Sunday, 27 November 2011
Developing Explosive Strength and Power

.3 seconds...that's all the time you have in sports

Got your attention?  Doesn't sound like much time does it?  You're asking yourself what the hell is Ed talking about has he lost his mind...what about .3 seconds.   Well, if you want to be an elite athlete that had better be your reaction time!!  I'm talking about change of direction, exploding out of your position, creating or closing seperation, and so much more and it all happens in .3 seconds. 

In sport we define power as the product of strength x speed (distance) / time

Each of these components must be part of your overall training plan.  Of course there are different emphasis not only during each train cycle but also within each training session.

One of the best ways to develop Explosive Strength and Power is by the use of the Olympic Weightlifting movements in your training.  First let me tell you that any coach that says that the lifts are too technical and/or difficult to teach, there are other exercises just as good, I don't have the athlete long enough, or that they are dangerous...Seriously?? Then find a new job!!

Let's explore a few reasons for why I think the way I do.  The olympic lifts produce the highest output of power and rate of force development.  The "dip and drive" phase of the press or jerk and the "jump and pull" phase of the clean or snatch take .2 to .3 seconds.  Consider that maximal strength takes .7 to .9 seconds or more to develop and in sports that's an eternity.
The lifts also help in the systematic and coordniated movements of the body and aid in the development of force production (the initial movement from the ground into extension) and force reduction/stabilization (the catch).  This will strengthen and prepare the athlete's body for change of direction, jumping and landing, the explosive release of an implement, and the impact of a collision in sports.

The peak power development of the Olympic Weightlifting movements are: 

  • 4-5 times more than the squat or deadlift
  • 11-15 times more than the bench press

*from John Garhammer Journal of Strength Condtioning Research 7(2): 76-89 1993

Let's get some real examples:

  •  800 pound squat produces 765 foot pounds per second
  • 500 pound bench press produces 420 foot pounds per second
  • 280 pound power clean produces 1885 foot pounds per second

*from Mike Clark, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Kansas City Chiefs NFL

Stay tuned as I will cover the role that maximum strength plays in the development of Explosive Strenght and Power.
Then later we can go through the use of plyometrics and medicine ball training to "bridge the gap" so we can take the gains made in the weightroom and have them show up in the sport you play!! 

Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES


Posted on 11/27/2011 5:48 PM by Ed Cosner
11 Dec 2011
Send an emailJonalyn
Your website has to be the eelcrtoinc Swiss army knife for this topic.