Jan 30, 2002

The Best Exercises for Power

January 30 "The eyes see only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." -Robertson Davies

StrongerAthletes.com would like coaches to understand the difference between developing power and expressing power. We believe that athletes should train to develop power in the off-season as well as in-season.

An article written in Strength and Health Magazine, "In-Season Power Training," by Mike Clark from Texas A&M stated

"Olympic-style weightlifting movements (power and full) and their variations are the most effective lifts for power. Here are some of the exercises we use in our in-season training. Hang clean, hang snatch, back clean, block snatch, squat/push press, one arm DB snatch."

StrongerAthletes.com will refute this argument time and time again. That the aforementioned lifts merely express power and do little to develop it. If momentum is involved in the lift, then the load is too light to efficiently train type IIb muscle fiber. See Muscle Fiber Recruitment.

Ken Mannie, strength Coach at Michigan State University, in his article "Power Points" explains,
"The "size principle" of motor unit recruitment-which is one of the most supported principles in neurophysiology-states that muscle fibers are activated from smaller to larger (type I to type II)-relative to the force requirements, not the speed requirements. The force/velocity curve indicates that there is an inverse relationship between movement speed and muscle force production. In other words, slower muscle contractions generate force. Remember that the "intent" to move the weight rapidly may still be evident but the appropriate weight selection will inhibit the external speed."

StrongerAthletes.com believes in order to develop power it is necessary to recruit as much muscle fiber possible during exercise. Increasing strength through exercises like bench press, squat, deadlift, and leg presses, which do not involve momentum when sufficient weight is used, is the most efficient way to develop power.

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