Power Power Power…
One of the major qualities I look to develop in pretty much all multi directional sports, combat sports and collision sports is power endurance.
The ability to produce power under fatigue.
The ability to move loads for time.
The ability to be explosive with your own bodyweight or your opponents bodyweight for repeat efforts.
These things are massive and can be the defining moments in a sporting contest. These are the things we need to prepare for. To overload.
Power endurance tri-sets are a tool I’ve used for many years to build high levels of power endurance in athletes and they work really well. I first used these total body circuit you’ll see below with Hunslet Hawks Rugby League some 6 years ago, then with the Huddersfield Giants boys, and throughout it’s been used with MMA fighters. The concept of power endurance tri-sets I’ve used with netball players, cricketers, and many many other people, including general public.
Below are 3 videos that work very well and train the full body (1), upper body pressing (2), upper body pulling (3).
Now before you watch some considerations with including these or similar in your programmes.
Firstly, build before you endure. There’s no point putting extended sets like these into your programme if you haven’t developed power first and some strength before that.You won’t get what you want from them.
Secondly, technical execution needs to be solid. We want everything done with intent, purpose and quality. It’s the quality that goes under fatigue so keep the movements simple and familiar to the athlete.
Now watch and enjoy!
The demo’s are from BJJ and Judo player Adam Simpson and were literally his first time performing them…so go easy on him! I think he did pretty well!
So what do we see here?
All of these circuits are measurable, can be overloaded if required, the athlete gets instant feedback from them and their engaging and enjoyable to go through.
We have a bodyweight on the bar strength exercise. In the videos I used power clean, bench press, and chins with an additional 10%. So we are working with our opponents weight throughout. Great for psychology in that your lifting your opponents off the ground, off your chest etc. It also happens to be a very good power development load in someone who has a good strength base (1.5x BW or above in key movements).
Then we have a medium load power exercise such as a push press or DB snatch. In the example above I used 33% BW in each hand for this.
And finally a bodyweight power movement such as a box jump, med ball slam or power press-up.
Start with the heavy first, then the medium, then the light.
Perform 4 reps of each.
Do 3 sets and try to get a better time each round. Time each effort and the time is what you’re trying to beat.
Anything between 20 and 45 seconds per set is good and consider how they fit in with the work that’s gone before and what is to come after. I can tell you that the total body circuit we would look for sub 35 seconds with the loadings shown above, have a go at that!
Here’s a progression into this type of work using a power clean as an example.
Strength Development: 6 x 3 deadpulls or deadlifts
Max/Explosive Power Development: 6 x 2-3 Power Clean or Squat Clean
Power Endurance Phase 1: 5 x 5 Power Clean with 2 minis rest
Power Endurance Phase 2: Clean- DB Snatch- Box Jump (What you’ve seen above)
Let me answer a few questions you may have straight away.
How long in each phase? As long as you’ve got! Choose the exercises you use wisely to keep the quality high.
Do they work in groups? Absolutely…better than individually in fact as the athletes cycle through 1 by one and try to beat their team mates. Adjust the weights accordingly each time of course.
Why heavy- medium-light? It just works! And we are developing the full range of power qualities. The most complicated at the start, the simplest at the end is the way to go. There’s a lot of pressure to move quickly so it needs to be simple. You can go specific as well. Eg MMA, rugby, specific movements but the reality is it needs to be super simple.
How did I come up with the times and targets? It fit the environment I work in, it fit the athletes I worked with. Keep that in mind when you put your circuits together. Don’t fit the athlete to the programme. Build your own milestones.
The goal is to build the best athletes not write the sexiest programme that makes us look the best.
Now let me ask you some questions and I would love to hear your thoughts.
1. What energy system are we developing? This fits in well with my train what you see philosophy of energy system development.
2. Do you need any fancy measuring equipment to get results from this training?
3. How can you develop milestones and competencies in power in your environment using this approach?
Thanks again for reading.