“What is good? All that heightens the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man.”
As an athlete, your career, even your life, depends on Power. Your ability to produce physiological power in the field of play determines your success and even your health. Powerful competitors defeat weak ones and, unfortunately, even injure them. All strength training efforts in the weight room must eventually add up to an adaptation of high power potential. If you are a strength coach, you know that your purpose is to send your athletes onto the field with peak power.
At StratFit, we are developing the tools of your personal battle for Power. The StratFit Power Training Arsenal is the new system of equipment to develop maximum Power.
Power: Doing work at a high, submaximal, or maximal rate. Power is the reserve ability for speed strength.
To develop power, we use the Dynamic Effort training method.
Dynamic Effort Method: Performing reps with total volitional momentum and a light amount of reps per set to prevent the adverse effects of fatigue on speed, typically performing an extensive number of sets.
The Moderate and Moderately Heavy intensity zones (57-80%) are the most effective for Dynamic Effort Power training (70% is the maximum power intensity). We should keep the reps per set in the Very Light, Light, or Moderate zones (reps < 5, approx. according to particular intensity) to avoid fatigue's adverse effects on Power output. Volitional momentum must be maximal for each rep.
The StratFit Intensity and reps per set zones labeling system is based on the “resistance grades” (intensity zones) of Naglak in “The Science of Sports Training,” Thomas Kurz- 1991. The resistance or intensity grade corresponds to how “heavy” the weight will feel to the athlete regardless of the number of reps. The rep's grade corresponds to the difficulty level of completing the given number of reps with a certain intensity. The following table displays the grade and the corresponding intensity and rep ranges.
The Reps (per set) Grades relate to the classic Rating of Perceived Effort (RPE) scheme in the following way-
Standard Dynamic Effort training is effective for developing Power. However, we can supercharge it by augmenting each rep with special methods that accentuate the development of the elemental abilities of Power: Explosive Strength and Acceleration Strength. The Power Training Arsenal features a specific device for maximally developing both.
Explosive Strength Device
Explosiveness. The word itself stirs something inside when heard. We all know that explosive things are dangerous. Explosive devices and creatures are always the determinants in a conflict. We fear angry bulls, rams, lions, and tigers because they are explosive. Whoever has the most explosive weaponry always prevails in a martial conflict. The best athletes take home championships in the sporting arena because they are explosive.
Explosive Strength is the first ability underlying Power.
Explosive Strength (Strength-Speed underlying Ability), I gradient - The ability to rapidly increase force (Tidow, 1990) or exert maximal forces in minimal time. Explosive Strength is calculated by dividing the force maximum (FM) developed in a movement by the time it takes to achieve it (TM). Explosive Strength (ES) = Force Max (FM)/ Time Max (TM)
Explosive strength is the ability to develop high force immediately. Traditionally the most effective way to specifically train it is to have a lifter lower a barbell in the squat (lower body) or bench press (upper body) with a weight that is in the heavy, sub-maximal, or maximal zone (>80%), then when the barbell reaches the bottom position, partners or special weight releasing devices on each side rapidly (and hopefully in a controlled, balanced manner) strips plates from the barbell so that the remaining bar weight is down into the high power intensity range (57-80%), which the lifter then immediately reverses into the concentric phase and accelerates lockout as rapidly as possible; this method is known as “overloaded eccentrics” (the eccentric phase being the phase in which the barbell is lowered, also known as the “negative.”)
When lowering heavy-to-maximal weight, neural integration will be developed to the level of this high force. When a percentage of the force suddenly reduces in the bottom position, the lifter is in a perfect position to produce a very high Rate Of Force Development to launch into the concentric phase. The neural explosive code is “hacked” by the overloaded eccentric phase.
The correct variable values of overloaded eccentric, explosive strength training are in the following table.
The StartFit Explosive device fully optimizes the overloaded eccentrics method. The device eliminates the clunkiness and mechanical inefficiency of previous weight-releasing devices. When the lifter reaches the bottom of a squat or bench press, an electromagnetic functionality unloads the devices instantly with zero friction. Both ends of the barbell have a device attached that communicates to each other to unload simultaneously; this is the absolute optimization of overloaded eccentrics never before seen in the strength & conditioning world. The lifter doesn’t have to think about the devices at all; they only focus on pure explosiveness. When developing Explosive Strength for elite performance, fractions of a second and exact synchronization makes a world of difference. It is the difference between a firecracker and a nuclear bomb. The device is loaded with standard Olympic plate weights for optimal utility.
