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Hayden.M.

Power gains from strength exercises

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Hayden.M.

Is it possible to get ant gains in power/explosive strength through slow paced strength exercises? or is doing fast paced exercises such as plyometrics the only way to build significant power? i had this doubt because i thought "wouldnt you get power gains aswell if your training the same twitch muscle fibres, that are both responsible for strength and power activities?"

thanks,

Hayden

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Jeffrey

There is a correlation between those two espacially when you are inexperienced with strength training. Research has shown however that the more experienced you get the less you benefit power from strength training.

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Neal Winkler

Power = force * speed

When executing a explosive movement, the goal is to generate as much force as fast as possible.

For example, let's say that you are executing a movement in .2 seconds.

Person A has a max force output of 200lbs. (slow condition) and a max force output in .2 seconds of 150lbs (fast condition).

Person B has a max force output of 400lbs. (slow condition) and a max force output in .2 seconds of 210lbs (fast condition).

As you can see, person B can exert more force in .2 seconds than person A can irregardless of time. Notice that person A can exert a higher proportion of their max strength in .2 seconds than person B.

Person A is deficient in strength, and person B is deficient in the amount of force they can generate in .2 seconds as a proportion of their max strength.

This suggest the strategy that each should take to improve their power. Person A needs to improve the "force" component of the equation and person B needs to improve the "speed" component.

So yes, improving your "slow" strength will improve your explosiveness if you are deficient in in the force component of the equation.

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Joshua Naterman

Nice!

Like triangle said, you can be deficient in either speed or strength. Plyometrics are not a good idea for anyone until they have achieved the ability to slowly(2s up and 2s down with a pause on the chest) move their bodyweight at least 10x for what ever position they are intending to train plyometrically. You can and will cause injuries if you train plyometrically before this. You may not get an acute injury, meaning an injury that occurs DURING a training session, but you will build bad habits and develop an over-misuse condition. It is very important to follow these guidelines.

Until you can do 10-20 perfect slow push ups, you don't have the shoulder stability you need to safely perform plyometric push ups, for example.

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DanPlanche

simply, train slow you will be slow, train fast you will be fast. To put it simple that is.

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Neal Winkler

If that is true in all cases, where do you find fault in my analysis above?

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Razz

DanPlanche your train slow and be slow is way off... Ido has posted about this before.

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Blairbob

I hope you're just kidding and being silly you two.

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Joshua Naterman

HAHAHAHAHA!!! When did comedy central take over this thread?!?!

I like steak.

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Blairbob

I was referring to posts #7&8.

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Joshua Naterman

I know!!! I had a good laugh here, thanks! :)

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Animalonfire

I don't see the joke. IMO Razz and Triangle made very good points. If you cannot generate force at a leisurely pace how the hell can you generate it explosively?

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Joshua Naterman

The slow movement is about tissue preparation, not force generation. You first prepare the body so that the connective tissues can safely handle very large forces. Force is not weight. A proper BW Plyometric push up will produce more force than a heavy bench press by the same person even though the weight being used is smaller.

Slow force generation is not a pre-requisite for plyometric or explosive force generation. It is a tool used to strengthen and condition the body so that it is not injured by the high forces involved with explosive work and especially plyometrics.

Why? Because of the speed of contraction. Violent impacts force the nervous system into a maximal state of arousal, and as many motor units as possible are recruited as quickly as possible. Over time this becomes the body's preferred method of contraction, because it is what you should be exposed to the most once your body is ready. When this happens, your maximal strength starts to rise very quickly because your body is able to "turn on" all available motor units instantly, which produces far more force than if the nervous system had not been trained this way. If you have not prepared the connective tissues in the joints for this high level of force by building the ability to control the body slowly first and then slowly ramping up the speed, you will almost certainly end up in pain.

This training translates to higher speed with any given load. If two athletes can perform a given exercise with the same maximal resistance perfectly, but one of those athletes is twice as fast, that faster athlete is going to outperform the slower athlete. His muscles can handle far more force than the slow athlete's can.

