Power Development in Strength-Power Athletes, with Mike Stone | NSCA.com


I’d like to thank Doug for that very kind introduction and thank the NSCA for
having both Megan I here today. This afternoon we’re going to talk a little bit about
power development. And, I can tell you to really do a good job we need to be here
about three weeks, but hopefully we’ll get out in 50 minutes. The first thing we
need to do is go through a few definitions here. And, the first thing we
need to understand is that strength is an ability. It’s the ability to produce
force. Forces a vector quantity. So it has a direction and a magnitude. But one of
the things that we all need to do is stop thinking about strength as how much
can you lift. In other words, maximum strength. Because strength is really a vehicle and
it transports some other things with it, not just force, but also there’s a duration
to it. So there’s an impulse. We have a rate of force development, which is the change in force over the change in time. Also if you produce force
and its dynamic there’s going to be an acceleration. If you multiply that
acceleration times time we get velocity, which is basically displacement divided
by time. And then we come down to power generation. Power generation is a work
rate. I would make the argument that if I can get the work done faster than you
can, I win. So it’s a very, very important characteristic. We can also think about
it as force times velocity. Now, to get this started we need to go through some
biochemistry and we need to ask a speculative question: Is the velocity of a muscle
fiber limited? And if it is, how can we enhance power in
that muscle fiber? Well, if its limited, if you look at the formulas we have there
you’ve got Newton’s second law and you have the power equation. Force is a
primary factor in both of those. So one thing that we might think about that if,
if the velocity is limited is working on force output. But the first
question we need to talk about is is skeletal muscle velocity limited? Now we know
from enzyme kinetics if we take a look at myosin heavy chains, and so on, and we
look very closely at the rate of cross bridge cycling. We know that that cross
bridge cycling is related to the dissociation of ATP, and
so on down the line. But basically, that cross bridge cycling rate controls the
velocity. So that means that if we consider muscle fiber types you can’t go
faster than 2x. 2x has highest myosin ATPa. It has the highest cycling
rate. I don’t care what you do to the fiber you cannot make that muscle go
faster. We can make it go slower, but we can’t make it go faster. So one of the
things that we can do to slow it down is to alter the myosin heavy chains. That is in
a sense, and notice I’m saying in a sense changed the fiber types. And if we
increase the volume of training, and it doesn’t seem to matter what the training
is, weight training, sprinting, endurance, whatever, if we get enough volume we start
shifting the myocin 2x heavy chains towards a slower type. And then if you
decrease the volume it tends to come back. We’ll talk more about that later on.
So we can make that fiber slower. So, because the maximum shortening velocity
appears to be limited, then efforts to increased power output
need to start focusing on force. Now here’s another part of that question, if you
think about it, when a muscle contracts it’s not just type 2 fibers, is not just
type 1 fibers there’s a mixture of fibers in there. So one of the things that’s also
possible is that as that mixture of fibers starts contracting, the slower
fibers actually create drag and friction and slow down the faster fibers. And
there is evidence for that. It may be because of friction, it may be because of
drag. Another possibility is what we might term indiscriminate hypertrophy.
And we’ll talk about that in just the second. But one of things to think about
if type 2 fibers are faster than type 1 fibers, if I increase the cross-sectional
area ratio of two to one, I should be in a relative sense, be able to overcome some of the drag
created by the type 1 fibers. So an important characteristic here might be
to develop the 2-to-1 cross-sectional area ratio. Now we know from several studies that
when you do specific exercises you get specific results. And those results show
up in terms of tissue architecture and where that hypertophy actually occurs. It’s
been well known for some time. We also know that the structure that is laid down as
a result of that affects the function. So if we take a look, for example, at a track
cyclist, and this is Forstemann from Germany, if you take a look at his legs
you’ll see that he has quite a bit of hypertrophy through the entire
quadriceps. In fact, he can squat 300 kilos. Down at the bottom you see
Usain Bolt, and if you notice most of the hypertrophy in sprinters is
up in the upper part of their leg, in the proximal portion. And that’s because if
you put a lot of hypertrophy down here you’ve got a lift that. It changes the molnar arm. And so one
of the things you might not want to do in sprinters is put a lot of hypertrophy down
here, indiscriminate hypertrophy. And there’s both inter and
intra task specificity, and we have to consider that. We’ll come back to
hypertrophy in just a few minutes. Now as the muscle shortening velocity
appears to be limited by the myosin heavy chains, and type 1 fibers may
inhibit type 2 velocity characteristics, then we need to think about other
training strategies besides just working on velocity or power output all the time.
