Peaking Your Power Output

You can boost physical power for sports competition with a brief session of heavy lifting. This phenomenon is known as postactivation potentiation, and it kicks in about 8 minutes after lifting heavy for a couple of reps. According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, there are a couple of different ways to go about activating this increase in peak power output.

Scientists recruited 20 professional rugby players and had them complete 3 separate potentiation sessions which were separated by 48 hours. One involved 3 reps max (3RM) bench testing. During the next session, subjects performed 3 sets of 3 reps with resistance set at 87% of their 1RM. The third session tested the effect of 3x3 ballistic bench throws using 30% of 1RM.

True Strength Moment: In the end, heavy resistance worked as well as ballistic movements for potentiating peak power, so if weights aren't available at your next competition, try a couple quick sets of ballistic pushups, getting high enough up to clap and/or touch your chest at the top of each rep.
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