If you want power gains, you have to train the nervous system as well as the muscular tissue and connective tissue. A LOT of strength is neurological. We are limited to a great degree by stretch receptors and the nerves that are in the muscle fascia, and only strenthening the fascia to the point where it doesn't get damaged much from exercise and teaching the nervous system to allow contractions in extreme ROMs will remove those limits. The tendons and ligaments have to be strengthened in order to not sustain injuries from this removal (de-sensitization, really) of the neurological safety mechanisms. Therefore, until the connective tissue is sufficiently strengthened, plyometrics should not be used, and when they are they should be phased in slowly with lower intensity work at first so as to not overload the tendons.

With proper programming this can easily be done. That is where the vast majority of your power gains will come from. The neurological conditioning will carry over to explosive movements as well.

To clarify, explosive means maximal force generation starting from a zero tension point. Plyometric means reactive. You are encountering and redirecting a force at maximum speed. Both require maximal recruitment at maximum speed, but only plyometrics properly performed will teach the nervous system to develop this ability to the fullest potential. Explosive work just translates that ability to a different circumstance. Both are important.

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Razz

Internet irony doesn't always go through but I'm hoping Blair was being ironic, over and out :P

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Gerald Mangona
Like triangle said, you can be deficient in either speed or strength. Plyometrics are not a good idea for anyone until they have achieved the ability to slowly(2s up and 2s down with a pause on the chest) move their bodyweight at least 10x for what ever position they are intending to train plyometrically. You can and will cause injuries if you train plyometrically before this. You may not get an acute injury, meaning an injury that occurs DURING a training session, but you will build bad habits and develop an over-misuse condition. It is very important to follow these guidelines.

Until you can do 10-20 perfect slow push ups, you don't have the shoulder stability you need to safely perform plyometric push ups, for example.

I was just perusing old threads. Admittedly, my basic strength is not that developed yet. Depending on the tempo, I can do 7-8 XR pushups, 14-16 tempo floor pushups (after that, the tempo and control start to go), 3-4 tempo XR dips. During the dynamic WODs, I've been scaling them way down. For example, instead of 10 double-clap push-ups, it might be 10 single-clap pushups on my knees.

Am I risking an overuse injury? I'm still gradually working up WOD frequency and volume since coming back from elbow overuse issues. Right now I'm at WODs 2 days per week, 3 sets per day. I haven't had any issues yet, but after the dynamic WODs, I definitely feel a little bit of elbow "discomfort". At current volume, though, they feel fully rested by the time I get to the next workout day.

If the dynamic WODs are a bad idea, then how should I sub it?

Thanks -

JM

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Joshua Naterman

If you're doing plyo work on the floor, use floor push ups to test yourself. XR push ups will not give you an accurate picture. If it feels like your current volume is allowing recovery, leave it the way it is for a month. If a month goes by and you are still feeling the same elbow sensation then you may want to back off to an easier variation.

Try to remember that just like there are a billion little positions between flat tuck and straddle, there are a ton of options for plyo push ups. You might just come an inch off the ground. That's a start! Build up slowly and you'll have no troubles. That is especially important when recovering from injuries.

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Gerald Mangona
there are a ton of options for plyo push ups. You might just come an inch off the ground. That's a start! Build up slowly and you'll have no troubles. That is especially important when recovering from injuries.

Aaah...Ok. This will work. Next time I'll scale down to just doing 50% ROM pushups on the knees and pushing myself a few inches off the ground. It's not just the muscle strength in the triceps shoulders, but the force on the connective tissue is really the limiting factor. And by the time I get to levels of high fatigue, the impact on those joints becomes more considerable as I lack the strength to absorb the force.

Thanks as always for the expertise.

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Joshua Naterman

You are welcome sir! Sounds like you've got a good handle on what your body needs.

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