Do you love training as much as I do? Are you constantly searching for ways to make your workouts more effective? Do you live for the endorphin rush you get from a great workout? If you answered yes to all of the above, then there’s a good chance you have what it takes to rise head and shoulders above everyone else in the gym.
In part 1, I stressed the importance of not only “showing up” but making your workouts potent if you want real results. In the Pure Payne Method, I outlined a basic template for a kick ass strength and conditioning program. Now I want to take it one step further and show you even more ways to improve your strength, build muscle, and just get fit as hell!!
Besides the big lifts and basic bodyweight training, there are some other highly effective and often overlooked training methods that deliver results in a big way. The methods I’m going to reveal to you all have one thing in common – POWER!
That’s right, if you really want to spice things up, you need to start adding power development to the mix. Simply put, power is the combination of strength and speed. Training for power comes with huge benefits including:
- Increased muscle mass
- Increased strength
- Increased explosiveness
- Increased fast twitch muscle fiber development (the shit that makes you look amazing)
- Increased athleticism
- Reduced body fat
Hershel Walker – the epitome of power!
Now, if that doesn’t get you excited you might as well stop reading now. But if you’re fired up and want to add more intensity to your training then you have come to the right place. Now, I’m going to show you 4 ways to develop power, amplify your workouts and take your fitness to a whole new level.
1. Olympic Lifting – The fastest and mightiest of the barbell lifts, the clean and jerk and the snatch, sit on a pedestal as one of the best group of exercises a human being can perform. These full body exercises recruit a ton of muscle mass and ignite your nervous system making them an ideal choice for strength and muscular development. However, with great benefit comes great risk due to the high degree of technical proficiency needed to do these movements. Not to worry, if you’re new to Olympic lifting there are variations you can use that still provide lots of benefits and reduce the risk of injury. Some typical variations include:
- Hang cleans/hang snatches – The “hang” position is when the barbell starts above the knee rather than on the ground. This essentially will help to strengthen and develop the major part of the movement – the second pull. The hang position allows less room for error (i.e. early arm bending and the bar coming away from the body) and forces you to be more explosive with the barbell.
- Clean pull/snatch pulls – One of the most difficult aspects of olympic lifting is the ability to receive or “catch” the barbell properly. This hassle can be avoided by doing “pulls” instead. Clean/snatch pulls allow you to start with the bar on the ground and generate maximal force without having to catch the weight. This is a great way to lift relatively heavy loads without risking injury from improper catches.
- Dumbbell variations – If you aren’t comfortable with a barbell, you can always opt for dumbbell variations that can be quite intense as well. Dumbbell snatches and dumbbell cleans performed with 1 arm or 2 arm variations are excellent alternatives and far less technical than using a barbell.
barbell and dumbbell variations both deliver HUGE results
Whatever variation you choose, always remember that these are “fast lifts” and the more explosive you can be the better. Check out the video below to see how to perform hang cleans with good form.
2. Sprinting – I remember the good ol’ days when I was a kid in elementary school and we’d spend an entire recess having little 50, 60, 70 yard foot races to see who was the fastest kid in our grade. Man, that was fun and it was damn good exercise too! I don’t know about you but I can’t remember the last time (with the exception of the Olympics which is once every 4 years) I saw an adult do anything that resembles anything close to a sprint. It seems we’ve opted for the more convenient and far less effective alternative – jogging. You don’t need to aspire to be the next Usain Bolt to incorporate sprinting into your training but if you want to get chiseled like a world class athlete then you should strongly consider it. Here are some options for sprinting:
- Wind sprints – Good old fashioned all out sprinting. 30-60 meters will get the job done. Walk back and repeat or rest 2-3mins between efforts.
- Hill sprints – The only thing better than running really fast is running really fast UPHILL! Hill sprints will definitely put hair on your chest (unless you’re a woman of course, then it will just give you incredible hips and thighs). Find a hill or use a treadmill (10-15% incline) and try 20-60 second intervals with a 1:1 or 1:2 work/rest ratio.
- Resisted Sprints – Another great way to intensify your workout. Like I always say “when in doubt, add a little more weight.” This mantra applies to sprinting as well. You don’t need a lot of resistance though, just enough to make you work harder but not so much that you lose your running form. Parachutes, weight vests, and sleds loaded with 10-15% of your bodyweight are great options.
Usain Bolt – world class power and a world class physique
3. Plyometrics – The former Soviet Union knew what they were doing when they popularized this training method. Plyometrics is essentially jump training. The act of jumping recruits a ton of fast twitch muscle fibers and is one of the most effective ways to develop explosiveness. Popular and effective plyometric exercises include:
- Box jumps – Basic jumping onto a 20-30″ box is an excellent way to develop lower body power. Single leg variations are also an option for you keeners out there.
- Split jumps – One of my personal favorites. Split jumps or jumping lunges can be humbling to say the least. The glutes and quads will get punished but rewards are well worth the pain.
- Lateral jumps – There’s something about jumping sideways that slaps you across the face and completely shocks your body. Jumping over a hurdle or onto a box laterally challenges your athleticism and makes for one hell of a workout!
- Clap Pushups – A great upper body plyometric exercise. Your chest, shoulders and triceps will be lit up after a few sets of these. Like a pair of Air Jordan 3’s, the clap pushup is a classic that will never go out of style.
Air Jordans and clap pushups – timeless classics that never go out of style
4. Sled Pushes – Did someone say prowler? Disputably one of the most intense conditioning exercises in all of fitness, sled pushing will leave you speechless (because there will be no air left in your body to speak). 8-10 intervals of 30-50 meter pushes will have you spent but every muscle in your body will thank you for it. Stay low, push hard, try to breathe, repeat. Check out the video below to see how Joe DeFranco lays the smack down with the prowler!
The name of the game my friends is power. If your goal is to pack on serious muscle, build superhuman strength and have a body carved out of granite then power is your ticket to the motherland! You can use these exercises on their own or pair them together with other strength exercises to really crank things up. It’s time to get in the trenches and get to work. And remember, doing what others are unwilling to do is the key to success.
Have you got your copy of The Pure Payne Method yet? If not, hurry up and subscribe below to become a powerhouse!