One of the things that we need to consider then is actually working on the
force characteristics, force generating character of the muscle. In other words,
increasing strength, increasing maximum strength. So from a performance
standpoint we need to think about getting athletes stronger. From a
physiological standpoint, yes, we need to increase the cross-sectional area. There
is evidence that we need to increase the two-to-one ratio, cross-sectional area
ratio. We need to be careful about it in terms of indiscriminate hypertrophy.
And also, the nervous system plays a role. And we’ll talk about some of those in just a
few minutes. One thing that is come out just in the last few years, maybe through
training, you can actually change fascicle length. In other words, the number
of sarcomeres in a series, which would make the cells contract faster.
However, that’s still up in the air as the whether it really occurs or not. All right, so let’s just go through a general
overview here. First of all, is power important? Well here’s a study that
compares the power output from a half squat. So the maximum power in a half squat
vs the season’s best throw among hammer throwers, discus throwers and
shot putters, and you see there a strong correlation. So in that particular case, power
output is obviously important. Here are three other studies which took a
look at power output from the jump squat. This is in watts per kilogram versus the sprint
times in short sprints 5, 10, and 40 metres, and again, we see strong
correlations between the two. We also find that there are good relationships
between the mean power produced in a squat, squat at the optimal loading, and
also the peak power produced in a counter movement vertical jumped at 20, 30, and 40 kilograms of load and
your ability to repeat short sprints. At least among soccer players. So again,
power output appears to be quite important. This is kind of an interesting
study, it took place in experience rugby players. And what they found was, along
with experience, power output was a primary factor in the ability to tackle.
So we see that power output is quite important in a number of activities.
So let’s begin a talk about the theoretical aspects of development. One of the things
that I want to caution, I always tell my students this, when I talk about
theoretical, that doesn’t mean this is an idea. This means it has backing. There’s actually theory to it that’s backed
by evidence. Here we see from some reviews of the literature by Minetti and Zamparo
and in these reviews of the literature not only did they review the
literature but they also did some mathematical modeling. And they were
interested in how do we best produce power. And basically, what was found was
this, the first thing that they suggest that you need to do is change the
cross-sectional area of the muscle. In other words, build the engine. Then work on
strength. And then, in a specific manner, work towards increasing power. If you
think about that that also comes back to what has been
discussed in terms of periodization for power output. Particularly the idea of
block periodization. And we can see here that the basic idea is to increase the
muscle mass, change your ability to work, increase work capacity, work on maximum
strength, and then work on power in a specific manner. So the theoretical and
the practical go together. Now we need to consider, if you’re going to develop power,
first thing is I hope you begin to think in terms of long-term athlete
develop, because power development really starts early. One of the first things
that you need to do is make sure that physical literacy is developed. And that
you also have good exercise technique. By physical literacy, this is what we’re
talking about, there are certain things that need to
happen when you’re a child. If you don’t learn how to crawl and walk and skip and gallop and throw
and so on, you’re gonna have problems later on
learning some of the more complex athletic movements, including
those that include power movements. And so we need to learn these at critical ages
and these are quite important or you won’t be able to do certain things later
on in terms of sport. Now this is a statement from a review of the
literature by Andrew Sandberg, and basically what he’s saying here is is the old
adage of a bicycle. If I learned how to ride a bicycle when I’m nine or ten years
old and I ride it for several years, I can get off that bicycle for years and
then get back on it and within a couple weeks I’m riding about as well as I
ever did. So we can learn things early on. If you learn them well, they stick with
you, in terms of motor control technique. But notice also he’s saying up here that,
in terms of things like strength and endurance, if you don’t continue to train
them, they disappear. That doesn’t necessarily happen with motor control and
technique. If you think about, that begins to tell you if you learned the technique
wrong, it sticks with you, and it’s very difficult to change. But if you learn
technique well, then you will increase the probability of exercise progress. In
other words, your progress in that exercise better than you would have
otherwise. It also raises the potential for transferring to some other activity
and it decreases the injured potential. Now if you’re interested in long-term
athlete development it’s a very important concept and I hope some of you
will take a look at some of these reviews of the literature. Now the second
step then is going to be trying to develop the contributing characteristics or
contributing factors to power. And here we basically see them. One of them is, in
fact, muscle architecture, tissue architecture, and changes in
cross-sectional area. And then we have changes in the nervous system. If you do
these things right, if you improve them through appropriate training, then we can
enhance force production from zero up to a hundred percent. We can enhance neuromotor
control. We can enhance your ability to handle a stretch shortening
cycle. We can improve coordination, and so on down the line. But that depends upon two,
well really three, important factors. One is genetics. The second thing is are you
