Absolute Power vs Maximum Sustainable Power

Do you know the difference?

Power is an interesting concept and often mistaken for strength. Strength is a component of power. If you throw a bullet at someone it is harmless, however once velocity is added to the bullet it becomes lethal. Power has velocity! Strength without velocity is good for some things but for movement at high speed we need velocity. This is what makes for great athletes and athletic performances. The combination of both strength (force production) and velocity are both needed to develop great power. 
Examples of Absolute Power are High Jumpers, Shot-put, a broad jump, a one time vertical jump, a short sprint, a one punch knockout. All of these have one thing in common they are short maximally explosive efforts. Maximum Sustainable Power is the ability to hold the highest percentage of your absolute power longer. 
Why does it matter to know the difference? Well although a one punch knockout in the first round is impressive, typically what wins the fight is the fighter that can hit the hardest in the latter rounds. In basketball winners are those who can still be explosive in the fourth quarter. The ability to sustain power, rounding the curve in a 400 meter sprint, and still maintaining speed is the ability of the athlete to continue to produce higher percentages of absolute power. 
So if Maximum sustainable power is what wins more events that last longer than about 10 seconds how do you train to sustain your power longer? 
You can have a big impact on your absolute power, but a much bigger impact on your ability to sustain a higher percentage of power longer. This impact is greater as one matures as an athlete. 
That is what MSP (Maximum Sustainable Power) training is all about. We accomplish this in our facility by measuring Absolute power output (APO) and then creating training protocols that allow the athlete to spend the most amount of time at this highest level of power output. 
The body adapts by being more efficient at producing APO for longer. If you want to find out more DM me, stop by , or read my book which explains how we accomplish this type of overload. Bicycling’s Maximum Overload for Cyclists.

Truth in Fitness,
Jacques DeVore, CSCS /Primal Health Coach Certified.