Power Training (Methods)

Training for power is a simple, straight forward concept. In order to optimize your power training, you need to take advantage of both the velocity of the movement and the load of bar.

Power = Force (load) x Velocity

In order to make sure both of these qualities (force and velocity) are met, we need to make sure we use a training setup that optimizes our ability to maintain the velocity and load throughout the training session.

Below will be a series of methods you can use to optimize power in your during your training.

Post Activation Potentiation (PAP)

PAP is essentially the highest form of a warm-up. When done properly, it allows the body to be at its highest functioning state during the training session. This will allow for the highest velocity and force outputs to be achieved.

Exercises for PAP should be non fatiguing, near maximal to maximal effort over a short range of motion with minimal accumulation of fatigue


Example exercises for PAP

High Rack Pull

Mid Thigh Iso Pull

Iso Bench Press Rack Press

Iso Pin Squat


Cluster Sets

Cluster sets are one of the best ways to maintain high power during a workout. A cluster set is comprised of short periods of work intertwined with adequate rest to allow for intra and inter-set recovery.

There are a many ways in which you can perform a cluster set. The key component with a cluster set is that you need to manage intra and inter set fatigue, while maintaining a  high enough volume to bring about a training response. The minute the bar speed begins to decrease substantially, you should consider ending the set


Example Cluster Set (without velocity device)

Bench Press

2 @80% x(10-25 second) 3 x  5(2 minutes)

The above workout would be performed by doing two repetitions (1 cluster) of bench press at 80% of 1rm, taking a 10-25 second break between clusters and performing a total of 3 clusters in a set for 5 sets, with a 2 minute rest between sets (one set would be six total reps/3 total clusters.

Cluster sets allow the athlete to perform an adequately high volume of training without accumulating large amounts of fatigue.


Training With Cut Offs and Drop Offs

Power training with a velocity measuring device can be done little different. A velocity measuring device allows you to create cut off points and drop of sets.

Image 1

Example ofTraining With Cut Offs and Drop Offs

Bench Press

0.10m/s cutoff/drop off (reps) X 0.10m/s cutoff/drop off (set)

Lets say the above workout is being done with a starting velocity of 1.0m/s (Your freshest rep at that weight is 1.0m/). In the example above, you will do as many reps as you can before you hit your cut off point of a 0.10m/s reduction in starting velocity (you would stop the set once your reps fall below 0.90m/s). You would then rest for X amount of time (depending on what you have decided) and then start another set. Example of workout below

However, after your first set you have probably accumulated some amount of fatigue, so the velocity of the first rep of the following set is probably not going to be 1.0m/s, it might be somewhere closer to 0.95m/s.

You will still do another set with as many reps as you can until your rep velocity falls below 0.9m/s (0.10m/s reduction from starting velocity of 1.m/s). You will continue this process until the velocity of your first rep is below 0.9m/s. Once your starting velocity falls below 0.9m/s that specific exercise can be terminated.

*** Side Note: You do not have to go until your first rep velocity falls below your cutoff as mentioned above. You can have it set up so that if they cannot perform more than 2-3 consecutive reps above the cutoff velocity, then you can cut them off***




0.10m/s cutoff/drop off (reps) X 0.10m/s cutoff/drop off (set)

Starting velocity = 1.0m/s  

Rep Cutoff = -0.10m/s  

Set Cutoff = -0.10m/s (2 consecutive reps)  

Set 1:      

1.0m/s,  0.98m/s,  0.97m/s,  0.97m/s,  0.95m/s,  0.92m/s,  0.89m/s STOP SET

Set 2:

0.98m/s,  0.97m/s,  0.96m/s,  0.93m/s,  0.91m/s, 0.90 m/s STOP SET

Set 3:

0.97m/s,  0.96m/s,  0.93m/s,  0.91m/s, 0.89 m/s STOP SET

Set 4:

0.93m/s,  0.92m/s,  0.91m/s, 0.89 m/s STOP SET

Set 5:

0.92m/s, 0.88 m/s STOP SET



Aspects to be modified:

When using the cutoff/ drop off method , you can modify the cutoff/drop off velocities for either the reps or the sets. For example, you can have a larger rep cutoff than the set cutoff.


0.10m/s cutoff/drop off (reps) X 0.5m/s cutoff/drop off (set)

Reps cut off after a 0.1m/s fall from initial velocity and cut sets off after first rep of the set falls below 0.5m/s of initial velocity.



Image 1: http://www.tendosport.com/tendo-units/


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