integrating these –these training programs properly and are you producing
good training programs to alter these factors. And also, do you have a good
strength coach that knows how to do that. So that, very important factors there. In
terms of genetics, it depends upon two factors. One is does that athlete have
genetically linked physiological characteristics that are advantageous. For
example, more type 2 fibers. But the second thing is equally important, and
perhaps more important. Everybody has a window of adaptation. Some people,
because of their genetics, have a larger window of adaptation. It’s the people who
have both of those that make it to the elite level. All right, so our second step then deals
with changing cross-sectional area, also perhaps, changing work capacity. Although we’re
primarily going to talk about changing cross-sectional area, working on the nervous system, and
altering maximum strength. Now one of the questions that I often get asked is
how much the cross-sectional area versus the nervous system contribute to the
improvements in force generation? And the answer is, we don’t know. And one of the
reason we don’t know is it’s not well studied. This is the only study that we’ve been
able to find that actually tried to investigate this. This is a study done back in
1989 by Narici et al., in which he took relatively train male –whoops, and which would
you go to get back, that way, all right– he took relatively untrained
males, and there were only four of them, he train them in a typical kind of body
building manner for 60 days and then had 40 days of detraining. And through EMG
and some other methods they concluded that in terms of after 60 days that
cross-sectional area contributed about 50 to 60 percent to
the changes in force production, maximum force production. In the nervous
system, about 40 to 50 percent. One of the things though that you could argue and I
think wholesome weight is that as time goes by cross-sectional area becomes
less important because it’s harder to develop -hard to develop. Especially if
you’re in a body weight class sport. And so the nervous system later on may be, even
though it diminishes the amount that you can change it, may be a primary factor.
All right, let’s talk a little bit about hypertrophy then. So we are at this point
in our paradigm. Here is a study by Hakkinen, et al., and they used strength
athletes, which were primarily weight lifters and throwers, they had
some sprinters, and they had some endurance athletes, which were primarily
distance runners. And these were national class athletes in Finland. And what they
found was a strong correlation between cross-sectional area and how much force
that produces maximum in a leg press. But they also did something kind of
interesting, they compared the ability to produce force in kilogram, and if you notice here, the
strength athletes were stronger than the sprinters, who were stronger than the
endurance athletes. So the question is, why is that? Well if you think about it, they’ve
normalized it in terms of cross-sectional area. So that leaves a few things, you know,
muscle stiffness, and so on, but it also leaves the two-to-one ratio and it
also leaves the nervous system. So in another study, this lasted sixteen weeks
where they actually trained the subjects, one of the things they -they took a
look at was the two-to-one ratio and its relationship to a power movement. And
what they found was is that as the two-to-one ratio cross-sectional area
increased so did their static vertical jump, an estimate of power. So there’s
evidence here, from this and other studies, to suggest that the two-to-one
ratio is quite important. So how do we change the two-to-one ratio? The best way
is through a good strength training program. And there is good evidence, and this is a study by Campos et al., back in 2002 and we can see here that as a result of strength training
the type 2 fibers hypertrophy at a faster rate than do the
type 1 fibers. And there’s -there’s a number of good biochemical reasons for that and here are some reviews that deal with that. So a good strength training program can begin to
change that. There is also some evidence, primarily from work by Hakkinen
again, to suggest that among athletes who use higher power movements on a regular
basis, like weightlifters, they tend to have even larger two-to-one ratios, which would
give you an advantage. So just a practical note here, in terms of
gaining cross-sectional area, if you go over scientific literature generally tells us
that volume is a primary factor. The amount of work that you do. Now beware, because while there is a little
bit of evidence to suggest that more repetitions per set might be advantageous for beginners,
there really is no evidence to suggest that any single set rep repetition is
advantageous for advanced strength power athletes. The overriding factor seems to the
the total amount of work that you do. In fact there is a study showing that
weight lifters, powerlifters, and bodybuilders, if you take the same muscle
that has been used by both groups you have about the same hypertrophy. The two-to-one
ratio may be different, but the cross- sectional area of the muscle is about the
same, over a period of years. Now there may be, in terms of optimum hypertrophy an
intensity threshold. Schoenfeld thinks it’s around 60% of the one REM. Andy Fry things up a little bit higher around 75%. So in other
words, to get optimum hypertrophy, the biggest growth, not only do you need a large
volume but you might need to handle somewhat heavier weights, loads. Let’s talk just a little bit about neuro
factors. Based upon the literature we know that strength training, when appropriately applied,
we can change a number of factors. Remember, strength is a vehicle for many
different characteristics. And so, we can change, for example, the frequency with
which we recruit motor units, rate coding. We can change movement coordination. We
can hand synchronization, which is quite important ballistic movements. Very
importantly, we can increase rate of force development with strength training.
