On its surface, training to develop maximum muscular power may seem counterintuitive. Unlike training for size and strength, power training demands a relatively light weight, typically about 50% of your one-rep max (1RM) on a given lift.
You won’t be doing high-rep sets, however, because developing power requires you to move the weight as fast and explosively as possible. Load the bar with 90%–100% of your 1RM and your rep speed slows down dramatically.
Likewise, as you approach muscular failure, the speed at which you move the bar will decrease. And if you’re not moving the weight as fast as you possibly can, well, you’re not training for power.
So why would anyone want to train solely for power? The answer lies in the research: Various studies have shown that the more power you possess, the stronger you’ll be when it’s time to put real weight on the bar because power and strength go hand in hand. And the stronger you are for your 1RM, the stronger you’ll be for an eight- or 10-rep max. This, of course, translates directly to muscle growth.
The following exercises—one for each major muscle group, as well as one that hits a multitude of bodyparts—are the best in the business for maximizing muscular power, which in turn will boost strength and size. Now who said power training was counterintuitive?
Check out the 1st installment of “The Best Power Moves” >>