Acceleration Strength Device
We have all seen a video of a NASA rocket launching off the earth toward space. It rumbles and slowly develops the force to separate from the launch pad, then once it does, it rapidly increases its velocity and the rate at which it increases velocity towards the stars; this is acceleration.
When we consider the athlete lifting as the rocket, the explosive strength device eliminates the slow rumble at the beginning.
After the initial explosion out of the hole, the focus for power shifts to acceleration.
We want to accelerate from the beginning of a movement through the end to maximize power.
Practically speaking, (dynamic) acceleration strength is the ability to increase the rate of force production from the beginning of the concentric portion to the end (lockout).
Expert Strength & Conditioning coaches directly train athletes’ Acceleration strength by using accommodating resistance tools like chains on barbell squats, deadlifts, and presses.
Accommodating Resistance- Increasing resistance while lifting weights through a range of motion. As the angle of the lifter’s joints increases through the concentric phase, their mechanical advantage increases, and accommodating resistance increases the force accordingly.
We employ accommodating resistance by attaching small chains in a loop on the ends of the barbell so that the loop grazes the floor in the bottom position. Large chains are then laid in the loop to increase the barbell weight by about 10-20 percent at the top end (lockout). The top-end weight can even increase up to 1 rep maximum weight. As the lifter raises the barbell from the bottom position, the weight increases as each large chain link leaves the floor; this forces the motor cortex/neural networks to develop an acceleration firing pattern to maintain a stable velocity while moving the barbell upward.
The optimal method for developing maximum Acceleration Strength for Power is to set the barbell weight at 60% of the maximum (this will be the bottom-end intensity), then set the chains to add another 20% to the top end (80% total top-end intensity). By doing this, the average intensity is 70% (maximal power intensity). The optimal AS training variables are in the following table.
The StratFit ASD has a motorcycle gear chain for loading stainless steel log chains for accommodating weight. The gear chain features a special connection link that makes adjusting chain length very easy; coaches don’t even need to unload the log chains to adjust the height for different lifters. The gear chain also has numbered dog tags so coaches can easily remember and adjust lengths for each lift and different lifts.
The log chain loads in and out of ammo boxes so we can use XSD and ASD simultaneously; the ASD, the bar weight, and the XSD all stay in their lanes.
Hack Your Power Code, Take the Field in God Mode
We combine the components of the Power Training Arsenal in the same set to launch your power versatility training out of the stratosphere. By combining the devices, you can “hack” your nervous system and install a “cheat code” for supra-maximal power. If you strategically employ the PTA during the pre-season training period, you will take the competitive field in God-Mode when the competitive season starts.
The combined optimal training variable quantities for superpower training are in the following table.
An athlete can effectively lower (4-second eccentric time) approximately 120% of their (concentric) 1 Rep maximum. To exploit this phenomenon's neural potential, we load the barbell with the plate weight, the XSD, and the ASD so that the total intensity is 120% when the athlete unracks the bar for the beginning of the eccentric phase.
As the lifter lowers the barbell, the ASD chain unloads progressively until all links are in the ammo box in the bottom position. We should set the bar and XSD weights so that the bottom position intensity is 100% before the concentric phase begins.
At the exact moment of coupling between the end of the eccentric and the beginning of the concentric phases, the XSD simultaneously unloads from the barbell on both ends. Instantly the intensity drops from 100% to 60% precisely when the lifter blasts into the concentric phase, creating a highly explosive upward movement and maximal rate of force development.
As the lifter explosively raises the barbell, the ASD chain gradually reloads until the athlete locks out the rep, with a final top-end intensity of 80% and an average concentric phase intensity of 70%- the maximal power intensity; this layers an Acceleration Strength neural pattern onto the already developed Explosive Strength and maximal ROFD patterns.
Athletes should perform these reps as a “cluster set;” we should complete one rep and then rack the barbell to allow recovery of the high-intensity short-term (phosphagen) energy system; this ensures that we minimalize adverse fatigue effects on power. This short rest enables trainers or partners to reload the XSDs to the barbell between reps.
It is important to note that maximal power training with the Power Training Arsenal requires fewer total sets than standard dynamic effort training. The supercharged PTA training is much more potent than straight bar weight power training. The use of the devices dramatically increases the neurological demand (which is a good thing), so total training sets should be abbreviated to avoid overtraining. We're launching special StratFit Digital functionality for the PTA so Strength & Conditioning coaches will be able to design precise strategies to peak power.
A reversal of fortune is occurring in your struggle for power. The StratFit Power Training Arsenal will change high-performance training forever.