We can enhance the ability to use stretch shortening cycle. And
eccentric strength is particularly important there. And we can change the
inhibitory aspects of exerting force. So the bottom
line is here, we do these things and we do that through a change in maximum
strength. So let’s talk then since strength is an important component of this paradigm, let’s talk some about the relationship of maximum strength to power. So now we are over
here in our paradigm. We know there are strong relationships between maximum
strength, rate of force development, and power output. In fact, among weaker athletes,
which most division one athlete are, increase strength, working on increasing
strength, produces as good or better increases in rate of force development
and power, then does power training. And there are several good studies showing
that. And if you hadn’t read Prue Cormie’s studies in Medicine, Science in Sport, it’s worth reading. We also know, as a result of the strength training, that stronger athletes
have an advantage in gaining power. And there’s a number of studies dealing with
that. In fact, Greg Haff has just recently completed a series of studies dealing
with that. So let’s take a look at those relationships. Here we see maximum power, and
again, this is the jump squat vs the 1RM squat, normalize for body weight and we see
very strong relationships here. There are a number of studies which show strong
relationships between the production of power in a number of ways. Everything
from vertical jumps in a Smith machine to arm curls to free vertical jumps
weighted vertical jumps, and so on. And there are strong relationships between power
output and maximal strength. Stronger people produce more power. Interestingly enough there have been a
number of studies in which not only have they shown this relationship, but one of
the interesting things they did in these studies is divided the subjects, and in some
cases these were athletes, into strong and weak groups. And so we see here, for
example, in these studies we can see that there is a stronger and a weaker group. And in
every case, the stronger group produce more power. So there are good
relationships between strength and power. Now, an important factor is not just the
relationship ’cause that doesn’t give you cause and effect. So do we have a longitudinal
studies? Yes, this is a study that just recently came out by Lawrence Sykes, one
of Dr. Haff’s students, and in this study they did a meta-analysis of
various studies looking at the 1RM squat and its improvement in their
improvement in sprinting. And again, you see here strong correlations between the -the
improvement of the squat and the improving in the sprint, in terms of
effect size. Now again, in terms of longitudinal work, this is from Woodwick,
and this is kind of interesting because they actually use single fibers. And you
can, through, it’s a fairly hard technique, but you can actually tease out single
fibers, test them in a force transducer, and you can come up with the force and
velocity and -and power output; and then you can fiber
type them. And so, they collected a number of type 1 fibers, pre-post training, and some
type 2a fibers. They didn’t have enough fibers for 2x so they used 2ax. But what they did here was kind of interesting, they took these fibers and
they equalized them based on cross-sectional area. And you can see
here that the amount of force that was -the force enhancement, was different. They all had force enhancement but was
somewhat different. And we see here that the power output was also somewhat
different, depending upon the fibers type. They all did the same training. What this might
mean, and notice I said might mean, is that if you have an athlete that
predominates in one fiber type or another, one type of training compared to another
might produce somewhat better results. We still don’t have enough evidence yet to
say one way or the other. Here’s another study by Conecto et al., and
this is quite interesting because they compared different methods of training.
