How to Sustain Maximal Power Output with Maximal Overloading


How to Sustain Maximal Power Output with Maximal Overloading

Glendale Physical Therapy

What exactly are we talking about here? Lets use an example. Say we have an iron man athlete who is competing in a triathlon and is in the cycling portion of the race which has a couple of hills to climb during the race. The first hill he is able to maintain 95-100% of power output during this hill climb, on the second hill climb he drops down to 70-75% of power output and by the next hill or two this athlete’s maximal power out-put now drops down to anywhere between 60-65% of maximal power output. Because this athlete has never trained the musculature in his lower extremeties to maintain such a high level of power output for such a long duration his body has no way to recruit those muscle fibers effectively in order to maintain this level of power; therefore, this athletes power output decreases and when the musculature his body depends on to perform this task fatigues other musculature will be recruited in order for the athlete to try to maintain this level of intensity, his form goes out the window which causes efficiency to go down which in turn causes the athlete to fatigue faster than before. Luckily there is a solution! The fact of the matter is this athlete is struggling with maintaining power output in the proper musculature required to perform the task at hand because it was never trained properly. In comes the maximal overload principle.

The idea of the maximal overload principle is to simply train musculature at a relatively high load- around 80% of the 1 rep max and at a relatively high volume in order to recruit the maximal amount of muscle fibers within the musculoskeletal system. For example: Take 80% of your 1 rep max back squat, perform as many reps as you can in one given set, rest 15-30 seconds, perform as many reps as you can, rest and repeat until you can no longer maintain from either being to fatigued or you can’t complete a rep. What you will find in time with using this method of maximal overload within the training itself is you are able to complete more reps and sets for a longer duration- anywhere from 6-8 minutes. Congratulations you have increased that muscle group’s ability to sustain maximal power output. After you are able to complete around 2-4 reps and maintain this number from 6-8 minutes you can go back to test your 1 rep max again and use the new 80% of your 1 rep to perform the cycle again. What does this mean for our athlete? Because the athlete took the time to train his maximal sustained power he can now maintain the hill climbs from anywhere between 80-95% of his maximal power out put making him the more efficient athlete and placing him ahead of his competitors.

Skeptical? Try applying this method to your training regime and see how it goes for you. The best way to figure out if something works is to try it and experiment with the numbers to see what works best for you. Perform the over load principle 2-3x per week based on your own personal goals and most importantly train intuitively. If your body doesn’t feel up for training that day then listen to it, and train another day. This training method can apply to most sports because most sports require some degree of power output.


About Dr. Eric Hefferon

Dr. Eric Hefferon received his advanced doctorate degree in physical therapy from the innovative A.T. Still University. He has been practicing in the west valley for 6 years and has made strong ties to local gyms and medical practitioners. Dr. Hefferon started Impact Physical Therapy due to his passion for an individualized healthcare approach. He knew by creating a clinic that was out of network he could help give patients the results they deserve. His treatment style attracts patients from all over the valley and even out of state. People will travel to seek Dr. Hefferon’s solutions!

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial