One of the best parts about working out is knowing that your efforts will equal rewards. The more you put into your training, the better your results will be; simple as that.
When you enter a new phase of your training, how you construct and map out the plan you’re going to use, has a significant impact on those rewards. Are you training to get in better shape? Are you looking for more muscle? More strength and more size? How about power?
Have you ever given thought to improving your ability to utilize explosive movement patterns within your training? The principles of Max-OT training encourage gains in strength and power and there are a couple of excellent strategies that you can embed within your Max-OT workouts to enhance your efforts and improve your results. Here they are in no particular order.
One of my personal favorite approaches for improving overall power is the use of ballistic type repetitions. You’ll often hear people say that the slow and controlled method whereby you are in complete control of the rep, feeling it all the way through the eccentric, and then squeezing hard on the contraction is the best way to go at your training. While I do agree that this way of training can yield great results, there are days when you just want to get in there and grip it and rip it!
You know, the days when you feel like the weights weigh nothing and you could move mountains if need be. So when those days present themselves, take advantage of them and work on your ballistic power but do so safely.
To do this, work your way up to the heaviest weight you’ll use for the exercise and then complete your four to six reps like so: take a nice and slow descent on the eccentric phase, ensuring you feel the stretch in the muscle, hold the weight at full stretch for a one-second count. Now, explode as hard as you can push or pull while retaining control over the weight. Repeat this until the set has been completed.
You’ll feel so powerful doing this that these types of reps may end up becoming a mainstay in your programs.
Eliminate All Momentum
The next idea you can begin to incorporate in your training to improve overall power is the strategy of eliminating all momentum from your lifts.
Very similar to the ballistic force style reps where there’s a pause, the way you would eliminate momentum completely would be by utilizing a dead stop approach to your reps where each rep begins from an actual dead stop. For example, when you perform deadlifts either from the floor or from a pin placement in the rack just below your knees, people tend to touch and go so that they can complete the desired reps. Well, when you have those same people, using the same weight, try to get the same number of reps after eliminating the energy of their momentum, things get a little harder.
Rather than touch and go, you would allow the weight to come to a complete stop, you would take a second rest and then pull the rep again.
Another good example would be barbell shoulder presses where you’d set the safety bars at chin level and allow the barbell to rest on those prior to each rep you complete. You could do the same for the bench press as well. The goal here would be to stop energy and then get it going again from nothing.
This is a hard way to train but incredibly effective for improving power.
If improving upon your power isn’t on your priority list, that’s fine, but you have to remember that those fast-twitch muscle fibers that are responsible for power and speed are the same ones that you want to grow. So it will be very advantageous for you to train for power every so often.
You don’t have to solely train using the methods mentioned above but you can certainly employ these strategies regularly to mix things up for yourself. Regardless of what you do, keep using the Max-OT method, keep pushing yourself to new limits with your training, and keep learning everything you can about what it is we’re all trying to do. After all, knowledge is true power and that might be the best reward we can give ourselves.