And if you go through that study they had several different –I’m going to show
you two here. In this particular study they had the subjects train three days a
week and they did repetitions at 100%. They were spread out
so they could do the repetitions at 100% of their strength and they train
them over a period of ten weeks. They had another group that used 60%. What’s kind
of interesting in this particular study is we do see some specificity of
exercise here. Notice in the higher force group, they
improved in force more than that group did. Their velocity also improved. This
group improved a little bit more. But the interesting thing is, notice they both improved the same
amount, in terms of power. They got there by different combinations of force and
velocity, which suggest to us that that can occur. That we can have different
combinations of force and velocity and yet come up with the same power
outputs as a result in terms of training effect. Now I want to talk a little bit
about the rate of force development here, because it’s extremely important in terms of
changing power output. We have evidence that indicates that, in fact, the rate of force
development may be more important in terms of eliciting adaptation in power
and also velocity then velocity of movement. If you consider this load
limited maximum effort, slower movements elicit high rates of force development.
Remember rate of force development is not velocity. So you can have a heavy weight
and as long as you’re making a maximum effort, it might be moving slow, but
there’s a high rate of force development. If you think about is this, this might explain
why as a result of heavy weight training we get increases in velocity and power
over a wide range of loads. So, for example, here we have a power curve. And
we can see here’s -here’s a peek in that power curve. And so we’ve got a load
range down here, and here is power output. We have two basic windows for adaptation
here. One of them is at the high force end. So if I get stronger, I stretch this. I can now
produce power with weights that I couldn’t even move before. So I have opened up
this window. The second window is down at this end and this depends upon the rate of
force development. The higher we can get the forces here, the quicker we can get
them up high, the more up and down this curve becomes.
And so we’ve got a better chance of doing that by opening up both of those windows. And
one of the things that we know is in relatively weak people, athletes, we can
by through strength training, attack both of those windows. So that we now can
increase the -whoops- increase the peak power and also the range over which we can produce power.
So we know then that maximum strength levels dictate both the range of loads
over which we can produce power and, at least to an extent, the upper limit that
is the peak power, by opening up both of those windows. We also know that stronger
athletes have a more favorable -favorable neuromuscular profile. And
that serves as a basis for further increases in power output when we
actually started emphasizing power. So among novices a -really in this case, a
second step in increasing power is to get maximum strength up. We always
have to remember this though, maximum strength training will increase
power. There’s no question about that. And, in fact, in weaker athletes it will do it
as well or better than power training. But one of the things we eventually have to do is
when we reach a reasonable level strength is start thinking about
training or emphasizing power output in training. Now just a practical note, if
you want to increase maximum strength, if you don’t remember anything else I say,
remember this, if you want to be strong lift heavy weights. There is no way around
that. You can go in the weight room and fool around with light weights and you’ll
get stronger, but you won’t ever really get strong. So if you really want to get
strong you’ve got to lift heavy loads. And there’s evidence for this. That heavier loads produced
better affects and much of that deals with what goes on in the nervous system.
So our third step is actively developing power production. So now we are over here.
Now one of things we just talked about, and -and again, we don’t have enough time
here today to really discuss this, but how power is developed might really be
critical to success. If you notice up there we’ve got three different
paradigms. You’ve got force times velocity. You got force times velocity. And you’ve got force
times velocity. So we could use different loading on the bar, and remember, or
whatever, and we can produce the same power outputs. And we can increase the
same power output in terms of an adaptation. We saw that earlier in Conecto’s paper. This is an important idea, because in one of those, for example,
that one, we could increase strength and power at the same time. Now this is a
paper, it says 2013, it’s actually 2015 that -that Dr. Haff and I have coming out
shortly. And what I want you to noted here is here are some weightlifting movements and if you
look at the power outputs they are just as good as these things down here that
are unloading and far better than what you would get in typical power lifting movements.
