Rocky Marciano had power in the 1st and 15th round (when it counted the most).
Power is a fast but brief exertion of force. The more weight you can move the faster, the more powerful you are. But that doesn’t really count in sports – unless you’re an Olympic lifter or power. We need power that is there in the first round, quarter, period, or inning, but is also there in the last.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat
And there’s more than one way to build power that lasts. My preference is using each of them at different periods of training. The thing with being an athlete, weekend warrior, or just a normal guy who wants to be as awesome as possible, is that we want more. We want lean muscle, to look like an Adonis and to perform like Achilis.
It makes sense that we want power that lasts, not just something that’s going to be a one and done type of deal.
Athletic Muscle-Building Challenge Workouts
Take a look at the last two videos I have put up on youtube. They’re challenge workouts. They’re hard as hell, they push you to compete and beat not only your best time but everyone else’s as well.
That’s the kind of training I did when I was fighting, and through my transformation of building 32 pounds of lean, athletic muscle in 32 weeks. This kind of training is also my idea of the best type of training for athletes – or competitive people in general who want more from their bodies than just a six-pack (although you’ll get that too).
The exercises are done at a fast pace (you’re being timed). The exercises in each workout are also important. We’re not just throwing in curls, bench press and forearm curls. We’re doing things like deadlifts, cleans, chin-ups, military press: exercises that’ll help improve your power.
The magic happens because of the weight and the rep counts.
The rep counts are high – can get up to 400 reps in a workout – but the weight isn’t something that’s so light that you’re just going to breeze through the workout either. And if it is, then add more weight.
I have done each workout with 135 lbs on the bar, but that was too light for some of the exercises, so the next time I added weight and re-timed myself. For squats, I did 275 lbs for 50 reps, 185 lbs for everything else for the sake of simplicity and not having to change the weight repeatedly.
I’d fail at 15-20, have to rest for 10-15 seconds and then continue. The odd time I’ll go back to the single plate on the bar and will feel awesome because of the extreme change in consecutive reps done in the workout.
Challenge workouts best replicate the intensity of a sport. They are also the hardest workouts I’ve ever done. It’s truly up to you how hard you go, much like it is in a sport. The lower you want your time to be, the harder you’re going to work.
The more pride you have, the more effective the workouts are going to be.
Power-lifting + Plyometrics
I include plyometrics in the challenge workouts, but you can also do them separately – which is something that I’d definitely suggest along with some power-lifting or heavy Olympic lifts.
Here are a couple options:
Powerlifting + plyometrics – 1-2x each/week.
Or – 1x every 2 weeks
Muscle-Building Challenge workouts – 2-3 times/week.
You really have to watch yourself, making sure you’re not overtraining and putting yourself at risk of injury. This being said, start with 2 Challenge Workouts a week, and 1 Power-lifting Day a week.
Here’s a week’s split. Remember, yah I’m training to improve my athletic power that lasts, but also lean muscle mass as well.
Monday – Challenge Workout
Tuesday – Powerlifting + Plyometrics:
Workout: 1 exercise (cleans, snatch, or deadlift).
Warm-up – 2x 10 reps of cleans with a light weight.
3-4 sets 85-90% of my max (progressively adding weight as the workout goes along).
2-4 minutes rest in between sets (I have found that I cool off too much if I get closer to 4 minutes, making my muscles more prone to injury – just a personal preference – a lot of people rest for 5 minutes and find it to be the perfect amount of time).
Box Jumps – jump from a standstill on the ground onto a box as high as possible for 2 sets of 6 reps
Box Jumps 2 – start on a 12-24 inch box/bench, drop down to the ground and immediately back onto bench. Keeping the time in contact with the ground as small as possible.
Cool down on the bike – cold shower at home, and finito!
Wednesday – Complete rest
Thursday – Challenge Workout
Friday – Active rest: go for a run, hit the gym for some sparring, play basketball.
Saturday – Challenge Workout
Sunday – Rest – could play a sport, go for a bike ride, but will mainly just take ‘er easy.
I’m just in New York right now and haven’t had a chance to get any filming done. I’ll get another workout done for you guys when I’m back home.
What tips have you learned that have helped build power that lasts?
Here’s a video presentation of how I Gained 32 Pounds of Lean Muscle in Just 32 Weeks: