Do we need to train speed or power?

Bro Mo

Level 6 Valued Member
Thinking about my needs a little, almost everything I need to accomplish is more about absolute and relative strength combined with stamina and work capacity. I feel like I would be better served by heavy deadlifts than by swings or snatches. Are any of the strong endurance protocols with heavy barbells? Where would I be if I put a heavy barbell at the track and did a heavy single every lap as I walked laps for an hour?

Aside from specific athletic pursuits in sports, I have a hard time thinking of scenarios or needs that being stronger wouldn't solve the problem as well or better than being fast or more powerful.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
Aside from specific athletic pursuits in sports, I have a hard time thinking of scenarios or needs that being stronger wouldn't solve the problem as well or better than being fast or more powerful.
Huh.

I tend to think of the exact opposite.

I'm "barbell strong" enough for real life situations (do my own logging, for example).

But I need to work a bit more on my cardio, my balance isn't what it used to be (yoga balances getting harder), and maintaining mobility requires constant work that degrades rapidly if I take time off from it.

That being said, I do work on strength endurance.

But I do it with loaded carries, not barbells.

Farmer's carries, log carries, suitcase carries, sandbags, slosh tubes, etc.

Oh, and heavy mace and club work. And axes.

I've become curious about kettlebell sport.
 

Bauer

Level 6 Valued Member

william bad butt

Level 6 Valued Member
Yes. There is nothing wrong with training for speed and power. It is additive. But most would probably be better off focusing on strength develop. Getting strong will increase your speed and power (especially in the beginning).

After one acquires their minimal strength development, and gets strong, first, I think a good lifetime training plan can look something like this (it is what I do):

-1 or 2 days focusing on full body absolute strength development. The power lifts for example. Or deadlift and overhead press.
-1 day do sets of 40 yard dash sprints (long rests). OR heavy A&A snatches.
-Remaining days do a lot of low intensity aerobic activities AND a couple days of Q&D with a light bell.
-Sleep a lot. Feed your body to match your goals.

I was reminded how important strength was a couple weeks ago. I don't work for a living, I have an office job. But I spent the week helping my father and his crew do construction out in the hot sun. I think I surprised a lot of people. 1 day, in particular, where we built several walls with hundreds of 88lb stones. I moved like a machine, carrying them 2 at a time, 1 in each hand, a farmer's walk, just like I do every week with my kettlebells. My other family members, who don't train, ran out of gas and were very sore the next day. The previous Friday I think I had squatted and deadlifted 3 sets of 5 for ~450 lb and did the same with floor presses for ~300 lb. Everything else feels easier after that.

My attitude... Do I want to improve my endurance and power and speed, of course. But I would rather get so strong that these other derivatives aren't necessary. Carrying the 88 lb stones were too easy to tax my conditioning/endurance limits.
 
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wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I was going to say, check out Harald's log as well. Really cool experiments he's done doing grinds in a Q&D/A+A fashion.

To answer your question, you'd be missing out on a key component of training - rate of force development. I feel this is important as we age, in terms of catching yourself from falling when off balance, etc. You're hitting the fast twitch fibers by lifting heavy, but in a different way. JMO, I don't have proof of this other than my own thoughts that one should train fast in a safe and effective way.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
Thinking about my needs a little, almost everything I need to accomplish is more about absolute and relative strength combined with stamina and work capacity. I feel like I would be better served by heavy deadlifts than by swings or snatches.
Conjugate Training

This involves implementing different type of Strength Training into the same Training Cycle.

By doing so, you obtain a...

Synergistic Effect

One type of Strength enhance the others.

The Synergistic Effect amount to adding 2 + 2 and getting 5.

1) Cardio enhances recover.

2) Maximum Strength is the foundation of Power.

Initially, increasing Maximum Strength increase Power.

However, if only Maximum Strength is trained, Power decreases.

3) Power enhances Maximum Strength. It is "the grease" that helps you slide through a sticking point.

With that in mind, let me reiterate some previously posed information...

