Why You Need Strength Before Power

Why You Need Strength Before Power

The physician and climber, Thomas Cunningham, only climbs outdoors for 15 days a year yet recently accomplished a 5.14c climb. He follows a simple yet effective rule of thumb for training:

  • Mobility before strength.
  • Strength before power.
  • Power before power endurance.

This distinction between strength and power clarifies their importance.

Strength is required to overcome significant resistance, such as lifting a heavy weight. Power, on the other hand, is the ability to apply that force rapidly.

Performing squats with a large barbell demands strength, whereas a vertical jump is a measure of power due to its explosive nature.

However, if you cannot squat your own body weight, the speed of your jump is inconsequential. It's akin to flopping over like a fish.

Most of us could benefit from increasing both our strength and power, but it's advisable to begin with strength.

To determine whether you need more strength or power, consider your ability to catch holds you jump to.

If you struggle with static moves, it's likely you need more strength training.

Strength training involves hanging from small rails with your fingers.

Power training, conversely, entails pulling yourself up small rails to ascend the campus board, particularly when skipping rungs.

But before engaging in any of this, ensure you are flexible and limber enough to access the full range of motion with your arms and legs.

To learn more about mobility, specifically hip flexibility, check out The Most Downplayed Technical Skill in Climbing

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