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From Max Strength to Max Speed: A Coach's Approach to Power Development

Explosive Power Development for Athletes  Power is most easily understood as the speed of movement against a given resistance and is arguably the single best measure of an athlete’s overall performance.  While the ability to move heavy loads, commonly referred to as ‘strength’ is vitally important, the ability to move loads quickly is equally important, particularly for athletes.  To be powerful, both force and velocity components must be developed.  Power is defined as the product of force and velocity: Power = Force x Velocity  Or, another way to think of this is: Power = Strength x Speed  A “Force-Velocity” continuum exists where certain exercises will be more force-dominant, while others will be more velocity-dominant based on the load utilized and their nature of execution. For example, a barbell squat with a heavy load (i.e., >80-90% of 1 RM) would constitute a “force-dominant” exercise, while a squat jump using only the weight of the barbell (45lbs) would fall much further down the continuum towards the “velocity” end. Because power is the product of force multiplied by velocity, improving either of these components may lead to increased power production and thereby the explosiveness of the athlete (3).  Therefore, all points of the force-velocity curve should be trained to maximize the explosiveness of an athlete.       *Image property of PERCH Fit  Absolute / Max Strength  Absolute/Max strength is the maximum amount of force that may be produced in a specific movement. This zone is typically associated with intensities > 90 % of 1RM.  Exercises associated with Max Strength: Squats, Deadlifts, Presses at > 90% 1 RM.  Accelerative-Strength  This training zone lies between max strength and strength-speed and falls into the higher intensity zone of peak power production. Training in the Accelerative-Strength zone typically results in lower absolute forces than the maximal strength zone, but results in higher movement velocities.  Exercises associated with Accelerative-Strength: Olympic Lifts at 80-90% of 1 RM  Strength-Speed   Strength-Speed refers to moving relatively heavy loads as fast as possible. This zone resides toward the strength side of the peak power zone.   Exercises associated with Strength-Speed: Barbell Squats with Band Tension at ~ 50-60% of 1 RM   Speed-Strength  Speed-Strength refers to moving at very high velocities with the maximal load possible. Peak forces are typically lower than strength-speed exercises, due to the increased movement velocity  Exercises associated with Speed-Strength Exercises: Weighted Squat Jumps, Single Leg Box Jumps      Max Speed  Max Speed is simply the maximum movement velocity an athlete is able to produce through a specific movement, and by nature, the lower peak forces are generally associated with these movements.  Exercises associated with Max Speed Exercises: Bodyweight Jumps, Plyometrics, Sprinting.     When designing an athletic training program to increase power, it is important to consider what specific physical qualities need to be developed. Each training zone of the force-velocity curve will result in a specific physiological adaptation and therefore a determination of individual needs is recommended. If an athlete possesses high force/strength capabilities (i.e. has a High 1RM Squat Max), but low velocity/speed (i.e. Low Vertical Jump), then spending time at the maximal velocity and speed-strength zones may be of greater benefit for the athlete.  A program aimed at improving athletic power would be incomplete without at least a brief discussion on the importance of nutrient intake, particularly in the pre- and post-workout window. Net increases in protein synthesis leads to increases in muscle cross-sectional area, resulting in the potential for greater force production.  Growth hormone is a potent anabolic hormone influencing muscle growth. Consuming a protein and carbohydrate supplement 2-hours pre- and immediately post-exercise has been shown to result in a 14-fold increase in growth hormone levels following resistance training sessions (2).  Cortisol, on the other hand, is a catabolic hormone, generally thought to inhibit muscle growth by decreasing protein synthesis, resulting in the break down of muscle protein (1). Elevations in this hormone are often linked to stressors including intense exercise, overtraining, and inadequate recovery resulting from poor nutrient intake, lack of sleep, etc. (4).   The good news for hard-training athletes is protein and carbohydrate supplementation not only dramatically increases the post-exercise growth hormone response, but also decreases cortisol levels over the course of consecutive training days (2).    This is precisely why we recommend athletes consume a high-quality, easily digestible protein and carbohydrate formula like CARNIVOR LEAN MEAL, for those athletes looking to maintain weight and gain lean muscle mass, or CARNIVOR MASS for those needing higher caloric intake for increased weight gain.     References:  Burger ME. Neuromuscular and hormonal adaptations to resistance training: Implications for strength development in female athletes. Streng Cond J 2002; 24 (3): 51-9  Kraemer W, Volek J, Bush J, et al. Hormonal responses to consecutive days of heavy resistance exercise with or without nutritional supplementation. J Appl Physiol 1998; 85 (4): 1544-55).    Stone, M.H., (1993). Literature review: Explosive exercises and training. National Strength and Conditioning Association Journal, 15(3), pp.7-15  Urhausen A, Kindermann W. Diagnosis of overtraining: What tools do we have? Sports Med 2002; 32 (2): 95-102 


