Power: What Is It, and How Do We Get More?

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The definition of power is the rate of doing work. Which is expressed as the amount of energy consumed per unit time. The equation is P=W/t or power equals work over time. So what does that really mean to us?

If I want to train for more power where the Squat is concerned, I wouldn't simply do normal back squats all the time. I would need to become more explosive. Power is how fast I can move a certain weight. I like two modes of training when talking about gaining power for your squat, they are Rate of Force Development (RFD), and Elastic Explosiveness (EE). RFD is the ability to accelerate from a hard stop or standstill. EE is not the use of elastic bands, although I do love that training as well. EE is talking about muscle elasticity. It is the ability to generate force from the stretch shortening cycle through a countermovement. My two favorite examples of these are the box squat and the seated jump. If you are unfamiliar with either of these, the box squat is doing a normal squat down to a box or bench, completely relaxing (as much as possible) and then exploding up to standing. The seated jump is similar, you start seated on a bench or box or even a chair and you explode up jumping as high as you can. Another one that I really like is the speed squat. Which is simply as it sounds. You are doing a lighter weight (generally half or less of your max), and you are doing reps down and up as fast as you can. I generally do this in conjunction with a set of normal heavy squats, like a superset.

As always, make sure you are adequately warmed up before attempting any of these three movements. Here is an example of my squat training from yesterday. You may need to change the weights around a bit, but you will get the idea and the ratio of weights I used. I always start out with some foam rolling and some dynamic walking lunges. Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I can go more in depth on that. After my warmup, I go straight to the TRX on leg days and do a set or two of TRX Jump Squats. The only weight involved there is my bodyweight (currently 200). From there I go to the squat rack! My first set was 225 for 10 easy reps, still part of the warmup. First set was 365, now I knew I was going to be doing speed reps as a superset to this, so I stacked the weights on the bar a little different than normal. 365 is 3 45lb plates and a 25lb plate on each side, so I stacked one 45 and a 25 on each side first, and then added the remaining two 45's on each side. The reason I did that is to make the transition from heavy to light much easier. So I did my set of 365 for 3 reps, then immediately after racking that, I shed two 45's from each side (leaving 185lbs), and went right into speed reps. I generally do these for 15-20 reps. I did 4 sets of this. Next was box squats. For that I used 225lbs and used the middle height box. I personally like to go down slow and sit on the box for a count of 3 and then explode up as fast as I can. DON'T rock backward! Keep your core and lower back tight! 4 sets of 8-10 of those. Then it was off to seated squat jumps superset with dumbbell lunges. I like to use a bench for the squat jumps as there is no interference between my feet and the legs or a chair or the bottom of a box. Again, go down slow and controlled, take a seat for a second and explode up off the ground as high as you can. I like to jump slightly out just to make sure I'm not coming down on the bench. The dumbbell lunges were stationary, but alternated legs each rep and used 60lb dumbbells for 4 sets. Now go and get it!