training for power



How much can you lift? That was the question my friends would ask me when they found out I lifted weights. Don't get me wrong, I appreciated the attention, but after awhile it became annoying. The fact was, I wasn't training to get bigger, I just realized I was pretty strong and wanted to win a few contests.

I got involved with a weightlifting team in my hometown that was guided by a guy named Bill Starr. To this day, he's been one of the most knowledgeable men in the sport. Back in the 70's he authored a book entitled "The Strongest Shall Survive" which is basically a training guide for athletes who desire to get stronger. Later on he expanded upon that with a 5x5 system, which I'll get into later. Needless to say, there is a big difference in training for power and training for size.

For one thing, when you're main objective is trying to get stronger, you're workouts consist of less volume. In other words, you concentrate more on doing doubles and triples instead of countless amounts of reps. Also, you're adding assistance exercises.

Power rack training is another excellent means to developing strength. You'll find this a great way to add poundages to exercises such as the squat and bench press.

One other factor is the amount of recuperation time. Not only do you allow yourself more rest time between lifts, you adjust your routines so that you give your muscles a chance to recover from the strenuous load from your workouts.

Earlier I mentioned something called a 5 x 5 System which was introduced by my friend Bill Starr. This was designed primarily for football stength programs but is an excellent way to improve strength. It amounts to doing reps and sets of 5 of certain power exercises to develop raw power.

Another aspect in power workouts is that your routines will end up being much shorter. These exercises will tend to work muscle areas in groups rather than isolating specific aspects as in bodybuilding.

Don't get me wrong. There have been many outstanding bodybuilders who were incredibly strong. When you think of Franco Columbo or Bill Pearl, it becomes obvious that they added power exercises to their routines and were enormously strong. However, countless numbers of athletes continue to train at their local gyms and spend countless numbers of hours working out and yet see limited gains. Their philosophy is more is better.

A major key is a quality workout or the amount of time you spend training your body. Just keep in mind,whether you're searching for the satisfacion of achieving a difference in raw power or a pleasant asthetic physique, there is no reason you can't workout forever.