In the world of sport training, there are often many different aspects of fitness that need to be trained. Three of the most common sport training aspects are speed, power & strength. Furthermore, it’s no mystery that athletes have well defined bodies that come with their training. As a result, we can piggyback on athletes’ training aspects for our own gain. Hence, it’s helpful to know the difference between speed, power & strength so we can capture the benefits for ourselves. However, the difference between speed, power & strength is something few people are aware of. So we’re breaking down the difference between speed, power & strength.
First, let’s take a look at speed. In the scientific sense, speed is simply the result of distance over time. However, the scientific definition of speed is difficult to apply to an exercise or workout. In short, speed training is the use of as little weight as possible, so you can move as fast as possible. This style allows the body to target the fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are also used in heavy lifting. Some examples of speed training exercises are box jumps, jump squats, jump rope and sprints. Note that all exercises are done without weight so they can be done as quickly possible.
The next aspect we’ll look at is strength. Once again, the definition of strength is rather simple. Strength is defined as the maximum amount of force a muscle can put out. As a result, strength is a little easier than speed to put into practice. The biggest takeaway here is that there is no component of time or volume involved in strength training. Hence, when strength training, it’s important to include plenty of rest so that muscles are always fresh and ready to handle the load on every rep. Furthermore, to maximize your muscle’s force capabilities, keep the rep count low to prevent additional fatigue. This will help you lift more weight in a shorter amount of time.
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Last is the aspect of power. There’s a reason speed & strength came before power and that’s because power is simply the combination of the two. Hence, power is the result of the amount of force exerted over the time it takes to exert it. In other words, if 2 people have a maximum bench press of 200lbs, but person 1 finishes the rep in half the time, they have more power. To train power, one can simply train speed and strength individually. However, since the exercises for each will differ, it may be difficult to use that power effectively. Instead, one could try performing exercise at about 30% of their max, and as fast as they can. This has been shown to be the best blend combination of speed and force for power training.
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