Thinking In Pounds Per Minute

The Power Factor is a measurement of the total amount of weight you lift divided by the time it takes to lift it. It's measured in pounds per minute. Ask the average person in a gym what he or she bench-presses, and the reply might be, "I can bench 275." Ask a person who uses Power Factor Training the same question, and the answer might be, "I can bench 5,300 pounds per minute." Because of the laws of physics and the law of muscle fiber recruitment, the latter is a much more comprehensive measurement. Once you begin to think in pounds per minute, your training objectives and progress become crystal clear.

Using Power Factor Training, you will be able to calculate a precise Power Factor and Power Index for each exercise you perform and for your entire workout. You will also be able to calculate ahead of time what workout you

Ask a Power Factor trainer what his best standing press is. and he might say. "It's 2,800pounds per minute "

will be required to perform next time in order to meet your goals of increased size and strength. This means that every workout can pay off in gains. If it doesn't, you'll know exactly where and why you fell short.

You may, for example, find that your dead-lift power went down 15 percent even when your leg press power went up 21 percent. This level of precision and isolation represents a revolution in strength training.

WHAT ABOUT DISTANCE?

At this point you might be wondering why we haven't included the distance that the weight travels as part of the power calculation. There are two reasons that it is left out. Firstly, as a practical matter it is difficult to precisely measure the travel of the bar when lifting, especially in movements that involve an arc ot motion, which require computations using pi (3.14159). Secondly, the length ot your arms and legs isn't going to change over time, so all those distance measurements would just factor out of any comparisons that are made, leaving only differences in the weight lifted and the time. This is why we did not use horsepower or watts to measure the power that your muscles generate. A Power Factor is ideal because of its simplicity and ease of use.

DETERMINING YOUR POWER FACTOR

The purpose of calculating a Power Factor for each exercise that you perform is to provide a precise numerical measurement of your muscular output. Once you have a numerical representation of your output, you can compare the overload and effectiveness ot every workout that you perform. For example, examine the two workouts described in the tables. (The time given for each total workout includes the time taken between exercises to rest and to set up the equipment. That's why the individual times do not add up to the total time.)

These two workouts are very similar, and it looks as if Workout 2 is the better one because it involves

WORKOUT 1

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Weights

Slwulder press

2

20

150

2

20

180

3

15

225

Time to Complete

10 min

Lai pulldown

2

20

80

2

20

90

2

15

100

Time lo Complete

11 min.

Barbell dead hit

2

30

135

2

20

155

2

15

175

Time tc Complete

14 min.

fa-jt

Time to Comptai

'4) nun

'facilities 6 minutes to ml and to sel up equipment

WORKOUT 2

Exercise

Sets

Reps Weights

Shoulder press

2

20 150

2

12 190

2

10 245

1

3 260

Tin» to Complete 13 min

Lai pulldown

2

20 90

2

15 100

2

10 120

Time lo Complete. 13 mm

Barbell dead litt

2

20 155

2

20 175

2

15 190

Time to Complete. 14 min.

Total Time to Cúmplele ''S min.

'includes 6 minutes to rest md loset up «?WiBffjeoJ

'includes 6 minutes to rest md loset up «?WiBffjeoJ

using heavier weight in every exercise. So it would stimulate more growth, right? Wrong. Actually, Workout 1 has a Power Factor that is 38 percent higher than Workout 2 and involves lifting an additional 10,135 pounds. Workout 1 represents more work in a unit of time—the key to stimulating muscle growth.

It is virtually impossible to precisely gauge that difference by feel alone. With Power Factor Training, measuring by feel is obsolete.

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