19 September 2008

Article Video - Building a Champion, Phase 4: Power

This is the fourth and final installment of a four part series on our unique and proven system for producing the very best athletes.

Four Phase Approach for Elite Athletes
Phase 1: Structural Phase
Phase 2: Functional Hypertrophy
Phase 3: Maximal Strength
Phase 4: Power

The final installment will be focused on maximizing force application dependent on time also known as power, Phase 4 - Power. This phase will focus on the components of applying the greatest amount of force in the quickest amount of time maximizing lower body power. It is important to follow the strict guidelines for the technique and rest intervals. Nutrition and supplementation, especially pre & post workout nutrition, plays a large role in building muscle. In this article we will be focusing on the exercise portion.

At the end of the 12-week plan the focus is on developing power. Power is a product of both strength and speed. As most athletes, especially football players, need to make quick first moves or plow through defenders, this power component proves to be very useful. We accomplish the desired effect by using movements in the gym that focus on accelerating the weight as fast as possible and minimizing ground contact time. This is best achieved with Olympic Weightlifting movements, such as the power snatch or power clean and their derivatives and specific plyometric (jump training) drills. With this type of lifting the quality of the movement is of paramount importance, therefore we feel that it is necessary to take extra time to learn the technique of the lifts properly. Following many years of world-class competition as a weightlifter Chad Ikei has witnessed countless injuries caused by poor mechanics and inexperienced coaching of these highly technical movements. The coaches at Ikei Performance urge you to please consult with an experienced lifting coach if you plan on using these movements to help you evolve as an athlete.

Basic Guidelines
Don’t forget the importance of Tempo, Rest, Sets & Repetition. Please refer to Part 1 of this installment from the last issue. During the Power Phase the emphasis is on moving the weight as fast as possible while maintaining proper form. For the heavier athletes, the volume or reps may have to be lowered or adjust the number of sets due to the natural loads of body weight. This workout is not meant for conditioning so please allow for the proper length in rest intervals.

An individualized Program
This program is focused on improving hip extensor strength (lower back, glutes and hamstrings). Please note that the workout below is only 1 of 2 lower body programs our athletes perform in the weight room during the week and the entire program changes every 3 weeks. Our athletes will also be performing 2-4 days of energy system training through sprinting, agility drills, stadium stairs or strongman training to name a few, to enhance lower body conditioning and speed.

During this phase it is important for each athlete to choose the appropriate weight for each lift. These lifts require proper technique and can lead to injury if inappropriate weight selection and poor coaching is made. Before attempting this program it is advised to consult with a qualified professional. However, those of you who are qualified to perform these exercises remember this one phrase: “you will only get stronger when you lift heavier weights.” Select the appropriate weights and your goals should be to break your personal bests each time you workout.

A1) Power Clean & Split Jerk
Tempo = XXXX, rest = 0 sec, sets = 5, reps 2+2 (2+1 means perform 1 clean and 1 split jerk then repeat)
A2) Penta Jump
Tempo = XXXX, rest = 120 sec, sets = 5, reps 1 (5 consecutive broad jumps with minimal ground contact time, cover distance)

B1) Paused Db Squat Jumps
Tempo = X2XX, rest = 0 sec, sets = 4, reps 3
B2) Side-Side Knee Tuck Jumps
Tempo = XXXX, rest = 105 sec, sets = 4, reps 6 (jump for height each jump with 3 feet lateral distance)

C1) Backwards Mb Keg Toss
Tempo = XXXX, rest = 60 sec, sets = 3, reps 6 (use a mb approx 10% of bodyweight)
C2) Eccentric Floor Glute-Ham Raise
Tempo = 6-0-X-0, rest = 60 sec, sets = 3, reps 6

Note: The above exercises that are paired with an A1/A2 represents performing one exercise (A1) followed by the second exercise (A2) with the designated rest interval between each exercise. For more information on training programs, log onto www.ikeiperformance.com or email questions to info@ikeiperformance.com.