Power Allows You To Exercise Efficiently At Higher Intensities
Posted May 09 2008 11:33am
Power (how fast your muscles can generate force) is not just for athletes. If you are serious about your fitness level and health, power can help you exercise efficiently at higher intensities for longer periods of time.
Research and my experience as an athlete, exerciser and personal trainer proves that high intensity interval cardio and circuit-style weight training will burn the most fat and provide better heart health (and other benefits). You can get through these types of high intensity workouts and reach higher fitness levels if your body has adequate power.
How do you powerize your body, you ask? After laying a solid strength foundation, you should begin to incorporate high speed exercises into your routine. An example would be to do the medicine ball chop at full speed. Another example would be to incorporate plyometric exercises, such as squat jumps, into your routine. Doing exercises at full speed will train your neuromuscular system to work faster. It is important to execute these exercises correctly before proceeding to the full speed versions. Failure to do so, will almost certainly lead to injuries.
Doing exercises at full speed will also recruit and build up your fast-twitch muscle fibers (type IIa and type IIb). Fast-twitch muscle fibers are important for explosive movements such as sprints and jumps and sports such as football, basketball and soccer. Fast-twitch muscle fibers also help you generate power faster. If you only train at slow speeds, you will use your slow-twitch muscle fibers (type I) more. Slow twitch muscle fibers have a high capacity for aerobic activity but they don't generate power very well. Predominately using slow-twitch muscle fibers during training will not give you that lean and toned look that you want.
Recruiting your fast-twitch muscle fibers during your workouts will give you a more athletic, powerful looking body. Mix in more high speed power exercises into your routine. If you do so, you will find yourself reaching higher levels of health and fitness!