by  NSCA Classic, Michael Favre and Chris Moore ... from https://www.teamusa.org/


by  NSCA Classic, Michael Favre and Chris Moore 

Most current strength and conditioning programs for athletic performance rely greatly on weightlifting methodology. In recent years, coaches associated with powerlifting have promoted the benefits of powerlifting methodology. Both powerlifting and weightlifting have merit in the training of athletes for enhanced performance, and should not be considered competing, but rather, complimentary methodologies.


Chris Moore, MS, CSCS

Human Performance Laboratories, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee

Historically, dissimilarities between weightlifting and powerlifting have been drawn since the inception of powerlifting during the 1960s. Unfortunately since that time, a divide has developed between the two sports that has had a relatively wide influence, especially in regards to the strength and conditioning profession. Many coaches and researchers would consider training methods and modalities for weightlifting to be superior in terms of developing a dynamic and powerful athlete. However, such positions may be based upon antiquated notions of how powerlifters train.

One performance variable that correlates positively to athletic success is muscle power. Many researchers have been quick to point out that despite its name, powerlifting is inherently a low-power activity, and thus may not yield an optimal power training adaptation. While a fair observation, recent data and modern training theory would indicate otherwise. Specifically, despite the maximal loads utilized, powerlifters become more powerful at any training load given the intention to move maximal loads as quickly as possible (3). However, many beneficial training adaptations are velocity specific. Evidence suggests that the most powerful athletes utilize explosive exercises with submaximal loads (1). As such, many powerlifters have adopted periodization models utilizing maximal and submaximal training loads concurrently in order to maximize favorable force generating capabilities, specifically improved rate of force development.

For athletes to reap the most from training, it is appropriate to incorporate various training loads and subsequent training velocities into the training plan. However, one cannot overlook the importance of maximal strength development in terms of athletic performance. Following performance assessment of the elbow extensors, Moss et al. (3) reported strong correlations between 1 repetition maximum (1RM) strength and maximal power (R = 0.93, p < 0.0001), as well as between 1RM strength and power at a load of 2.5 kg (R = 0.73, p < 0.0001).

These data suggest that maximal strength does play an important role in performance, regardless of external load. Moreover, in weightlifting, which involves high-power activity and is performed with relatively lower loads compared to powerlifting, it is well understood among coaches and athletes that maximal strength, particularly in the squat exercise, contributes significantly to performance. Training methods for powerlifting are well suited for the development of maximal strength, and thus it appears appropriate to include aspects of powerlifting training into the athletes overall program.

In addition to various kinetic considerations, it is also important to consider the kinematics of each sport. If one analyzes common sporting actions, a frequently recurring position is the “power position,” characterized by the athlete standing with slightly flexed hips and knees similar to the starting position of a vertical jump. This position has favorable leverages, allowing the athlete to move quickly in response to a given stimulus during competition. One benefit of weightlifting exercises is that during the second pull phase of both the clean and snatch, a position similar to the athletic power position is achieved. Therefore, extending the hips and knees under load from this position would serve as a highly specific training stimulus.

While this is more than likely true, it is not clear as to whether or not this training effect is limited to weightlifting movements. For instance, during the powerlifting squat and deadlift, the power position may be achieved under both maximal and submaximal loading conditions. In addition, utilizing partial range of motion exercises common in powerlifting training, such as partial squats and presses, can be used to apply highly specific overload stimuli necessary for many sports.

Regarding explosiveness and weightlifting exercise, any exercise, given appropriate loading, can be performed explosively (1). For instance, McBride et al. (2) looked at the training effect on sprint and agility performance associated with the performance of maximal effort jump squats. The authors concluded that maximal effort jump squats utilizing submaximal loads were shown to effectively improve movement velocity.

While not entirely conclusive, this study demonstrates that exercises other than the weightlifting exercises can be utilized to improve critical performance variables. It follows that derivatives of the bench press and squat, which emphasize acceleration throughout the range of motion, such as bench press throws and jump squats, may be effectively combined with the weightlifting exercises to offer the best training stimulus for improving explosive strength generating qualities.

For the complete article go to https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Weightlifting/Media/2016-Wednesday-Word/Wednesday-Word-March-23


Author: By by NSCA Classic, Michael Favre and Chris | Created: Tue Apr 26 23:33:38 UTC 2022 | Last Updated: Tue Apr 26 23:34:21 UTC 2022