How to effectively train power, strength and endurance?

Power determines how the athlete deals with dynamic exercises, and is also important in weightlifting, in combat sports, in a sprint, javelin throw and hammer throw. It is probably less important for a bodybuilder, as is maximum strength.

In power training, average weights of 50-70% CM are used at a high concentric phase speed. Anyway, without significant speed, weight lifting would not be possible. A completely different thing is dynamic casting on the chest of 200 kg, and doing it slowly, in instalments (as strongmen often do).

De Vos NJ et al. Determined what kind of training is optimal for the development of power, strength and endurance. Muscle power (strength x speed) decreases with age faster than strength. A decrease in power may be correlated with the risk of falling and a decrease in the ability to function independently.

112 healthy, older people (69 +/- 6 years old) were randomly assigned to perform explosive strength training using:

  • 20% of maximum weight (G20),
  • 50% of maximum weight (G50),
  • 80% of maximum weight (G80),

or to the control group.

The study lasted 8-12 weeks, the participants trained twice a week (5 exercises; 3 sets of 8 repetitions with an explosive concentric and slow eccentric phase. (Eccentric phase – colloquially saying lowering weight or retrograde movement)

Results

  • on average, peak power increased similarly in all groups in G80 (14 +/- 8%), G50 (15 +/- 9%) and G20 (14 +/- 6%), compared to the control group (3 +/- 6%),
  • strength increased proportionally to the weight used, i.e. in G80 the most (by 20 +/- 7%), at 50% CM slightly less (16 7%) and the least in G20 (13 +/- 7%), compared to the control group (4 +/- 4%),
  • average muscle endurance increased in proportion to the weight used, i.e. by 185 +/- 126% in G80, by 103 +/- 75% in G50 and by 82 +/- 57% in G20.

Conclusion, while relatively low weights are enough for power development, proportionally greater intensity (working weight) is needed to increase strength. The increase in strength is a paradoxical result of this test, it can be explained by the low load and use of machinery. Generally, the largest increase in local strength is achieved by smaller working weights, a large number of series, a large number of repetitions (20-30), with short rest breaks (60-90 seconds).