Thursday, December 24, 2009

Power by the Numbers

To avoid proximity bias I prefer to deal with numbers and objectivity as they are available. I am in no way a math genius but I try to be as logical and reasonable in my thinking as the issue allows....

PR Power Snatch (Previous Training Cycle):
1662 Watts @ 2.12 Meters/Second (Peak Power and Peak Velocity Measures)

PR Power Snatch (Current Training Cycle; Off Blocks):
1861 Watts @ 2.11 Meters/Second (Peak Power and Peak Velocity Measures)
+199 Watts and +.01 Meters/Second

+199 Watts is a significant improvement in power especially in consideration of the fact that peak velocity was maintained with a 10-kilo improvement in load (80 to 90k). Interestingly my numbers continued to climb as I moved on to squat snatch. This is logical although it does not always occur as technical or specific strength limitations will limit individual expression on the lift.
Power Snatch off Blocks (Peak Power, Peak Velocity, Avg Power, Avg Velocity):
80K (1811w, 2.31 m/s, 941w, 1.2 m/s)
90K (1861w, 2.11 m/s, 970w, 1.1 m/s)
100K (2009w, 2.05 m/s, 970w, .99 m/s)
110K Miss 1 (2027w, 1.88 m/s, 981w, .91m/s)
110K Miss 2 (2059w, 1.91 m/s, 1002w, .93 m/s)
110K Done! (2016w, 1.87 m/s, 981w, .91 m/s)

If we take a specific look at 110K you will see that the 110K Miss #1 and the successful 3rd attempt (110K Done!) were very close and match exactly in average power and average velocity (with peak power and peak velocity just off the mark). 110K Miss 2 was actually a more powerful lift overall but the technique was not there to record a successful lift.
Also worth noting is that the maximum training load I am capable of performing properly is a 160K clean pull off of blocks and my power numbers have never gone beyond 2000 watts (with my last training cycle I was in the high 1900s but no 2000s). This brings to light an important consideration as my power (speed-strength) numbers on snatch suggest that my lifts at 100k and 110k are more than sufficient as a specific stimulus.
We cannot conclude however that if I were a speed-power athlete in another sport that all I would need to do in training were power lifts (not powerlifting as in squat, deadlift, and bench press). The clean pull off blocks is less technical and an overall simpler task to perform and in many ways can help to effectively maintain hip dominant pulling and lower back/leg strength. The last point specific to this situation is that as a speed and strength stimulus if the athlete is proficient at performing the power lifts and we are hoping to maintain a higher "reserve" of our physical stress resources then the lighter loads used in training on the power snatch or power clean movements should be more than enough to help an athlete maintain form for an extended period. If we accept this conclusion than this means we can take an altogether different view of the maintenance of strength.

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