PART 2 Simple “readiness” test using peak power, the peaking (and winning).

In a previous post I talked about simple readiness testing using PPower to determine athlete readiness.
The test I learned from Dan Baker works as follows, using just a PVC pipe and performing 2-3 sets of 5 jumps in a row we can take the best peak power velocity score in m/s and track it over time measuring 1-2 times a week. Peak power on Jump is very sensitive to neural fatigue, with 5-10% drops suggesting a drop in performance. What is important here is that we are not generating numbers for the hell of it but creating actionable feedback.

The Biweekly data I was measuring and used in the previous post was part of Cory McKenna’s in the run up to a December fight for the BCMMA Amateur title. Below is the full data up to fight week.

As you can see there is a big upward trend in peak power, as freshness improves moving up to the fight around 3-4 weeks out, you can also see the overall trend is an upwards one. She takes a bit of a knock around 4 weeks away but then it starts to improve rapidly. Why? Because this is when toughest sparring rounds really start to take their toll and I as a strength and conditioning coach focus on match specific velocities and modalities to prepare for the fight.

Excuse my school boy level chart skills, above is Cory’s Trendline.

Here is Wendy McKenna’s Data, less data points as we can only take measures once per week. We see that same dip as the hard sparring kicks in, it was even at this point I had to miss a measure because Wendy had a sore back from stress of training plus working stress.

Why is this tracking important? Because it shows that you are hitting the phases of suppression and super compensation properly in your approach to physical readiness.

Every chicken nugget who has picked up a training text book will have seen an image similar to this image below. Now compare this to the above images.

Ride the wave form bro!

Obviously over time if we carried on doing this for years we’ll see far more marginal changes in PPower as training age matures, this is because to use the metaphor ‘once the sword is forged it just needs sharpening’.

Wendy and Cory Both won their pro debut and amateur title fights respectively, this type of info doesn’t predict fights but it does give an indication of training effect and general direction of stimulus. Any sudden drop offs and its time to turn detective, what has the rest of their training entailed? Speak to their coaches to find out what are they doing. What might cause a sudden drop? After all we are only using Peak Power when their are plenty of other measures we could be using, such as readiness questionnaires, RSI, Blood measures, sleep analysis, HRV etc. I like this one because it is simple and straight forwards and actionable. Hopefully you’ll find this post useful.

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