Strength | Power | Speed
Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination muscular units, to apply force.
Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in a minimum time.
Speed– The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
As we wrap up strength cycle 1 of 2020, I have decided to write about a few fitness traits and why we periodize our training programs at KTX Fit.
Cycle 1 was focused around maximal strength. There were many huge PRs (personal records) as well as a few athletes left disappointed at the results from the cycle. Without going into deep detail on any of the factors listed below, there are numerous reasons why one athlete could hit a 50lb personal best on a back squat while others may stay the same or only increase 5lbs. Here are a few issues that could arise:
-Body Type (muscle fibers etc.)
An increase in MAXIMUM STRENGTH will not necessarily result in an increase in POWER. If an athlete is really strong but produces maximum force slowly, they will lack power. Many athletes, due to the above mentioned issues, will benefit more from maximal strength cycles (like cycle 1) while others will show greater progress in “strength” from what we are approaching in cycle 2.
You must train at the correct velocity to build a special strength. One can become stronger and jump higher in the beginning of training, but progress will stop if the rate of force development does not improve. There are many things to consider for improving sports performance.
In cycle 2, we will work on maintaining our strength progress while incorporating speed-strength + strength-speed + different power building approaches for our power and olympic lifts. We will be building our stamina and muscle endurance with an increase in bodyweight volume as well as begin to incorporate interval weight training (IWT) and improve our lactate inflection point (LIP).
NOTE: The athletes who have built a larger “aerobic base” by completing the capacity workouts and additional endurance training will generally yield greater results in the IWT and LIP training cycle. I compare this to someone investing higher amounts of money into the stock market. Everyone will benefit greatly from these intense forms of investing (training) but generally speaking, the people with the higher amounts of money invested will be rewarded more on the smart investments (intervals and higher intensity workouts)… athletes with the larger base should be able to handle higher interval training volumes and faster recovery between sessions. This should not discourage anyone from training but keep expectations at bay when comparing progress.
Both of the traits listed below are directly linked to maximal strength (MS). MS is is usually tested by conducting a 1- rep max and what our general focus of training cycle 1 consisted of in the CrossFit classes. Strength training sets between 75-95% of our 1 rep max in a progressive manner. The overall training volume and intensity was lowered during this phase as sort of an “off-season” to get us through the holidays and de-load the intensity following the CF Open.
Maximum strength and higher intensity training can co-exist, however the effects on the nervous system need to be monitored more carefully and I believe in a balanced crossfit program for the general athlete, this is best done in blocks -or- “periodized training.”
Strength|Speed and Speed|Strength sound the same… but they are two different training traits of POWER.
Power has been clearly defined for a long time : the rate (energy amount per time period) at which work is done or energy converted.
Power = FORCE X DISTANCE divided by TIME
What is Strength-Speed?
Strength-speed refers to moving relatively heavy loads as fast as you can. An example of Strength-Speed would be pushing a heavy sled, or an all-out-sprint on the Assault Bike- the resistance on the Assault Bike increases along with your force (by design) to allow more strength-speed (power) output.
The functional application of strength-speed would be something like helping coach Marisa push her neutral car down highway 90 when she runs out of gas.
In this type of training there is a strength constraint (like weight) on a heavy load (like a sled) and there is a speed goal trying to move the resistance at very high speeds : like a time cap over a given distance to ensure you are getting the intended workout stimulus!
What is Speed-Strength?
Speed-strength refers to moving at very high speed with the maximum load possible. Examples of this include: Olympic Lifting (snatch | clean & jerk)
The desired training stimulus can be achieved by training at lower percentages of 1 Rep Maximum (RM) therefore resulting in an increase of movement velocity. For this you will need to take into account a valid speed constraint whilst conduct very fast movements trying to lift as heavy as you can. An example of this would be during a snatch as it is very difficult to make it under the barbell if it moves slower than the desired training rate for speed-strength. This is why most olympic lift training is completed at 70-80% of your 1 rep potential and your 1 rep potential on the snatch and clean & jerk is significantly lower than your maximal strength output which will come from the back squat and deadlift.
If you have questions, comments, or specific training goals you would like to address feel free to contact me anytime at : Kyle@ktx.fit
or comment in our members facebook group 🙂
The later parts of the 20th century had the health and nutrition of America in shambles over the misinformation of the “dangers of fats”… The low fat craze was not the greatest for our health.
Fats are not bad… too much of the wrong kinds of fats can be bad… but what we know to be 100% certain is WE NEED FAT. It is essential to our health and when given the opportunity the fat we consume (just like all other nutrients) should come from the highest quality sources.
2020 has a new approach… well it started happening sooner than 2020 but if you wonder the grocery store today you will see KETO all over the place. Keto friendly stickers, keto products, keto this and that.
SO what has happened here is we made the amazing discovery that HEY WE CAN EAT FATS… and yes, shifting from high carb diets to high fat diets CAN HELP SOME PEOPLE IN A CONTROLLED SETTING WHEN DONE PROPERLY. So the food industry has capitalized on the opportunity to create “Keto friendly foods” and market these “healthy fat products.”
