Power. Here’s a short and sweet dispatch about power. What it is, why you need it, and how to get it.
Power is a frequently used word in our world. It describes battery levels, the electric grid, turning on devices, and personality characteristics. Put it in front of “nap” or “dump” and it makes those things sound more impressive and amazing.
But as Lifetime Athletes, let’s think of Power as one of the Big 5. That is, the 5 Capacities of Athleticism. Championship-level human performance requires Strength, Speed, Agility, and Endurance. This is true in varying degrees depending on the individual athlete and sport. But we also need a blend of maximum force and velocity…and that’s Power.
Power is the athletic expression which occurs when Strength combines with Speed. Think of it as “how much of your strength can you apply rapidly” or “how fast can you employ your strength?” In physics we define Power as Force x Distance divided by Time. It’s the ability to move explosively and sustain high output.
Power can be appreciated both in anaerobic and aerobic categories. Need to push a wheelbarrow of gravel up a ramp? That’s anaerobic power. In sports, this type of power is everywhere. A tennis serve, baseball swing, or basketball dunk. Olympic lifting, wrestling, and football provide excellent examples of power. But what about holding redline during a cycling time trial, rowing a 1000m, or running the mile? These showcase aerobic power. Combine the two and picture a backcountry hunter hiking uphill with a 100# pack.
Good athletes are powerful. There is no denying that. We need power to be effective in most life and sports situations. Strong but slow is only moderately effective in many cases. Quick but weak won’t always get it done. A lot of yogis and distance runners get pissed at my messages because they are in denial. They’ve turned their passions into religions and are delusional to the fact that these pursuits alone are incomplete and inadequate in the quest for optimized human athleticism.
Power is sort of easy to get. I mean, it’s there for the taking, but you gotta put in the work. Explosive reps are gassers, and anaerobic glycolysis produces high lactic acid. You have to learn to love this. Don’t just tolerate it. Be a beast. Work hard once in a while. Do some high-intensity intervals, sled pushes, and explosive movements. Get powerful. It’s worth it. You won’t be sorry. You’ll be a winner.