So we can produce higher power outputs with weightlifting movements. So would
weightlifting movements be advantageous? And the answer is yes. This is a study by
Tricoli. Basically untrained subjects that I think, believe they were physical
education majors, but what Trocoli did was divide them up into two groups. And one
group, which he called the weightlifting group, noticed they did high pulls and
power cleans, clean jerks, and a half squat. The other group did typical plyometrics, you know, double-leg bounds, hurdle hops, and so on
down the line, and also did a half squat. At the end of this training program,
which I think was nine weeks, what they found was that in a variety of variables,
which you see here, that brings everything from static jumps to long jumps to 10 meter and
30 meter dashes, and so on, the weightlifting group produce better
results. So there we see that, again, these weightlifting movements, which in a
way are a combination type of training, you get higher forces, and you can get
reasonable velocities, and you get very high power outputs. That when you use those you
can produce as good or better effects than what we do from typical power
training that we think about. So if we want to put this together, let’s go back to a
study by Harris et al. This was actually carried out in 1999 and published in
2000. This, I think, is an important study. One because we actually use real
athletes. This was the Appalachian State football team. And we had 51 players
there. And they were performing sprint and plyometric, and so on along with this and it
was integrated into the program. We – and you’ll see what the tests are in just a second, but we
tested all the measures pre. At the end of five weeks we did the one RM’s. And then
we test it all the measures post. The- everybody, all 51 athletes, had -had gone
through four weeks of a strength endurance type program. Sets of 10. And
then they were switched into one of three groups. One of the groups did heavy
weighttraining. Although they were, there were heavy and light days to
manage fatigue. So everything was at about 80 percent or above here.
Another group was switched into a power group. Most everything here was at
about 30% or less. And then there was a combination group. And for the first 5
weeks they trained like this group and the last 4 weeks they train in a real
combination. Where they would even do some clusters, and so on, complex training.
So we’ve got three groups here. There’s one group -all of them finished a strength
endurance phase, where they did set of 10. One group was switched into a strength
training group where everything was 80% or above. The other group –and I’m
running out of battery here– the other group was switched into a high velocity,
high-powered group, 30% or less. And then we had this third group
that actually did the complete block. So they went from the strength endurance to
the strength to the combination. And what we find is that if we go through these
variables and you can see we did everything from one RMs and the squat,
quarter squat, dead thigh pull, they did a vertical jump, power index, Marteria Kalamen test, and so on
down the line. 10 yard agility run, 30 meter dash, and so on. In the majority of the variables, the
combination group did a better job. They had a greater improvement. In terms
of affect size, if we look at the one RM, this is in the squat, we see that the
combination group was just as good as the high force group. Now all of them improved.
That group barely improved. These two groups improve quite a bit over that
period of time. If we consider the vertical jump, again, this group improved
quite a bit, but these groups, percentage wise, improve just as much. Something that was kind of interesting,
both of these groups in the 10 yard dash got worse. The combination group got better.
That by itself wouldn’t had excited me too much, but what was kind of
interesting was when we looked at the 30 meter dash, 10 yard shuttle run
and a 30 meter dash, is the same thing happened. Again suggesting that may
be this combination has an advantage. So in addition, we have evidence that exists
that suggests that strength training plus reasonable levels of sport
practice offer some advantages than just strength training alone or sport training
alone. And then as we just discussed, the combination of strength and power
training may offer some advantages, if you put it in the right sequence. There
is also a lot of data existing dealing with delayed training effects. What I’m
doing in the weightroom right now may not show up for weeks or even months.
In fact, Abernethy from Australia has information showing that the lag time in
some cases maybe as long as six months, depending on what you did and the level
of the athlete. And what you find is the higher the
level of the athlete, the longer the lag time. So that delay is partly re-educating. You made
the motor unit stronger, now you have to relearn how to use them in the
performance. Now let’s talk just a little bit about the idea of functional overreaching and tapering,
because this is important in terms of reaching peak powers. Especially at the right.
Now here is an important paradigm. Here we see the degree of alteration, at least
qualitatively. And here is training volume. One of the things that we know is we
increase training volume is you accumulate fatigue. You get tired. And
that masks, this is the fatigue fitness paradigm, that mask fitness. But here’s some of the
underlying physiological changes that take place. One thing that we talked
about early on is that we get some changes in myosin heavy chains. And what you find is
is that as you increase the volume of training type 2a fibers increase, and we
see the type 2x fibers, the faster fibers, actually decrease. There can be, if
you do it right, some positive alterations in the nervous
system. There can be some positive alterations in the cross-sectional area, changes in
the two-to-one ratio, and so on. Now what happens as you decrease volume
is these things begin to turn around. There’s some deterioration. So the one
thing that takes places is accumulated fatigue begins to diminish. That’s a good thing.
We also see that the myosin heavy chains begin to reverse. And now we see a
decrease in the type 2a fibers and an increase in the type 2x fibers. In fact,
two of these studies, one of them in sprinters, very good spinners, actually showed an overshoot.
