Thursday, November 11, 2010

Why do we perform high force activity on legs prior to training for lower body power?

Yesterday I had a conversation with a talented basketball player about the "Whys". My last blog entry discussed this concept and I gave him the example of how we will train legs with high force production exercises prior to leg power workouts and he asked “Why?”  

I told him that it is based on  the principle of Post Activation Potentiation or PAP.  As athletes become fitter and fitter it becomes harder to get overloads when training.  PAP helps to increase the ability of an athlete to produce greater amounts of power in exercises subsequently to a high force activity. 
Most of the research has revolved around jumping.  The act of jumping is a good measurement of power production in an athlete’s lower body.   The research looked at performing hack squats at 90% of the athlete’s one repetition prior to jumping.  Subsequently the ability to jump was increased when the intervention was utilized. This also has validity in a number of other power exercises. The optimum time between the heavy lift and the power exercise seemed to be around 12 minutes.(Andy V. Khamoui, MS, CSCS, Edward Jo, MS, CSCS,and Lee E. Brown, EdD, CSCS,*D, FNSCA )  At Titan  we utilize this science in training the body for many different types of power production training.

Keep this idea in mind the next time you perform your plyometric workouts both for upper body and lower body exercises. The practical application of the science allows a strength coach to experiment with different types of loads and rest dependent on the athlete and the part of the body you are training. 
Train smart, have fun, and you will prevail!

Jacques DeVore, CSCS


Fitness Freak said...

Very informative, Got to know about the optimum time between the heavy lift and the power exercises.

Jens said...

Nice site and great Blogs!