Tap into Your Power

In the world of fitness, power is sometimes confused with strength, but they’re not the same thing.  Generally speaking, strength is the ability to generate force without concern for speed.  Power is the expression of force over time.  So, lifting a very heavy weight slowly reflects great strength, but not necessarily power.  Being powerful means being both strong and fast, and that’s something we can all train to be.

As we age, muscle mass and power dwindles.  Waning muscular power leads to diminished reactive ability.  Think slipping on ice and not standing a chance of catching yourself before falling.  Training for power preserves muscle, bone density and that critical reactive ability.  That’s not to say we need to run and jump like we did when we were kids in the playground, but staying powerful is very important to staying fully functional!

Athletes will often train for power with explosive Olympic lifting, which relies heavily on technique and the right facility, so it’s not a realistic option for most of us.

Impressive, but could lead to hospitalization...

Impressive, but could lead to hospitalization…

Thankfully, there are lots of ways to build muscular power.  Having a foundation of good strength is important, so get some resistance training under your belt prior to training power.  For some people, accelerating up from the bottom of a body weight squat might suffice as a start.  Other great options are jump squats and medicine ball throws.

Squat Jump

Squat Jump

Rotational Medball Throw

Rotational Medball Throw

Start conservatively with one or two sets of 6-8 repetitions to avoid an adverse reaction.  Although they may look easy, these explosive exercises put a high demand on the body, so don’t overdo it!

Form is important for all exercise, but particularly so for power training, so make sure your form is spot on to avoid injury and get the most out of your training.  If you’d like to know more or learn a few exercises, see one of our personal trainers at the club and tap into your power!

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Michael Bento is an Advanced Trainer at the Clubs at Charles River Park. He holds a Masters degree in Human Movement and is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Corrective Exercise Specialist and Performance Enhancement Specialist.

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