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"Athletic Edge is unquestionably the
finest performance enhancement center
I've worked with over
my 30 years of collegiate coaching.

They thoroughly under-
stand sport performance,
and they design training
regimes specifically to
that sport. Whenever I
have a training problem,
I call Athletic Edge."

--Rick Schavone

Head Diving Coach,
Stanford University



Since power is so often misunderstood, the trainers at Athletic Edge spend a lot of time educating their hard-working, power-hungry athletes before putting together an effective program for them.  The biggest misconception is that “power” can be used interchangeably with “strength.”  The fact of the matter is that power is actually strength multiplied by speed, and to build power, the athlete must understand whether the strength component or the speed component is of greater importance to his or her sport.

Olympic lifts are effective for building total body power

That critical distinction is often misunderstood or ignored by many coaches, and the outcome translates into poor results on the playing field where power is needed most.  For sports relying on strength-speed (like shot putting), speed development is important, but strength is more critical.   For sports geared to speed-strength (like sprinting), training against resistance is needed, but strength acquisition from that resistance is somewhat less important.   Again, grasping the difference is crucial to proceeding with the right plan, for even within the same sport, sometimes, the need for one type of power or the other can vary from position to position.  In football, for instance, a lineman has great need for strength–speed, while a running back needs speed-strength.  To maximize performance, the training done to elicit these effects must be specific to the goal.

How do the differences in training for power show themselves in the gym?  If strength is the primary component of an athlete's power needs, the resistance levels (weights) used during training should be high.  Therefore, the speed at which the exercises are performed might tend to slow down due to the exertion used in trying to lift the weights at a good, normal pace.  If speed is the primary need, lower levels of resistance are used with exercise movements performed as quickly as possible.  (This, however, does not mean using poor technique or locking out joints.)

Resisted jump-training on the Vertimax elevates the vertical jump

Aside from differentiating between the components of power before proceeding with the right type of conditioning, coaches have to choose the right methods to use, as there are many ways to train.  Training can include Olympic weightlifting exercises such as cleans, jerks or snatches.  Plyometric exercises are also great, since they use the stretch reflex properties of muscles.  These can be done using various forms of jumping, hopping, bounding, or with medicine balls and other stimuli to elicit the stretch reflex.

Westside weight lifting is also being used to develop power for athletes.  In this type of training, traditional power lifting exercises, such as the bench press and squat, are used with the addition of chains or bands hooked to the bar to make the resistance the lightest at an athlete’s weakest point of the movement and highest at his or her strongest point.  This variable resistance allows the athlete to move the bar quickly without locking up their joints or having the weight bounce or get away from them due to excessive momentum.

Plyometric push-ups translate into explosive upper body power

As one can see, while everyone wants to build power, there are really only a few who know how to properly get those gains.  The coaches at Athletic Edge are ready to help athletes build power like they’ve never built it before.

Athletic Edge Saccadic Fixator

Type Of Power Sport
Make sure to know whether your sport is a single-repetition power sport, such as shot put, or power endurance, like football. Then train appropriately. Doing excessive reps of an exercise for a Shot Putter would be counterproductive, since their throw is one single explosive movement, followed by rest, with another attempt after.

Upper Body Power
Be sure to do upper body power exercises, such as medicine balls or plyometric pushups.

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