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 🙂