Power vs Strength
The term "power" is often misused or
misunderstood. The true meaning of power is the ability to
generate as much force as fast as possible. A golf tee-off, a
vertical jump, an Olympic clean and jerk, or swinging a softball bat are
all examples of power. Basically, if you do these things slowly,
they just won't work very well.
Strength, on the other hand, is the ability to generate as much force as
possible with no concern for the factor of time. A 1RM (1 rep max
deadlift are examples of pure strength movements. It
doesn't matter how long it takes to complete these tasks, all that
matters is that it gets completed. Doing it slowly doesn't take
away from the success of the exercise.
Power is often referred to as
"speed-strength" and is an important factor in sporting activities.
However, power is also used in everyday activities such as moving fast,
running up a flight of stairs, or just keeping up with your kids.
Power exercises offer benefits such as increased caloric expenditure,
increased work capacity, and increased overall body strength.
There are simple equations to determine
the strength and power in a specific exercise:
Strength (work) = mass x distance
Power = work / time
For example, for a 300-pound bench press
that moves 2.5 feet there would be 750 units of work (300 x 2.5).
If the same exercise takes 3 seconds to complete, there would be 250
units of power generated (750 / 3).
In comparison, a 100-pound
that moves 5 feet and takes 1 second to complete would be 500 units of
work (100 x 5) and 500 units of power (500/1). Power exercises
will always have higher amounts of power units than traditional strength
exercises regardless of loads simply due to the time factor.
How did the bench press become the
ultimate measure of strength? Besides the aesthetics from a
bodybuilding (hypertrophy) perspective, there is only so much we can do
with the strength that we develop from a bench press. Who is
stronger, the guy who can bench-press more than 400 pounds or the guy
who can do 100 pushups nonstop? How about that guy that can squat
500 pounds versus the guy that can do 10 perfect single leg piston
squats? This is not always a fair question since there are
variables of strength, endurance, and balance that create different
stress levels on the muscles. The relative measure of strength
really depends on the training goals, performance goals, and/or enhancement benefits desired.
ref. Power Training, Men's
Makeover: Health Edition
everyone needs an EXTREME makeover... but there are plenty of
people that do! The word "extreme" alone should tell you
that it's not going to be easy. There are often obstacles
that stand in your way that will need to be side stepped, gone
around, or simply smashed through.
Change is required to design your makeover, and resistance to
change is the primary obstacle that creates difficulties for
people seeking to improve upon themselves and turn things
around. Look at your habits and decide which ones are good
and which ones are bad. As I've said before, in order to
make real, lasting changes to your health and body composition,
you have to make permanent changes to your lifestyles and
habits that you have.
Diets are BAD. They typically signify a temporary change
and goal. Well once you reach your goal, go off your DIET,
and go back to eating crap... what do you think is going to
happen? If you're serious about making a change... here's
my recommendation: Take one full week and write down
EVERYTHING that you drink or eat throughout the day, the portion
sizes, as well as any exercise that you do. At the end of
the week, have a look at this log, or if you get really
ambitious, take it to a dietician. For the most part, you
should be able to see where you have room for improvement
whether it be needing to drink more water, cut out the soda,
ditch the French fries, shrink your portions, or get some time
in on the treadmill. So the next week, make a change that
you can keep up with for the REST OF YOUR LIFE! Not easy I
know, but you're worth it : ) Ease into it if you have
to... instead of having that soda or bag of chips everyday, make
it a point to only treat yourself on Saturday with these guilty
pleasures. Just keep in mind what you are working towards
and that the sooner you get on track, the sooner you will see
results. The bottom line is that you want these to be
lasting results and not just a DIET that will come an go (along
with the success that the diet yielded).
friends and family that have known me for a while can tell
you what a slug that I became after managing a restaurant for a
few years. I was
over 225 pounds, sedentary, and it
showed! I knew that I had to take control of my life in
order to see real change and that's what I did. I'm fairly
confident that if I chose to go the diet route when I was facing
the challenge, rather than making a complete
I would not have been as successful in keeping the weight off.