Dr Michael Zourdos' Reserach

Zourdos' determined that Maximum Strength was increased with this Conjugate Training Protocol...

1) Monday: Hypertrophy/Bodybuilding Training.

Hypertrophy Training falls more into Endurance Training: Higher Repetitions, Multiple Sets, Short Rest Periods between Sets.

2) Wednesday: Power Training

3) Friday: Limit Strength Training

Dr Brad Shoenfeld's Hypertrophy Training Research

Schoenfeld determined maximizing muscle mass was optimize with the following...

1) Mechanical Tension

This means Maximum Strength Training.

2) Metabolic Stress

High Repetitions, Multiple Sets, Short Rest Periods; The Pump; Hypertrophy Training.

3) Muscle Damage

a) In the final week of a Training Cycle an exercise need to be pushed to the limit or close to it.

b) Full Range Movements/Loaded Stretching of the muscles trigger an anabolic, muscle building effect.

The Westside Powerlifting Templet

a) Max Effort Training Day

b ) Speed (Power) Training Day

c) The Repetition Method

This is Hypertrophy/Bodybuilding Training.

Commonality of These Programs

All of the above program employ the same principles.

Where would I be if I put a heavy barbell at the track and did a heavy single every lap as I walked laps for an hour?
That might work.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
You're hitting the fast twitch fibers by lifting heavy, but in a different way.
Heavy Lifting Fast Type IIa Muscle Fiber

Heavy lifting tends to develop more of the Fast Type IIa Muscle Fiber.

Power Movements Type IIb/x Muscle Fiber

Power Movement develop more of the "Super" Fast Type IIb/x Muscle Fiber.

A Comparison of Strength and Power Characteristics Between Power Lifters, Olympic Lifters, and Sprinters

Discussion The primary finding in this investigation is that noticeable differences exist in strength, power, and related physical performance measurements between power lifters, Olympic lifters, sprinters, and moderately active controls. The PL group was as strong as the OL and S groups but scored significantly lower in tests for power and explosive performance. This included lower peak power outputs, peak velocities, and jump heights. In some instances, the PL group even performed worse than the C group in relation to these variables. The OL group was comparable in strength to the PL group, was stronger than the S group, and was also the most powerful of all the groups. The OL group also scored well in physical performance as determined by vertical jump height. The S group was not as powerful as expected but was able to generate high peak velocities and some of the highest recorded jump heights.

Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber Conversion


What is unique about Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber is their ability to convert back and forth between Fast Twitch Type IIa and "Super" Fast Type IIb/x.

Powerlifter/Maximum Strength Athletes had more Fast Twitch Type IIa Muscle Fiber due to their focus on Heavy Slow Training Movements.

Since Olympic Lifers training revolves around Power and Maximum Strength Training they had a greater balance of Fast Type IIa and "Super" Fast Type IIb/x Fiber. Olympic Lifter were strong and explosive.

Sprinters had more "Super" Fast Type IIb/x Muscle Fiber..."not as powerful...but...able to generate high peak velocities and some of the highest recorded jump heights."

PL Worse Than Control Group of Couch Potatoes

Whoever said, "Lifting weights makes you slow", wasn't wrong.

Research shows if all you do is train Maximum Strength; Power and Speed decrease. That because your "Super" Fast Type IIb/x Muscle Fiber is covered to the slower, stronger Fast Twitch Type IIa Muscle Fiber.

This was demonstrated by the fact that the Control Group of Couch Potatoes had greater "peak power output, peak velocities and jump height" than the Powerlifters.

The reason as to why the Control Group of Couch Potatoes had greater Power and Velocity is since they weren't training Maximum Strength (not doing any training), they had more "Super" Fast Type IIb/x Muscle Fiber.

While training is part of the reason for increasing certain physical attributes one of the dominate factors is...

Genetics

Most people gravitate over to sports that the do well in or excel in.

The Take Home Message

Research shows individual who are only training Maximum Strength can increase Power by...