So the shift is official in the eyes of mainstream media… “FATS were the devil… now they are the savior… CARBS were the answer… now they are the devil and will make you gain bodyfat within thirty minutes of consumption (this is a joke)… Let me just tell you about protein real quick… just kidding… we aren’t ready for this, today is about carbs.
Vegetables are primarily carbs…I think we can all agree vegetables are a good choice for most humans.
Fruits are primarily carbs… Some experts are anti -fruit and the low carb- no sugar mafia has people in fear of fruit. Unless there are specific reasons to avoid or limit fruit temporarily (for reasons like diabetes), then there is no reason to be scared of fruit.
50 grams of high fructose corn syrup in a Sonic slushie is a little different than 50 grams of carbohydrates from 2 dates and an apple… macro boy on Instagram may try to convince you that 50 carbs is 50 carbs but be smarter than Macro Boy… 50 grams of high fructose corn syrup is not comparable to 50 grams of carbohydrate from fruit containing a wide assortment of nutrients and fiber.
Carbs and Performance:
Our training is the gym is high performance. You may not view yourself as an athlete or high performer but performing squats at high %s followed by high intensity workouts day in and day out requires FUEL not only to perform your best but to recovery physically AND MENTALLY.
LOW CARB DIETS in a clinical setting need to be monitored closely with blood work and they have a specific purpose.
LOW CARB DIETS outside of a clinical setting in combination with weight training, high intensity bouts of exercise, and in a real life environment ARE FLAT OUT RISKY, SILLY IN MOST CASES (not all), and when done improperly (without blood work, careful macro and micro nutrient counting and timing) and without a specific plan|purpose are not practical.
Weightlifting requires carbohydrate for fuel. Endurance or “cardio” requires fat and carbohydrate. In a nutshell, the higher the intensity gets, the more carb dominate your fuel sources become. High intensity training requires a lot of energy. All forms of training require energy and fuel… neglecting this fact and not properly fueling your body can result in DEPRESSION, LOSS OF LIBIDO THROUGH ENDOCRINE DISRUPTION (AKA HORMONE IMBALANCES), LACK OF MOTIVATION, MUSCLE LOSS, SLEEP DISRUPTION, INFLAMMATION, GUT ISSUES, and many more issues that can pile on top of each other when you are missing specific vitamins and minerals on top of lack of carbs, fats, or protein.
I believe MOST people, those who are not battling a chronic illness (the average gym go-er in our community) can benefit greatly by simply adding in some carbohydrate pre and post training.
This can be done so simply…
Personally, I aim for 50-75 grams of easy to digest carbohydrate before any weight training, mixed with 2.5 grams of creatine twice daily, and usually mixed with 10 grams of essential amino acids (because they digest easier for me than whey or vegan protein powder) and far better than any food protein sources. This is one area where living through better science certainly proves its case for training.
I also weigh ~190 and I am fairly lean. In most cases, the lower your bodyfat % and the stronger you are per lb of BW = better utilization of carbohydrates.
If I was trying to cut body-fat I would cut the pre-workout carbs in 1/2 to 25-35 grams.
If I was 150 lbs instead of 190 I would also cut the carbs down slightly.
If I was trying to gain weight to get to 200 lbs I would increase the carbs to about 90 grams of a simple and complex mix. EX: 1/2 grape juice 1/2 Karbolyn.
Summary: The dosage of carbs pre-workout depends on fitness goals, workload, and body composition, but it is not rocket science. Keep it simple, some carbs pre- workout can help ANY athlete.
Here are my easy, go-to options for pre-workout carbs:
1.) 12-16 ounces of no sugar added grape juice
2.) 2 dates and a medium banana
or if I am down in the dumps…
3.) 1 scoop of karbolyn with some caffeine
If I am working out again within the next few hours or later in the day then I’ll do this AGAIN… TWO TIMES IN THE SAME DAY… and if I don’t then I feel lethargic, I am typically unable to hit my %s on the movements or if I am able to they feel a lot heavier than they normally do.
PRE-Workout carbs are my friend!
POST-Workout carbs are my friend! – If there is ever a time where your body is going to utilize “the bad carbs” more efficiently than any other time it is pre and post training!
Here are my easy, go-to options for post-workout carbs:
When trying to gain or maintain muscle during tough training bouts (like right now):
1.) Chocolate milk + 1/2 bag of organic spinach + 1 scoop protein + 1 scoop of carbs = roughly 80 grams of carbs & 40 grams of protein.
2.) Coconut or almond milk + 1 & 1/2 scoops of protein + 20-30 grams of coconut sugar & a banana = roughly the same as above but a “vegan option”
When trying to maintain during easier sessions or if I feel like I’m getting congested | inflamed | or resting for a few days
1.) 1/2 bag of organic frozen berries, banana, avocado, and scoop of protein or hemp seeds.
2.) Maybe just skip the carbs for a few days to keep my body guessing…. but ramp them back up when training intensity increases.
I believe most people will benefit greatly from proper carbohydrate timing pre and post workout. If you have any questions or concerns on the topic lets chat some time!
In good health,