The Benefits of Power Training
October 25, 2012
The benefits of power training were highlighted in last week’s column and as promised, this week we will feature two power skills/drills complete with regressions/modifications. Follow the sequence and training protocols to achieve the best results. And, as always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Cardio Power Training
-This refers to power training during classic cardiovascular exercise, such as cycling, running, walking, hiking, swimming, cross country skiing, etc.
-However, let’s use group indoor cycling as our activity for purposes of this power training example.
-Perform a 10-15 minute thorough warm-up on the bike elevating the ratings of perceived exertion (i.e. RPE’s) to a 3-4 which is moderate to somewhat hard exertion.
Power Hill Sprint Intervals
-Seated to Standing – make certain that the level of resistance/load is set so that you feel you are on a challenging hill (i.e. you feel a significant “push point” with each revolution) and your cadence (i.e. RPM’s) is approximately 70-80rpms as your base (i.e. this is the cadence you return to following each power hill sprint).
-Counting 4, 3, 2, 1, explode out of the saddle performing an all-out 10-second standing hill sprint. Your RPM’s should increase by approximately 10-15rpms. You should be “sucking wind” at the end of the 10 seconds. Remember, this is not just about going fast; it is about applying strength behind the speed and on a hill, since gravity is pulling you the other direction, you should be significantly challenged (i.e. RPE’s 8-10 extremely heavy).
-Transition smoothly back into the saddle and resume your base cadence of 70-80 rpms recovering for 20 seconds (i.e. catch your breath-RPE’s 5-6 – heavy). Then, repeat this sequence five more times followed by a 5-minute steady state segment. You may repeat the 10/20 exertion/recovery and 5- minute steady state sequence 3-8 times depending upon your fitness level.
-Perform the power hill sprint intervals two-three, non-consecutive days/week.
*Regression/Modification – perform the hill sprints in the saddle rather than standing or decrease the number of hill sprints to 2-3 times and increase the steady state segment duration.
Box Power Training/Plyometrics
-Perform a 10-15 minute warm-up elevating the RPE’s to a 3-4 which is moderate to somewhat hard exertion.
-This skill/drill is very challenging and not for every body, particularly those with knee, lower back or hip limitations. Therefore, check out the regression/ modifications below if you fall into that category.
Box or BOSU Balance Trainer Jumps
-Standing in front of an 8-12 inch box or BOSU, with your feet hip distance apart, hips/knees/ankles hinged slightly, and your arms suspended down by your sides, jump up (take off explosively) with both feet landing on top of the box or BOSU. Land softly hitting with the middle of the foot then the heel letting the weight sink into your hips to absorb the shock.
-Walk off and repeat 8-12 times.
-Perform this jumping skill/box drill, two-three, non-consecutive days/week.
-Lower the height of the box to 4-6 inches or attempt to bound to the box (i.e. alternate your feet by taking off with one foot and landing on the other).
-If this is still too challenging, jump or bound in place on the floor.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.