What is Power?

It’s a measure of output over time and thanks to cycling & running technology, can be measured and displayed with the use of power meters. Whilst the running world is new to this, those in the cycling world have been getting cheaper and growing in popularity for a number of years.

Power = Force / Time

Your Power is directly influenced by your Maximal Strength output, there’s no way around this. 

If you’re naturally a ‘powerful athlete’, there’s a good chance you already have a good basic strength level and coupled with this, good neural efficiency. This neural efficiency means you can utilise a higher percentage of your strength levels by recruiting more fibres within a given muscle.

Two athletes can have the same maximal strength levels but the one with a great neural efficiency will have a higher maximal power output as they can utilise a greater percentage of their strength.

Now there’s a few different aspects of power…

Peak Power - The maximal peak power you can output

Aerobic Power - The power that can be produced using Aerobic respiration

Anaerobic Power - The power that can be produced using Anaerobic respiration

Sprint Repeatability (Anaerobic Capacity) - The ability to resist the fatigue of multiple sprint efforts

Max Power over (X) time - dictates the type of sprint you may have

Depending on the event you are competing in, the Power that is desirable will differ. 

For example, a Roadie who’s trying to win in a breakaway is going to need high levels of Peak Power, Anaerobic Power and Anaerobic Capacity so not only can they initially get away from the pack but when riders potentially start playing cat-and-mouse, if the breakaway sticks, they can respond and even initiate attacks using their Anaerobic Capacity.

A TTer or Triathlete competing in a steady state event such isn’t going to need high levels of Peak or Anaerobic Power but high levels of Aerobic Power, fundamentally a high FTP (WHICH IS NOT 60 MIN POWER - read here) or Critical Power (Power for a set duration, e.g 120min Critical Power).

So why have I told you this?

Relating this back to weight training, without even getting you stronger or building maximal strength levels, within the first 6-8 weeks, positive adaptations that occur due to training result from great movement and neural efficiency so…

Cyclist’s Maximal potential power output = 500 Watts

Pre-strength training utilisation = 60% or 300W Maximal Power

Post-strength training utilisation = 80% = 400W Maximal Power

Without even increasing maximal strength levels (which takes place after approx 6-8 weeks), we’ve made you into a more powerful rider ready to out-kick your former self by 100W; go for that sign!

Although the above example is for cycling, the results for swim, bike, run, rowing and more take place due to the same adaptations to strength training.

So not only will strength training improve your durability, robustness and efficiency, it will also make you a more powerful athlete and who doesn’t want that?

Interested in becoming a more powerful athlete? Contact Us now to find out about training options including one-to-one sessions in Central and West London along with online training options.


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