By definition, power is defined as follows:
POWER = FORCE X DISTANCE / TIME
In short, the faster one can move a given weight over particular distance, the more power one displays. Power is rate dependent as it is inversely proportional to time. In other words, power training exercises are not to be performed slowly. Relatively speaking, a person can not jump nor execute an Olympic lift slowly.
The terms power and strength are often Inappropriately used interchangeably. Think about the components of a "Power Lifting" meet. They are the bench press, squat, and dead lift. None of these exercises are "rate" dependent. It doesn't matter if it takes 1 second or 10, either the rep is completed or not. By definition that is not a measure of power, it's a measure of strength. "Power Lifters" are to be commended for their accomplishments, as they are well earn. But the bench, squat, and deadlift are not inherent measures of power. This doesn't mean that those lifts can not be performed powerfully or with the intent of building power. It means, by themselves, they don't require one to perform them powerfully as they can be performed slowly.
Exercises that inherently train power development are often those in which force is applied to a mass with the intent to project or send the mass into relative flight. Examples of these types of exercises would be:
JUMPING (variations such as box jumps, hops, split squat jumps, broad jumps, etc)
THROWS (med balls, Kegs, KBs, etc)
CLEANS (barbells, KBs, med balls, sand bags, kegs, tires, etc)
JERKS (barbells, KBs, med balls, sand bags, kegs, etc along double stance, split stance, etc)
SNATCHES (barbells, KBs, med balls, sand bags, kegs, etc along double stance, split stance, etc)
In my opinion, a power exercise shouldn't take more than 1.5 seconds MAX to perform 1 repetition. That includes the eccentric loading as well as the concentric expression. I prefer to keep that time between .5-1.0 seconds. So if you are training for power, keep these tips in mind.
In my next entry I plan to discuss baseline measures that one should have/consider when preparing to engage in a program for power development. Stay tuned.
Respect & Honor.