After all, why would I want to go back to my old habits if
that's what got me that way in the first place!
Bodyweight Exercise of the Month!
what you'll be saying if you try these without being used to
doing ab exercises. The pike-up is a classic abdominal
exercise that requires a strong stomach and a lot of control.
I personally like doing them on the stability ball, but I've
recently tried them on my new "power
wheel" which is no picnic either.
abs (rectus abdominus)
Description: Start by
lying on your stomach on the stability ball and walk your
hands out to a push-up position with your shins on the ball.
Keeping your knees straight, crunch your abs while keeping a
straight back and pull your feet forward as far as you can
before returning to the push-up position.
Increases Metabolic Rate
over-distance training and interval training are used by
coaches and athletes to build aerobic capacity. While
continuous over-distance training is running a specific
distance without stopping, interval training is repeated bouts
of high intensity exercise interrupted by short rest periods
of low to no intensity.
scientists, in a study comparing interval training and
over-distance workouts with the same average metabolic load,
found that interval training produced the highest levels of
peak oxygen consumption. They concluded that interval
training was a more powerful stimulus for increasing aerobic
fitness. Canadian studies found that short bouts of
maximal-intensity exercise built high levels of fitness
quickly. Six sessions of high-intensity interval
training on a stationary bike increased muscle oxidative
capacity by almost 50 percent, muscle glycogen by 20 percent,
and cycling endurance capacity by 100 percent. The
subjects made these amazing improvements exercising a mere 15
minutes in two weeks. Interval training will improve
fitness quickly, but it isn't pleasant.
Science and Medicine in Sport)
training is also recognized as one of the most beneficial
cardio workouts for fat loss. The whole idea around this
is that because you are taking breaks in between bouts of high
intensity, it allows you to workout at this higher intensity
(elevated heart rate) and sustain it for longer periods.
I've been doing intervals on my elliptical for some time now
and I can definitely see a difference in my conditioning.
I also find it is easier then the typical steady-state
programs that I had been used to. I typically do a
variety of intensity and rest periods that range from 30
seconds to a minute each for about 35 minutes total (30
seconds high intensity, 30 seconds lower intensity, 1 minute
high, 30 seconds low, 30 seconds high, 1 minute low, etc... I
recommend a heart rate monitor for these types of workouts so
that you can monitor your intensity level and maintain a safe
yet effective target heart rate.
Decreases Muscle Strength
The body is approximately 70 percent
water, but even a small water loss impairs metabolism and
cardiovascular function and decreases performance.
Researchers from Chicago State University, found that
dehydration (3 percent) induced by treadmill exercise in the
heat increased the perception of fatigue by 70 percent and
decreased upper and lower body power by 7 percent and 19
percent. They concluded that dehydration decreases
performance in power sports and increases the risk of injury.
Good strategies for improving exercise performance in the heat
include maximizing physical fitness, taking regular water
breaks, training during cooler times of the day and drinking
water before exercise begins. A good fluid replacement
beverage should be cold and contain energy (7 grams carbohydrate
per hundred milliliters of water) and electrolytes.
- Journal Strength Conditioning
Research, 22: 455-463, 2008
Wanna bet? That's what my
wife and a bunch of people where she works are doing.
From what I understand, they have teams of people that are weighing in at the beginning of February and then
again 3 months later to see which team has the most combined
weight loss. While I'm still not firm believer in
weight loss (versus body composition), the whole biggest
loser competition thing is both a fun challenge and very
productive. The more hype the better... in their case,
each team came up with a team name and they are providing
updates via email. I'm always looking
for success stories for my newsletter, so let me know if you
have any to share and I'll look to provide some updates to
yeah... I almost forgot... stick with the flowers and
jewelry for Valentine's day this month. Those
chocolates aren't gonna help anyone ; )
For prior issues of this
newsletter go to
is the maximum utilization of
the ability that you have"
youtube video of the month -->
The New "Rudy"