1) Completely stopping their Maximum Strength Training Program. By doing so, the body will automatically shift some of the stronger Fast Twitch Type IIa Muslce Fiber over to the more explosive "Super" Fast Type IIb/x Muscle Fiber.

2) Conjugate Training

Take a page from the Olympic Lifters. Combine Maximum Strength and Power Movement into the same Training Cycle.
 
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wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
@kennycro@@aol.com your post sounds familiar, perhaps I've seen you post something similar before. Makes perfect sense. My ideal desired qualities lie between the OL and Sprinter archetypes, closer to S than OL.

As it relates to the original topic, I do think that rate of force development is still important in aging. Perhaps less so than slow strength, true, but I wouldn't discount it entirely. MED of swings, why not?
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

In his book 'The Art of Resilience' Ross Edgley who recently swam around Great Britain explains one of his routine, while preparing for the event:
- A set of explosive move for push, pull and leg. This is done after the warm up, before the training per se, while fresh.
- Training for strength (no matter regarding the protocol, but he favours a kind of 'daily dose')
- Afterwards, some sets of high reps for joints and ligaments
- He also advises what he calls a 'conditioning functional finisher' such as sprint, sled push/drag, etc...

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Bro Mo

Level 6 Valued Member
@kennycro@@aol.com
Thank you for those studies.

I've read a bit and listened to a few podcasts with Zourdos and DUP. The other research you've turned me onto by Oliver and Haff and clusters has been educating as well. Do these programs make a more ideal SRA curve or dissipate fatigue better? Do they enable a higher density of training?

Oliver's work made me think the biggest driver to hypertrophy was density as the workload for both groups was the same.

Haff's work made me think that traditional sets require a longer SRA curve because the density is higher and the clusters reduce fatigue better and allow more cumulative work within a specific time period. Perhaps traditional sets could only be trained twice per week compared to clusters trained three times and the latter accumulating more work over time.

I've heard anecdotally that Westside dynamic days aren't as highly regarded by lesser athletes which makes me also think that the dynamic work is more a component of dissipating fatigue from such highly fatiguing work on the ME days that lesser athletes aren't impacted by or as necessary for them. For lesser athletes I think a lot is gained from the ME days more than the DE days.

Does the relative intensity matter? Taking sets to failure gets a lot of last reps at a 100% relative intensity and does that require more dissipation of fatigue and reduce the allowable frequency below the necessary volume.

All of the studies utilize power training as a means to dissipate fatigue and I wonder what the relationship is between training velocity/power as a technical skill of force production and the improvement of the SRA curve to get more optimal repeatability of training.
 

Bro Mo

Level 6 Valued Member
To answer your question, you'd be missing out on a key component of training - rate of force development
Does working at high intensities force a high rate of force development just the same in order to complete the rep? I know Mark Rippetoe has advocated that cleans are better than speed pulls because of the necessity to get under the bar. Are we just unable to move something fast unless it is a requirement for success. The study @kennycro@@aol.com would have one to believe that's the case too. Perhaps the volume of high force lifts just isn't voluminous enough when the intensity is so high. 2x1 at 95% is much less volume than 15x1 @ 80%.

I wonder where the PL group would compare to the OL group in regards to stamina and endurance. Could the PL group perhaps do heavier longer yoke carries? Maybe there is a benefit beyond 1RM type of movements.
 
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watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello,

In his book 'The Art of Resilience' Ross Edgley who recently swam around Great Britain explains one of his routine, while preparing for the event:
- A set of explosive move for push, pull and leg. This is done after the warm up, before the training per se, while fresh.
- Training for strength (no matter regarding the protocol, but he favours a kind of 'daily dose')
- Afterwards, some sets of high reps for joints and ligaments
- He also advises what he calls a 'conditioning functional finisher' such as sprint, sled push/drag, etc...

Kind regards,

Pet'
That sounds nicely well-rounded for general fitness without over-specialization.

By coincidence, it maps reasonably well to what Dan John talks about.

