Muscle power, the muscle’s ability to generate the greatest amount of force within a very short period of time. Think of muscle power as the speed at which your muscle’s able to produce the greatest amount of force. Muscle power should be the last component you should train for, as it requires muscle strength, stabilization and growth in order for the muscle to fully be able to produce a tremendous force within a short time frame.
As per my previous posts on muscle endurance, hypertrophy and strength, there are certain acute variables needed to be implemented in order to effectively train for muscle power. Here they are:
Intensity: 30-45%; 85-100%
Muscle power is defined as force x velocity. That said, increasing force and/or velocity will allow you to effectively train for muscle power. Training on the lower end of the intensity spectrum (30-45%). allows you to develop greater velocity, whereas training at higher intensities (i.e. 85-100%) focuses on the force side of the power equation. In fact, it’s best you train at different intensities to maximize power adaptations. So, train at higher intensities at low speeds, and lower intensities at high speeds.
Indeed, the tempo at which each exercise is performed should be fast and explosive. Again, you’re training your muscles to produce force at the shortest amount of time, so emphasizing on tempo is necessary when it comes to power training. For example, if you are performing squat jumps, you need to make sure your ground contact time is very minimal, to allow for the muscles’ power abilities to take charge and produce the force needed to lift off again within that short time frame.
Plyometrics are by far the best type of exercises to develop muscle power. This type of training appropriately suits muscle power because you do have to exert a great amount of force within a short period of time. This defines what plyometrics is all about in the first place. There is a wide range of plyometric exercises to choose from, but here are a few you can attempt:
Squat jumps – Power lunges – Box Jumps – Butt Kicks – Single Leg Box Jumps – Power step-ups
Muscle Power concludes the 4 different weight-training components to work on. Like how I always urge you to eat smart, I urge you to train smart as well. Always set yourself some goals, and work specifically towards those goals. Not knowing how to train, or what acute variables to manipulate will only slow you down and keep you further away from your goals. Train specifically, train smart and train hard!