Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Advanced Power Training For Athletes

When a football, baseball, soccer or basketball (pick any sport) scout looks at a potential recruit for the first time, there is a thing called "the eye-ball test."

Some recruits pass the "eye-ball test" because they look physically strong and impressive. The next step the scout takes is to see if the recruit can actually play the sport! Afterall, "players" win games, not bodybuilders!

It doesn't help an athlete to continually get stronger if power development is not there also. Power, or speed strength (how fast your muscles can produce force) is one of the best physical predictors of success in sports.

Plyometric exercises help the athlete to increase power. Traditional barbell and dumbbell strength exercises do not allow the athlete to move at the speeds necessary to improve power. Strength training gives the athlete the muscular and nervous system development needed to develop optimal power.

Advanced sports power training supersets a strength exercise with a biomechanically similar power exercise. An example would be barbell squats and repeating full-speed squat jumps. The squat jumps would be performed immediately following the barbell squats to get maximum neuromuscular adaptations.

The athlete would do a set of squats at 85% of 1 Rep Maximum (5 reps) followed immediately by a set of full-speed repeating squat jumps (8-10 reps). This is an advanced training method and should not be performed by athletes who do not have adequate stabilization strength and muscular strength.

Other plyometric exercises can also be superset this way. It is also advisable to choose exercises that mimic the athlete's movements in her or his sport (transfer-of-training-effect).

Advanced power training is designed to increase speed strength and create neuromuscular adaptations throughout the full range of motion.

You should want to be "a player" who passes "the eye-ball test!"

Be sure and download your Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Workouts and start shaping your body faster!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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