This kind of explains it..."Power is a direct mathematical fucntion of force and velocity. Therefore, if at any instant, any two of the variables force, velocity, and power are known, the third can be calculated. If an individual can generate high force or high power at a particular velocity of movement, precisely the same ability is being described, that is, that ability to accelerate a mass at that particular speed. It is not correct to associate strength with low speed and pwoer with high speed. Strength is the capacity to exert force at any given speed, and power the mathematical product of force and velocity at whatever the speed. What is critical is the ability to exert force at speeds characteristic of the sport to overcome gravity and accelerate the body or an implement." (Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, second edition, pg. 36)When you are moving a load there is a scientific principle termed the force velocity relationship. What this states that as the force increases toward a 1RM the velocity tends to decrease due to the load being at the maximum of the lifter's capability. (This is why some studies have shown that the peak power intensities are between 60-80%, eventually the load can decrease so much and the lifter can only move so fast that the power will decrease). When the load is decreased to even 90% on both strength and olympic lifts there is an immediate increase in power production because the lifter is able to move the load faster because it is less. Now olympic lifting and the olympic lifts capitalize on improving power by moving increasingly heavier weights at top velocity that is the nature of the sport. (Keep in mind, it has been proven that power can be greatly improved without the full olympic lifts, I was even in a study that showed that power can be improved with less teaching in just a loaded jump shrug as opposed to a full clean because a catch is not needed the athlete need only focus on moving heavy weight at a maximal velocity, not lifting to a point than catching it in the olympic lift).Now what Chris is saying in regards to base strength (and Chris correct me if this was not want you meant) and the basis for using the classic lifts of squat and deadlift to seek to improve power is this: The goal of pushing the squat numbers for example is to increase the 1RM in squat (keep in mind the high correlation between squat and olympic movements). Since the squat is more of a pure strength lift and can be done at lower velocity due to the heavier weight (although I am of the opinion that maximal effort to move the weight up as fast as possible in the squat should be conducted as well) the 1RM can be increased more readily without necessarily worrying about slowing down the olympic movements. The "base" aspect comes in because since we have to lower the intensity from the 1RM to create more power by moving the weight faster this base will in theory (everything else being equal) make a heavier olympic lift load lighter in order to move it faster. Squats gives us the ability to increase load and volume without the worry of hurting speed or technique in the olympic lifts due to fatigue. Which is why we accomplish less reps in the olympic lifts as well. I think of it as this: if person A is used to carrying a 50 lb rock 10 meters or person B a 20 lb rock 10 meters, if I have to run with a 20 lb rock 5 meters as fast as possible person A would be able to with more power.Keep in mind however as I said before a squat or deadlift can never replace the classic olympic lift because due to the specificity principle: the activity that most closely resembles the goal activity will have the greatest effect in improving the goal activity. That is why the full olympic lift is more important. But what they can do is help to improve strength in the legs and hips in order to carry over somewhat to aid in the full lifts. However, as Chris has said there does come a point of diminishing return in the squats because they cannot fully replicate the strength need in the olympic lift, so there will come a point where one can keep pushing the squats but there will be no or very little increase in the olympic lift.
I see. So this is where the concept of "reserve strength" comes from.Thanks.
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