When asking people for their favorite exercises to build power they will answer a wide array of exercises ranging from benchpress over squats to deadlifts.
It’s allright to do varied strength exercises. But when you try to build a baseline consisting of power, speed, calisthenic endurance and cardiologic endurance you might look for an exercise that helps you to focus on all aspects in saving time.
I found deadlift squats, using a hexbar to be an excellent exercise combining leg, back, grip and even upper body strength. It simply combines two of the most essential exercises.
DL squats perfectly simulate a very basic topic task of functional fitness: Lifting a heavy object from the ground. A task that many endurance focused athletes often fail to archieve.
There are many excellent videos and tutorials out there that show you how to perform deadlift squats. But if you perform this exercise the first time I would advise you to consult a qualified trainer.
Asides from this, the hexbar is a great way to prevent injuries as it dictates you many parts of execution while still maintaining the advantages of free barbell exercises.
Now let’s talk about how you enhance your strength. First off, you should include heavy DL at least two times a week in your training routine. You could even go up to three times if you manage to get at least two days break without heavy weight exercises between the trainings.
Next question is about sets and reps. When you want to build strength you should not do more than three repetitions. I found that many people prefer to do more reps with lower weight. But that’s not how our body gains strength. Five sets or a time limit of four minutes are a great frame. When you manage to do 5 sets with three repetitions each its time to go up with the weight.
Talking about weight: You should aim to archieve lifting at least 150 percent of your bodyweight, more is fine. Start with 100 percent off your body weight and then add 10 percent every workout as long as you don’t struggle to do three repetitions in each set. Raise the weight when you manage to do three reps every set. Remember that you need carbs to effectively enhance your strength. You won’t make big achievements when you don’t eat carbs or your body is in a caloric deficit.
You can combine this exercise with other lower weight leg or back exercises like squats, kettle bell squats or pull ups. Sit Ups or crunches are also a great addition.
You can do variations like including a shrug into every repetition. Another variation I really liked is doing a ten meter sprint after every set.
So this is my faourite way of building functional power. Let us know what exercise you prefer. Also don’t forget to visit us on Instagram.