Are you performing high force activity on legs prior to training for lower body power? If not you should be!

Yesterday I had a conversation with a talented basketball player about the Whys of fitness.    My last blog entry discussed this concept and I gave him the example of how we will train his legs with high force production exercises prior to leg power workouts and he asked “Why?” 

I told him that it is based on the principle of Post Activation Potentiation Principle or PAP.  As athletes become fitter and fitter it becomes harder to get overloads when training.  PAP helps to increase the ability of an athlete to produce greater amounts of power in exercises subsequently to a high force activity. 

Most of the research has revolved around jumping.  The act of jumping is a good measurement of power production in an athlete’s lower body.   The research looked at performing hack squats at 90% of the athlete’s one repetition prior to jumping.  Subsequent ability to jump was increased when the intervention was utilized. This also has validity in a number of other power exercises.   The optimum time between the heavy lift and the power exercise seemed to be around 12 minutes.    Andy V. Khamoui, MS, CSCS, Edward Jo, MS, CSCS,and Lee E. Brown, EdD, CSCS,*D, FNSCA )  At Sirens and Titans Fitness we utilize this science in training the body for many different types of power production training.

Keep this idea in mind the next time you perform your plyometric workouts both for upper body and lower body exercises.   The practical application of the science allows a strength coach to experiment with different types of loads and rest dependent on the athlete and the part of the body you are training.  This can also be reversed to improve maximum strength exercise performance.  The order is reversed.  The power is done on the front end to elicit a bigger lifts in the subsequent lower body lift on the strength side.   

Truth in Fitness

Jacques DeVore, CSCS