Snap, “I’ve got the power.” came to mind as I was thinking about power training. Oh, and how many of you remember Power Man, the super hero that recently made a comeback on Netflix’s “Luke Cage”? hmmn? I digress… The point is power. Did you know that power training is one of the most important things you can do as you get older? Let’s back up and start by defining what is meant by power. Power is Force x Distance divided by time or… for the rest of us, it’s not just how much weight we can move from one point to another, but also how fast. So, power training has speed as a key component. Why is that important to train as we get older? There’s research that suggests that power is even more closely associated with a person’s ability to perform activities of daily living than even strength. Well, strength is just one part of power and not only is it important to be able to move weight (like your bodyweight), but also to move it quickly.
Power is also relative. We don’t need to be able to dunk a basketball, but if we want to play sports, acceleration is power. That acceleration may be swinging a golf club or throwing a kick in martial arts. It’s also being able to get out of the way of an oncoming car, or react quick enough to not fall when we’re off balance.
Power training is about utilizing explosive exercises. This can take many forms including jumps or throws. A cautionary note, however, power movements are high-intensity and having a proper progression to keep you safe and maximize your results is essential. Work with a certified personal trainer to make sure you’re on the right track.
Is power training part of your program? Let me know what kinds of things you’re doing in the comments below.