My hope is that this little spiel can spark some discussion and thought. Things are never black and white, and this isn’t a “this or that” type of thing. It’s a good example of the thoughts that pop into my head pretty regularly. There are a bunch of factors that can come into play here but, here we go
Let me set up the scenario that got me thinking:
Let’s say we have a powerlifter, let’s call him Ed (obviously)
Ed is 90kg competing in the 90kg class.
Ed can’t afford to put on any weight. (Let’s disregard recomposition at this point)
Should Ed bother with accessory work? – remember, he’s already maxed out his weight class
Or should Ed focus on improving his nervous system output using submaximal weights. Is speed work the key? should we be training more “westside” than we think?
We know the nervous system is king, we know the ability to create force is the most trainable factor that increases our power output, that’s why we lift heavy things. It’s also highly specific to the sport of powerlifting, duh. However, most lifters will typically include a fair amount of hypertrophy based accessory work. That’s what got me thinking. Should you bother? If you’re already as big as your weight class allows, is there a point to more hypertrophy work, are we doing it with the goal of increasing size or just for maintenance? Would maintenance not come from your main work? Would you be better off adding in high velocity power exercises like throws, jumps and speed work, in an effort to increase rate of force development, motor unit recruitment and any possible fiber type changes?
I’m starting to come around to the thought that most lifters could and should be doing more things with a high speed component, rather than, another set of pushdowns.
But, so many questions!!
At the end of the day the answer is probably, why not both? There is no reason a well-rounded program can’t include all aspects.
I’d love to know what you think.