So they ended up with more type 2x fibers than they started with, which
means you got a lot more, or more, faster fibers. The muscle is probably
gonna contract faster, higher -have a higher power output. But the interesting thing
here is as you decrease volume notice there begins to be a diminishment in
these other aspects, but the catch is here, if you do things right, the positive
alterations of the nervous system, the positive alterations in
cross-sectional area persist longer than the alterations in
the myosin heavy chains. So you get a faster fiber coupled with the positive
alterations in the nervous system, the cross-sectional area, and you get a
peek in performance. Now, obviously, there’s some adaptations that take place
back over here that caused those things. If you think about that we could then
used that to our benefit in training, not just in the taper, but actually
training. And that brings up functional overreaching, or planned overreaching. If you
do things right, you should be able to increase volume, and you have to increase
it quite a bit. You disturbed homeostasis. You have offered a stimulus to that
athlete and it needs to be a big one, but it can’t last too long or you go into
non-functional overreaching where things don’t turn around. So if we do
that right performance might actually fall off during that period of time. But
if we bring this back down to our normal levels of training now we start seeing a
change in performance, and that may be coupled with some changes in testosterone and cortisol. If we then
add a taper on the end of that, when they get an even bigger boost. But one
of the things to think about, and we do this on a regular basis, one of things to
think about, let’s take this part right back here, if
we put that into training on a regular basis now we may get a bigger adaptation
than if we had not put that overreaching phases in. But you have to be
very careful. If the extent of the overreaching phase is too great, then
you’ve pushed them over into non-functional overreaching, or even overtraining. Don’t
do that. It’s not good for you. It’s very difficult to recover. So the time span
needs to be rather short, perhaps a week or two. You have to be very careful
about the amount of volume. So what about the increasing power in your athletes.
Well, I would argue that, in relatively weak athletes, and I will argue strongly
that most DI athletes and DII and DIII athletes are weak. And we’ve got the
measurements to show it. Most of the time they are going to benefit a lot more
from a good strength training program, and that doesn’t mean that you don’t do
some power training, but they -if you implement strength training, they’ll benefit more
from that than they will from power. But at some point, in relatively strong
athletes, we need to think about emphasizing power training. That does not
mean that you should abandon strength training. If you do eventually power will
fall, as strength fall, eventually power will fall behind it. So there’s a strength
maintenance program. Now then how strong is strong enough? That’s always debated.
But I can tell you, in terms of the squat, for example, there is good data, in
fact, Dr. Haff just completed a series of studies taking a look at this. There is good
evidence that if you can’t squat twice your body weight, you’re not
strong enough. Everybody says twice your body weight. That’s not very much folks. I
promise you twice your body weight is not hard to achieve, for anybody. Now
that’s based on the ability to potentiate. People who can squat twice
their body weight can potentiate better, in potentiating schemes. In terms of what
they derived from plyometrics, for example, depth jumps, people that can
squat twice their body weight are more likely to derive benefits from
that then weaker people. In fact Hakkinen showed that back in the
early 1980’s. So about twice your body weight. So that brings us back to this
paradigm, and I would argue that if your goal, and it should be your goal at least
with what we term strength power athletes, your goal should be to increase
power output and do it in a specific manner. So we’re back to our paradigm. If
you want to do this well, the first thing that you do is work on body composition and try
to get their cross-sectional area up. In particularly the two-to-one ratio up.
There is some evidence that higher power, higher velocity movements might do that
better than the typical slower movements. Or at least using them some of the time. Okay, you’ve got to get their strength up
and then you work on power in a specific manner.

6 Replies to “Power Development in Strength-Power Athletes, with Mike Stone | NSCA.com”

  1. Been always saying that if you can't squat twice your bodyweight, you shouldn't advice others on how to squat. This kinda proves that I've been right.

  2. i really enjoyed the talk, but it would be nice if the video spent a majority of the time showing the slides instead of the speaker. I could care less what the speaker looks like. He is talking about the slides but you can't see what he is talking about.

  3. I had to listen to this 6 times just to understand 10% of this entire video 😌 although I still feel I've accomplished something

  4. I’m a hybrid athlete (strength and endurance is needed in most swimming events) and can’t squat 2 times my bodyweight. I do however would like to work up to that as a goal after my competitive career.

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