Research Shows Beef Increases Muscle Mass & Strength In a blinded placebo control study, hard training athletes supplementing with Beef Protein Isolate (BPI) like that found in Carnivor gained an average of 4.6 lbs. of muscle mass, while significantly increasing weight lifting strength.+ Researchers gave test subjects BPI daily for 8 weeks while they exercised 5 days weekly. Athletes taking BPI added an impressive 5.7% average increase in lean body mass. In contrast, the placebo group did not significantly improve their lean body mass from baseline. Finally, there were no symptoms of stomach distress with daily BPI supplementation, and no changes in health or blood parameters. The Science Of Beef: A Rich Source of Anabolic Nutrients Beef provides a potent source of protein, with 22 grams of protein coming from just four ounces of lean roast beef. But beef protein is also highly digestible and naturally supplies a rich source of essential amino acids and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) that are important for “triggering” muscle protein synthesis (muscle growth). Beef also supplies unique ergogenic nutrients including creatine. Creatine is a tri-peptide compound used in skeletal muscle to regenerate our muscles chief energy source adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) and super-hydrate muscles. As you may be aware, creatine is possibly the most researched ergogenic aid and has been shown to increase muscle mass, strength, power, endurance, muscle cell swelling and volume. Beef is also high in the amino acid carnitine, which is essential for burning fat. Lastly, new research shows that beef may contain growth factors and immunoglobins that increase anabolic hormones such as GH and IGF-1, thereby supporting muscle growth. Easy on the Stomach and No Cholesterol Beef protein isolate (BPI) allows athletes to get the anabolic benefits of beef protein in a delicious tasting, fast digesting and convenient protein shake – without the excess amounts of fat and cholesterol. It’s also lactose free and gluten-free making it easier on the stomach. Exploring Beef Protein Supplements MuscleMeds Carnivor shakes offer an amazing alternative to athletes looking to benefit from the muscle building power of beef, without the unwanted calories that come from steak, or the allergens that come from milk proteins. Using advanced extraction, clarification, hydrolysis and isolation technologies, Carnivor BPI has greater amino acid concentrations than milk, soy or egg. Carnivor BPI is even 350% more concentrated in anabolic muscle building amino acids than a prime sirloin steak! Better yet, when it comes to purity and potency, Carnivor is unmatched with 23 grams of beef protein, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 0 sugar, 0 lactose and 0 gluten per serving. Carnivor is also fortified with a unique Anabolic Nitrogen Retention Technology (ANRT). To elaborate, when you consume amino acids, not all of them are used to support muscle building. A large portion are broken down and degraded, producing byproducts such as ammonia that can impair your exercise performance. ANRT solves this dilemma by literally recycling nitrogen from ammonia back into anabolic amino acids that then can be used to support additional muscle growth! In addition, because CARNIVOR is a BPI, it is also very fast digesting and highly digestible. Essentially, CARNIVOR allows athletes to get the power of beef at the speed of a protein isolate. For athletes seeking to gain weight, MuscleMeds developed Carnivor Mass. This weight gainer boasts 720 calories, 50 grams of rapidly digesting hydrolyzed Beef Protein Isolate, the innovative ANRT technology, creatine and BCAAs. To optimize energy stores, it also has a iSPIKE technology that consists of 125 grams of high impact carbohydrates from micronized waxy maize, maltodextrin and amylase, which can promote superior insulin response compared to eating protein alone. Insulin amplifiers from Chromium, 4-hydroxyleucine and d-initol are also added to improve muscle insulin sensitivity and anabolic signaling. For athletes looking for a research-supported, low allergen, clean and pure protein, Beef Protein Isolate offers a superior protein choice. MuscleMeds Carnivor continues to be the world’s #1 selling beef protein line and offers a variety of delicious flavors. With 0 grams of sugar, fat, cholesterol, lactose and gluten per serving, this offers an amazing alternative to athletes allergic to milk proteins. Dr. Gabriel Wilson has a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He is currently the Sr. Director of R&D and Innovation for MuscleMeds. ++Sharp, et al., 2015 ISSN International Conference [Poster]. Weight and strength gains compared to baseline. Based on 46 grams of protein daily.


Carnivor Protein is perfect for athletes and gym rats! HARD TRAINING requires optimal recovery—and that’s exactly why you need a quality protein powder like Carnivor. Developed by Gerard Dente, CEO of MuscleMeds, Carnivor protein is packed with 100% beef protein, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), and creatine (2.5 grams). What sets it apart from other proteins, however, isn’t what’s in it—but what’s not. “In the development of Carnivor, my objective was to create a high-quality musclebuilding beef protein without fat, cholesterol, lactose, and other allergens,” Dente explains. While beef protein isn’t a new development, there is a new audience for it—carnivore dieters. As the name implies, followers of this diet eat foods from animals only, with more extreme adherents sticking with mainly red meats. Also known as the zero-carb diet, the carnivore diet calls for consuming only fat and protein. While research on the diet is inconclusive, anecdotal evidence suggests that followers can lose fat quickly and increase strength. Though whey protein is technically carnivore-friendly, it still contains allergens and carbohydrates, making Carnivor the ideal choice. In addition to the standard powder, which has 23 grams of protein, there are two other ways to get your protein fix. The Carnivor 4-ounce shot is a quick solution with 30 grams of protein, and the Carnivor RTD (ready-to-drink) packs 40 grams of the good stuff and is perfect for busy athletes who need to time their protein intake perfectly. “Because Carnivor is so clean and pure, it has an amazingly good taste, and athletes love it,” Dente adds.