Power is a fundamental component of fitness, it’s a combination of speed and strength. Power is the ability to generate large amounts of force as rapidly as possible. Unfortunately, many people either neglect to train this characteristic or train it improperly. Benefits of power training include increased type 2 fiber hypertrophy, balance performance, and neuromuscular activation.
All of which transfers over to performance in the form of improved strength, speed, and coordination. The issue with power training is that the most popular tools for its development can be difficult or used improperly: Olympic Lifts are highly technical to learn on your own, plyometrics can be hard on the joints to recover from, and box jumps often get performed as high-volume metcons which don’t serve to develop power. This is where sled training stands alone as a unique and effective tool for power development.
If you follow the social media account of any NFL player or MMA fighter, chances are you’ve seen sled training in action. Sleds are excellent tools for increasing various facets of athleticism, especially power.
A great aspect about using sleds compared to other tools for power development is that the technique to move them is relatively simple, and in order to push any decent amount of weight your mechanics have to be correct. In essence, sleds act as a self-correcting tool because your form must be proper with each step if you’re trying to move an appreciable amount of weight.
Research shows that an optimal load for power development is in the rage of 69-96% of one’s body mass. For this program we’d stay in this range for power development, and take ample rest between sets to ensure full creatine re-synthesis. Because the focus is power development, the distances covered will be short. This workout functions by progressively increasing the load (and/or the distance) each week.
6-week power sled workout
Week 1: 70% load for 20 meters
Week 2: 80% load for 10 meters
Week 3: 75% load for 20 meters
Week 4: 85% load for 10 meters
Week 5: 80% load for 20 meters
Week 6: 90% load for 10 meters