By Jason Greenspan
Before we can possess this valuable key to fitness called power, we need strength. Strength is the ability of a muscle to produce force, and power is the ability to create that same force but at a faster rate any time life requires it. You can’t create a force quickly if you don’t have enough strength to produce it. So power is really a combination of the two. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Traditional strength training programs just don’t put enough emphasis on power training or lifting weights at increased speeds for fear of injury. But the opposite might as well be true. If real life requires us to move and do things quickly, and our body isn’t accustomed to moving at a fast pace, well, then, yes, that’s when injuries can occur.
At Silver Stars, we have days where we perform our typical exercises a bit faster such as pushing, pulling, stepping and standing from a chair at an increased speed. If we do all of our exercises all of the time at a slow tempo, then we will only be trained to move slowly.
The nervous system is responsible for muscle recruitment and only recruits muscles at speeds at which it has been trained to do. If it is not trained to recruit muscles quickly, when met with a demand for fast reaction, the nervous system will not respond appropriately.
Just about every sport or real life movement requires power. Have you ever had to get up from a chair really fast or jump out of the way of something to avoid a potential accident? Do we get out of a chair in slow motion? Almost never, right? We usually stand up quickly unless we don’t have the strength.
What about an athlete? Have you ever seen a lineman move slowly to avoid a tackle? Not unless he wants to get knocked down! The basketball player is constantly jumping to block passes or even to shoot. What about a good recreational tennis player or golfer? Notice how fast their racquet or club accelerates through their contact zone! The tennis player swings quickly to hit the ball hard or in the golfer’s case, to hit the ball a good distance.
In addition to enhancing sports performance, power also affects certain occupations or real-life situations, such as the policeman who may have to hop over obstacles or run quickly to catch an assailant or someone who may have to sprint to catch the bus before it pulls away. You need power to accomplish these tasks.
Also, as a bonus, power training is valuable to the person who has a weight loss goal. Training at faster speeds typically increases heart rate, which results in burning more calories than performing the same exercise at a slow speed.
Yet the average fitness enthusiast isn’t really incorporating this very important part of fitness into our workouts. I do see an occasional fitness enthusiast working on power, but it’s usually done with improper form, or they haven’t built enough overall strength or stability to avoid injury.
As we get older we tend to do everyday tasks a bit slower, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Research has shown that lack of power more so than lack of strength can determine whether you spend your retirement years in the “Sunshine State” playing tennis or in a nursing home.
So make sure power training is part of your fitness program and you can look forward to living the good life in your later years.
Contact Silver Stars for a free consultation or more information on power training.
To find out how our program can help you, call us to schedule a free consultation at 646-573-9724 or email email@example.com. Learn more at www.silverstarsfit.com
Silver Stars Fitness is located at 850 7th Ave between West 54/55th Street.
I’m so happy to hear this! It’s amazing that people don’t comment too much on what’s going right with the community. Only focus and comment on what’s going wrong. It’s a shame!