Weight Training – The 5 Stages of Power Development
Whether you want to lift more weight or get stronger, Knowing how power is developed in your body is key to getting stronger and more powerful in your sport, activity or weight training itself.
There are 5 key components to developing mega power:
1. Starting Acceleration
2. Progressive Acceleration
3. Power Output
The First stage to power development is:
1. Starting Acceleration:
This is the initial burst of power in a movement, when you start from a dead stop and explode with power, the first few inches is where the starting Acceleration is developed. It will help your mind and body to learn to contract your muscles and release explosive power instantly.
For Example when doing heavier squats, or if you want to jump higher, you must practice starting acceleration.
Do this by sitting in a chair or on a box, in a position to explode back up, let your muscles relax, then spring up as fast as possible, for at least the first few inches.
After practicing without weight you can add about 35% of your max squat, and do the same thing with the weight.
NOTE: It’s a similar effect as the one-inch punch, start at a dead stop, and explode an inch with your fist, this is an example of what Bruce Lee did to help develop impressive strength, power and speed in his punch.
The Second Stage of Power Development is:
2. Progressive Acceleration:
This is where you train your body to be able to work at full power, speed and strength at various angles in a specific movement.
There are a couple ways to train for progressive acceleration, you can train for speed and strength. You should do both.
The purpose of Progressive Acceleration is to maintain or speed up as you rise in your movement (ex. squat), not decrease in speed. And you want to use full strength throughout the movement as well.
A great way to increase your progressive acceleration speed is by using a pool, for example when you are touching the bottom of the pool with you feet, squat down and spring back up off the bottom, you will notice that you are very light in the water, and you actually speed up as you rise, this teaching you mind and body to speed up the contraction of your muscles, even with little to no-resistance.
Another form of progressive acceleration performed by sprinters is running down a hill, this forces your legs to move faster than normal, and increase your contraction and limb speed.
When developing more progressive acceleration strength you can try pushing against an unmovable object with all your force, as various angles, so for a bench press you can lock out the bar right at chest level and push your hardest for at least 10 seconds, then rest a couple minutes and lock the bar at mid level and do the same, then lock the bar at peak level and finish. (Important Note: If you feel you are not pushing your hardest stop and rest.) Progressive acceleration can be added to your routine 1-2 times a week.
The third stage to power development is:
3. Power Output
This is where you will have to really keep track and record your numbers, you want to basically do as much work in as little time as possible at top speed.
For example, person A who lifts 200lbs for 4 reps in 15 seconds is about twice as powerful than person B who lifts 200lbs for 4 reps in 30 seconds. You goal is to increase weight lifted, increase speed, or decrease time. Numbers don’t lie, if you work the numbers you will be in control of your progress and improvement.
The Forth Stage of Power Development is:
Having strong stability muscles is important, it’s like making sure the wheels on you car are aligned correctly to make sure you can go at top speed with no problems.
Because you are performing weight lifting and resistance training, your stability muscles are going to be worked and become strong naturally, but if you feel you need to do more, then add some stability exercises to your routine, like standing on one leg or using a stability ball for balancing on while lifting.
The last stage to power development is:
This is at the end of your workout after the heavy training or weights. You basically want to practice the main functional movements that you may want to improve.
For example if you want to throw harder punches, then go hit the bag, or if you want to jump higher go practice your jumping technique. But only do about 5 – 10 good reps.
This will program your mind and body to remember the last movements done, so you will also subconsciously improve as well.
So that’s it!
When developing your power, you can do all 5 stages in one workout or you can spread them out over your week of training, doing one stage per workout.
If you use the power development stages you will continue to get stronger and more powerful, because remember numbers don’t lie.
Now with this information you are well ahead of most weight lifters, athletes, coaches, and even trainers, so if someone doesn’t know the stages of power development then they don’t really know power!