Much of the population that participates in a training program does not know the difference between strength and power. While it is true that most of these individuals understand there is a relationship between strength and power, many of them may not be able to put their finger on exactly what that relationship is.
Strength is a measure of how much force is put into an object - essentially this measures how much weight you can move within a given movement pattern. If you have taken a physics class, you may recognize Work = Force x Distance. In a sense, strength is a measure of how much work you can do. We are measuring how much weight you can move throughout a given movement pattern.
Power, on the other hand, is a function of strength. In a strength and conditioning program, power can be thought of as Force x Distance / Time. Power measures how much of your strength you are able to recruit, over a given amount of time. Power can be associated with explosive movements or lifts, such as box jumps, hang cleans, or med ball scoops/throws/presses. It is extremely important to remember the explosive piece, and that power exercises are implemented with the intent to increase our rate of force development - which essentially means how fast our muscles can contract to reach a desired force output.
Some athletes may notice that their power block is always positioned near the beginning of their workout. This is on purpose, as it should be. It is vital to perform power movements before going on to strength work. This will allow the athlete to put maximal effort into their power movements, which will return the most benefit. In addition, if strength exercises were performed before power exercises, we would be limiting our power output. We would not be able to jump as high or cut as hard, which could be potentially dangerous for the athlete. Power exercises are to be done at the beginning of a workout, with strength exercises to follow.
Strength and power are both essential pieces to being a complete athlete. In theory, the higher your strength level, the greater potential for your power output. It is important to be strong as an athlete, but it is also just as important to properly develop power as an athlete, as this will help us run faster, jump higher, and cut harder.
9/28/2021 06:22:02 am
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