Power Endurance

….from a personal trainer in NYC……

…..been having an “argument” at my gym about the importance of power endurance for the sport of basketball, or for any sport for that matter……It seems to me that power endurance, which I think is your ability to increase average power output over a game, and work capacity are interchangeable terms. Are they not? The lines seem blurred to me as to what the definition of power endurance is. I think power endurance and being in shape to play the game are the same. It also seems that training it in a gym setting wouldn’t be as beneficial as playing the sport.
Am I on the right track? Are there any other resources you would recommend moving forward on the subject, and do you train your athletes for power endurance?

If it doesn't have a racket, bat, club, or a uniform, it's GPP.

I would agree that this elusive definition of “power endurance” lies somewhere in GPP.

Are they the same? Maybe not 100% the same because GPP can mean dozens of different things for different individuals and different activities.
I don’t know if there is a formal agreed upon definition of power endurance, but I would suggest it is the ability to deliver consistent power output over a period of time. It’s actually quite paradoxical as power is elite when time is diminished. The more prolonged period of time in this working definition would apply to multiple repetitions or actions.
I definitely think maintaining a peak power per rep over time is valuable.
Maintaining a high(er) average power in test and post-tests could be a valuable way to look at it as well.

So is it important for basketball? Without a doubt.
Is it important for pretty much any activity? Without a doubt.
I think you can argue that limit strength can have a shift away given the nature of most field sports, but there is still huge accelerative and deccelerative movements that are impacted greatly by limit strength.

There’s probably a good, better, best approach to developing these qualities.
Is on the court better than in the gym? Hold a gun to my head, and I will say yes.
But I will also take that gun and point it back at you and say that the gym work will raise the starting platform for the on the court work.
And I may ask you to think that when you add loads not exemplary of the sport, you can get the training effect will a variant of movement.  This variation will take you away from the repetitive use of the same “good” patterns of the sport.

No matter the quality you are blocking to train, I always think the entire spectrum of the Force-Velocity Curve is applicable. There will be shifts left or right at different times of the training cycle, but the entire spectrum is of value.
Heavy DLs will improve your limit strength so you can swing a KB for 20 minutes instead of 18 minutes which will increase your gas tank for when you are playing pickup basketball.  It all started with some adaptation to make the 24kg kettlebell feel lighter.

(What’s interesting though is that it probably doesn’t work in the reverse. Playing pickup won’t get your stronger.)

Bottom line that it’s all important for Power Endurance. All of it.

And don’t forget also that the fewer physical limitations you have before you do anything, the more energy that can be funnelled to strength and speed and less to battling the lack of joint centration. Cleaning up your movement will increase Power Endurance.

Again it all matters.

  • February 10, 2011

Leave a Reply 5 comments

Tim Vagen Reply

Whern I think power endurance, I look at sports that will require a maximum output for the entire length of the competition. Take a look at a track athlete from 800m to 1500m. these are esentially a sprint for a long period of time. I’m biased, but rowing and swimming a prime examples of maximum power output for a longer period of time. Rowing races can last from 5.5 minutes to 15 minutes. All of this is at maximum intensity. I don’t see most sports doing this. I look at basketball as high power output with a bit of a rest. More in the lines of work capacity than power endurance. I guess it all comes down to symantics.

Brian Bott Reply

Obviously no gun here… but where does Max Strength line get drawn? I tend to believe that limit strength is the easiest characteristics to develop. Using an offensive lineman as an example. For the example let’s assume a squat correlates to the ability to accelerate off the line. Do you choose a player who can have an output of 500-450-400-350 per quarter. Or does 450-450-450-450 “perform better” Getting that repetion takes much longer than obtaining the 500lb squat. Mark McLaughlin of PTC has sent me some crazy stats from his athletes tolerated repeated box jumps/ session as well as squat volume that would blow your mind. His use of the omegawave has also supported and backed up a lot of his methods as well as where his athletes sign the dotted line. Always interesting topic.

Michael Tankovich Reply

Along with Mr. Bolts comments. I think Mark would argue you must base the training of a basketball player on time motion analysis of the the game. Early in the training cycle work in the weight room may be important (oxidative work), however later on the work must become very specific to the sport to raise biological power so the athletes can exhibit the highest skill over the course of the game and season.

What do terms like “power endurance” really mean. We should be talking in terms of energy systems (ie. anaerobic alactic, anaerobic lactic, aerobic). I feel this would be more applicable to various people. However, quality movement is still invaluable to basketball athletes to prevent injury and develop biological power.

Donald Berry Reply

The Gym can hep increase the size of your gas tank. The court, or whatever platform you perform on, should help you become more efficient in your movement.

Brian Bott Reply

Will always be semantics unless you use those terms Mike. Agreed. Mr. BOTT.. If it were Bolt I’d have a gold medal and a much better sprint time lol.

Organization into blocks seems to be the simplest means of programming as well.

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