Power Training Circuit Challenge, Part 1

(First in a three-part series)

As we approach our winter sport’s season, it is a great time to challenge yourself with a power training circuit.

Power, is a combination of strength and speed and is a necessary component of most comprehensive exercise programs. This power training circuit challenge concentrates on explosive skills and drills performed in short, intense interval periods with relatively short active recovery interval periods.

This week the format and sequence will be discussed and next week, the actual circuit stations will be described in detail so that you may take this program out and perform it now. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Power Training

  • There are those that misunderstand power training believing that if they are moving at a high rate of speed alone they are training for power (i.e. usually meaning you are going nowhere fast). However, power, as indicated earlier, requires both strength and speed. Consequently, it is the force behind the speed that creates true power.
  • As mentioned above, power training is a necessary component of most comprehensive exercise programs.
  • The ATP-CP energy system, which is predominately energy stored right at the muscle site, is readily available for explosive exertion, such as a 100 meter sprint performed by an Olympic sprinter, and while this system provides tremendous power, the duration of this level of power is only 10-30 seconds.
  • Power training is important for just about everyone, not just athletes, as we need to have the ability to exert at a high level of intensity when necessary. And, in order for the power systems to perform when needed, we must train for power specifically.

Power Training Guidelines

  • Set up this five-station circuit in a space that will allow you to move safely and effectively. Make certain there are no obstacles in the way.
  • Warm-up for 5-10 minutes as follows: Plank – 30 seconds; Squats – 30 seconds; Full Body Extensions – 30 seconds (descriptions next week). Repeat three times.
  • The duration of each station will be 75 seconds. Two sets of each exercise will be performed at each station (i.e. 30 seconds exertion/15 seconds active recovery/30 seconds exertion). If the station requires a unilateral skill (i.e. one side), then you will perform each side for 30 seconds.
  • The goal at each station is to exert to the point where you become completely winded. This applies to those who are relatively fit. If you are a novice exerciser, then it will take time to improve your fitness level to a point wherein you are able to push to a winded/breathless state and still be able to actively recover within the recovery interval.
  • Perform the entire five-station circuit, three-five times through. It should take you every bit of the 15-second active recovery to recover from the exertion interval. If you are recovered more quickly than that, then you are probably able to push harder. If you are failing to recover within the 15 second recovery interval, then you may be pushing too hard. Attempt to find a “sweet spot” where you push extremely hard, then recover quickly. This may take some time to achieve, so be patient.
  • Perform this program on two-three non-consecutive days/week.

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