(it's also close to what I do, except the explosive bits are quick lifts, although I'm not preparing to swim anywhere)
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@watchnerd
Yes, this is what he wanted at first. All the book refers to how to make our mind and body more resilient, so he wanted to avoid too much specialization. This is what he calls 'stoic sport science'.

If you are interested in his work, he has done a lot of interviews where you can pick his mind.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
I do think that rate of force development is still important in aging. Perhaps less so than slow strength
Rate of Force Development for Aging

I agree. I address it in a previous post that I made on...

Assisted Jumping in Healthy Older Adult...

If you are interested, go to the link above.

Strength Is The Foundation of Power

Some Power Training will help older individuals and novice lifters.

However, the initial focus for older individuals and novice lifters need to be on Maximum Strength Training.

An increase in Maximum Strength initially increase Power automatically.

However, if all one does is Maximum Strength Training, Power and Speed decrease.

The research that showed the Controlled Group of Couch Potatoes being able produce more Power that Powerlifter demonstrated that.

I wouldn't discount it entirely. MED of swings, why not?
MED?

Since I don't know what that acronym is, I can't reply.
 
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kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
Do these programs make a more ideal SRA curve or dissipate fatigue better?
SRV?

I am unfamiliar with that acronym. So, I can't reply to that question.

Do they enable a higher density of training?

Oliver's work made me think the biggest driver to hypertrophy was density as the workload for both groups was the same.
More Repetitions can be performed in Cluster Sets with heavier loads, if that is what you mean by a high density of training.

For lesser athletes I think a lot is gained from the ME days more than the DE days.
Lesser Athletes

If by lesser athletes, you mean weaker and/or novice lifters, then this goes back to "Maximum Strength is the Foundation of Power".

As per Dr Fred Hatfield, "You can't shoot a canon from a canoe". You need a strong solid platform to shoot it form; the same applies to Power.

Dr Michael Stone

in the world of Strength Training, Stone is one of the Gurus.

In an interview on what American Olympic Lifters needed to do to place higher, Stone replied, "They need to get stronger".

Taking sets to failure gets a lot of last reps at a 100% relative intensity and does that require more dissipation of fatigue and reduce the allowable frequency below the necessary volume.
"You can train hard or long but not both." Vince Gironda

There is an inverse relationship with the training percentages and the time/volume.

When intensity goes up, time/volume go down.

When volume/time goes up, intensity goes down.

I wonder what the relationship is between training velocity/power as a technical skill...
Haff's Cluster Set Research

Haff's presentation revolved around the use of Olympic Lift Training with load around 85% plus of 1 Repetition Max for multiple Sets. This method was effective at increasing Power Output and developing technical skill.

Power output in the Olympic Lift is maximized with load of 70 -80 of 1 Repetition Max.
 
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kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
I know Mark Rippetoe has advocated that cleans are better than speed pulls because of the necessity to get under the bar.
Low Pulls and High Pulls

I am an advocate of Low Pulls and High Pulls rather than a Clean for multiple reasons that I posted information on the before.

High Pull

I wonder where the PL group would compare to the OL group in regards to stamina and endurance.
What's The Point?

The objective of Powerlifter and Olympic Lifer is to get as much weight up as possible.

Stamina nor endurance are of much value to this group of athletes.

The only value some type of cardio has is that it assist in recovery from training.

Richard Pryor, The Comedian

The stamina/endurance question remind me of people talking about Mike Tyson not being very smart.

As Pryor said, "The job requirement was to knock MFs out. Brains were required."

Stamina/endurance isn't required in Olympic Lifting or Powerlifting.
 

Bro Mo

Level 6 Valued Member
What's The Point?

The objective of Powerlifter and Olympic Lifer is to get as much weight up as possible.

Stamina nor endurance are of much value to this group of athletes.
That's exactly the point I'm considering. Is a PL or OL going to wrestle better, push a broke down car better, carry 6x6s for a deck better, climb a rock face better, or fireman carry a hurt teammate better?

For those that speed and power are not the specific sport, does the time and effort training speed and power transfer to those activities better or worse than the same time and effort training maximum strength or possibly even something else?
 
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