The only real problem with claiming that increasing power is the goal of a fitness program is the flood of imagery that may come to mind when one tries to imagine what this means. For many, power lifts, popping veins, and burly men may come to mind, for example. That’s not what we’re talking about.
Power has a much less emotional definition. It’s simple. Power is precisely work divided by time. The capacity to do more work faster is the essence of increased power, or “work capacity.”
The supreme goal of our general physical preparedness (GPP) program is to increase work capacity. Period.
You may wonder though, what about my aesthetic goals? What about my general health? Does power really cover everything important?
We realize that we’re assuming a ton. There’s no doubt about that. Yet, this pursuit of increased power (by definition, not the mental imagery of pumped up muscles) does blanket a process oriented approach to covering all of these bases.
Especially in a broad application of increased power, being flexible enough, fast enough, skilled enough, strong enough, agile enough, and conditioned enough to do more work faster, for example, covers nearly any fitness goal imaginable. As it turns out, being leaner often supports increased work capacity, too. Dare we say higher performing bodies tend to look healthier than their lower performing counterparts?
Furthermore, those with better blood work generally demonstrate an ability to do work over time better than those with glaring problems. Do pre-diabetics out run, jump, lift, endure those with healthy blood work? Not knowing better, how likely do you think you’d be to pick people to join your ideal Ragnar Relay team with terrible cholesterol problems? Was it the blood work that improved the work capacity or the work capacity that improved the blood work, though?
Since we can chase work capacity with our hands on the dials (and can’t as easily say the same about blood work), who cares?
So, what’s the plan? We’re going to improve your ability to go from Point A to Point B better, faster, heavier, and longer. With increased power as the focus, you’ll start to look, feel, and perform better along the way. Yet, a pursuit to simply look better, for example, rarely is inclusive of performing and feeling better. More frustratingly, such pursuits often aren’t successful at their sole goal of looking better either.
As it turns out, dumping our eggs in the basket that improves your movement patterns, improves your strength, stamina, speed, etc contributes to your ability to improve measurable power…. and everything else!
Hang Power Cleans
3 Strict Pull Ups
6 DB Shoulder to Overhead (50/35)
9 DB Front Squats