How Power Training Can Help You. Yes, You!

When most people think of power they think of Barry Bonds crushing a ball into the seats or Mike Tyson knocking out Michael Spink in 90 seconds. Now, unless you’re a professional baseball player or fighter you might be asking yourself why you even have to bother training power.

Here’s a couple of examples. If you start to fall what is the physical quality that will allow you to react quickly to prevent injury? Power. If you find yourself crossing the street and you realize the light is about to change, what is the physical quality that will give you the burst to make it to the other side before the driver in the Astrovan who’s texting instead of paying attention runs into you? Power. Lastly, what is the physical quality that dimishes the fastest as we age? You got it, power.

Let me also say this, every single one of my clients does some sort of power training. Every one. That includes 25 year old men and 70+ year old women. It’s that important. Many people confuse power training with cardio training because many times you’ll use the same exercises for both. The differences lie in the way you use them, where you place them in the workout and the amount of time you perform the exercise.

Here’s what I mean. Let’s say I have someone doing medicine ball throws for power. I’ll usually place them at the beginning of the workout, I’ll have them only doing about 5 throws a set, and the rest between the throws will be at a full 3-4 seconds. I set it up that way so that whoever is doing them will have pretty close to full recovery between each one. That way maximum power can be achieved. If they’re doing throws more for “cardio” type training I’ll have them do more, maybe 10-20 throws per set with no rest in between. Here is a short video of a great client of mine, Shannon, demonstrating some great form and pacing with her throws. Notice, in particular, how she takes that extra second to really load up each throw so she can exert maximal power behind each one.


There are lots of ways to traing power and lots of exercise you can do to develop and/or maintain it. Some of my favorites include, different kinds of jumps, sprints, throws, and punches. Not all of these exercises are appropriate for everyone, particularly jumps, but almost anyone can do some type of medicine ball slam or punch so there’s no reason to neglect it as part of your training. Unless you want to be weak, slow and unathletic.

Let me know if you have any questions about how to train and improve your power, whether it’s to live a more fulfilling and safe life or just improve your tennis game. Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Lean Eating Coach
Mitch Rothbardt Fitness at 2861 Grove Way Castro Valley’s Premier Fitness Facility
I Help People Discover Their Strength
510-754-7113 Boost Your Metabolism With My Free Report