***This is an article I published for BreakingMuscle.com, a fitness and strength website for athletes and coaches alike.
Powerful Facts About Peak Power Training
- Peak power outputs are correlated with increased jump height, running speed, and enhanced weightlifting outcomes
- Increased power outputs can enhance all barbell lifts (squats, deadlifts, bench press, and the Olympic lifts)
- Increasing your power production will enhance fast twitch muscle mass, fat loss, and caloric expenditure
- Peak power training principles are important not only for formal athletes, but military, first responders, and aging populations
The ability to exert peak power outputs is a balance between high amounts of force output and velocity. Finding the sweet spot between those inversely related variables will result in a great potential for muscle gain and performance.
Power training specifically targets fast-twitch muscle fibers. Those same muscle fibers are recruited first in all human movements, but the trainability of those fiber types is extremely specific to peak power training. Additionally, fast twitch muscle fibers are responsible for muscular tone, which is the rate at which the muscle fibers individually fire. The more “excited” a muscle fiber is, the more power it will produce and the greater tone it will have.
Power training can result in increased fast twitch muscle mass, improved strength capacity (you just gained new muscle that is predominantly built through power training), increased muscle firing rates, and greater resting metabolic rates.
"Many athletic endeavors rely heavily on the force-velocity relationship, i.e. power production, which is the product of maximal force over a given amount of time."
The specificity of this type of training has a profound effect on:
- Type II muscle fiber count (fast twitch)
- Increased muscle fiber size
- Increased muscle fiber firing rate
- Increased central nervous system activity
- Potentially increased resting metabolic activity (i.e. caloric expenditures), leading to positive correlations with lower body compositions
Many athletic endeavors rely heavily on the force-velocity relationship, i.e. power production, which is the product of maximal force over a given amount of time. The more force someone can apply at the highest velocity, the better his or her peak power outputs. And that is a key performance indicator in formal athletics that involve short intense bouts of activity, like martial arts, military training, powerlifting, and Olympic weightlifting.