It is an essential aspect to any athletic performance.
Especially if your performance involves stopping a guy from ripping your head off, which for a combat athlete, doorman, copper or military man is simply par for the course.
So what is power?
It’s work done in a measured unit of time.
It’s not just about strength, but it includes speed also. For a combatant it must also be repeatable. Something a the Weightlifters and Powerlifters don’t need to be too concerned about.
A fighter can’t just throw one massive punch and then sit down for two minutes to rest. No, they must be able to repeat this, over and over again, despite increasing levels of fatigue. It is of utmost importance that we can strike with utmost efficiency over and over.
This why at WG-Fit we use a blend of training methodologies. From Power & Weight lifting protocols to bodyweight focus and of course the kettlebell. Possibly the most useful method of all is the classic kettlebell lift, the Jerk.
Granted the lift is technical if you take it to the level of a Kettlebell Sport athlete. But if you’re simply using the lift for the development of power endurance, you don’t need every nuance of the professional lifter. Needless to say it is a full body lift, where the power comes from the legs,
I use the Jerk (and it’s brother, the Clean & Jerk) with most of my combat athletes, although it’s exact performance may vary from man to man. Grapplers generally lift a pair of bells, strikers a single heavy bell. Either way we lift a relatively heavy weight for reps, ideally while already fatigued. The combination of some limit strength training, usually in the Deadlift, Squat or Bulgarian Split Squat with a higher rep Jerks and a dynamic core drill form an incredibly time efficient and effective conditioning protocol for a combat athlete.
An example of this would be a Power Circuit taken from our WMD program: This one use the Double Kettlebell Jerk
1A: Deadlift x 5,4,3,2,1 (increase weight each round while dropping reps) 1B: Double Jerk x max reps (stop as soon as the lift slows down) 1C: Standing barbell twist x 5 L/R This is repeated for 5 rounds, the deadlift goes up in weight each round, while the reps drop. Be sure to lift with good form, but go heavy.
Here’s what it looks like:
The Jerk in this case should be heavy, but fast. Keep the lift snappy and the pace up, if the lift starts to slow down we are losing the power emphasis. By the time you hit the core drill you should be breathing hard. Rest periods between rounds will be relatively short, in line with the rest structure of your fight if you’re a combat athlete or for the tactical types, as soon as the heart rate drops by
We would program this into a weekly training program towards the end of the week for those on a rounded training program, but for those with time issues, once or twice per week on top of the normal skills training will suffice. This type of training is for athletes that already have a base of strength & power but are looking to take that to the next level and have it cross over into the outside world.