bests on whatever your measurable lifts are.
Before I share this technique with you, I’d like to briefly define what strength is.
Strength is the maximum force that a muscle can produce in a single voluntary effort, REGARDLESS of the rate of production.
The end of that definition, “REGARDLESS of the rate of production” is the key factor that we are going to manipulate.
You see, we are going to train to achieve maximal force production—quickly. There are a lot of strong guys out there who can produce a massive amount of force, but only at a slow grinding pace.
Obviously, slow force production doesn’t generally carry over well to an athletic endeavor. But beyond that, slow rate of force production will also hold back an individual’s strength and power potential.
Increase your speed and you’ll increase your power, your performance, and your ability to blast through sticking points like never before.
Alright, here are my go-to movements to make it happen:
Jumps are great for increasing power and speed. I like to do them immediately after a good warm up and before any heavy strength training.
In addition to having a training effect of their own, they also fire up the nervous system and improve your ability to recruit high threshold motor units.
These motor units have the highest strength potential, so increasing your ability to recruit them will have a direct enhancing effect on your strength work.
I use box jumps, hurdle jumps, vertical jumps, squat jumps and broad jumps for this purpose. Just pick one and do three to five sets of three to five reps.
These lifts are amazing for increasing power production. I personally use and recommend power snatches over power cleans (90% of the time) due to the fact that the “catch” portion of the clean can cause wrist and elbow injuries if the athlete does not have the required flexibility in these joints.
Jerks can also be used successfully for this purpose. Again, be sure to have the required flexibility prior to performing them.
In addition to increasing power, the Olympic lifts are among the few power movements that have a direct muscle building potential.
These are complex movements, but learning how to perform them correctly is definitely worth your time and effort.
Three to six sets of one to five reps are a great way to start your workout.
Med Ball Throws
Med ball throws are another “must do” power exercise. They’re fun, effective and don’t tap into your recovery ability much. The key is to apply as much force as possible to the ball during the throw.
Underhand forward, underhand backward, and overhead forward are some of my favorites.
If you don’t have a partner or the space to throw the ball, you could slam in straight down into the ground.
Three to five sets of three to five reps are an effective protocol.
Plyo Push Ups
Plyo push ups are a favorite of mine for increasing upper body pressing power in the horizontal plane.
It is critical that you apply so much force to the ground that your hands actually leave the ground after the elbows extend.
Either clap your hands when airborne or have a box on either side of you so your hands can land on them after exploding off of the floor.
Three to five sets of three to six reps are an effective protocol.
Sprinting is great for increasing power in the hip extensors. For this purpose, keep the sprints short. Twenty to twenty five meters will do the trick.
Sprinting can be done immediately prior to strength training. If it is, keep the volume relatively low – about 200 total meters.
If you choose to dedicate a workout to sprinting only, you can increase the volume to 300-400 total meters.
These are some of my favorite power-building exercises. In addition to incorporating them into your workout, be sure to accelerate the concentric portion of every strength exercise you perform in general. This too will contribute to the training effect we are looking for.
Increasing speed is often overlooked in the quest for strength development. But not for you – not anymore! Now go break some personal records — fast!
Please hit the like and tweet buttons below if you enjoyed this post. It would be greatly appreciated!