Discover more from Athletic Aging
Building Muscle Power
Targeting muscle power with a dumbbell complex
Team! This workout features a dumbbell complex that targets three things that are essential for muscle health in midlife women: strength, power and hypertrophy. It gets a little spicy with the every minute on the minute time domain so this will make you sweat! Enjoy! -Carla
When we think about the reasons for weight training, the first thing that comes to mind is muscle mass - what we can see in the mirror. Mass is important, especially for mid-life women, because the changing estrogen environment along the transition to menopause results in a decline in muscle mass.
We also think about strength. We train with weights to get stronger. Strength is important because performance in sport, recreational activities, and movements that we do every day depend heavily on how much load our muscles can move. This becomes even more apparent during the 8th, 9th, and 10th decade of life when maintaining strength will enable us to continue to be independent through our twilight years.
Power is something we think less about, but it is just as important as muscle mass and strength. Power is the ability to move weight over time:
When we think of power, we think of more explosive movements like jumping, weightlifting, sprints - anything where your muscles need to act fast! In everyday life, muscle power is required for recreational sports, to break a fall and avoid obstacles. For tactical professionals such as firefighters, police, military, and paramedics, the job demands sprinting into action every time duty calls.
In addition to a decline in muscle mass and strength, the hormonal changes of midlife are accompanied by a loss in muscle power in part due to the shift away from Type II fast twitch muscle fibers which specialize in explosive, short-duration movements to Type I muscle fibers which support longer duration activity.
Mass, strength, and power are separate but interwoven aspects of muscle health. In July we discussed this in the post Muscle Hypertrophy Strength and Power: The Keys for Thriving in Midlife. Today we have a workout that targets all three. The featured movement is the Dumbbell Hang Power Clean. While the deadlifts, presses, and squats target strength and hypertrophy, the dumbbell hang power clean requires quick coordinated contraction of the hips and core muscles that move the dumbbells quickly from the hips up to the shoulders.
Watch the video for the Dumbbell Hang Power Clean carefully and take note of the mechanics. Practice the movement and start with a weight that you can confidently move and maintain excellent form. Since this is a complex of 1 -3 repetitions per movement, the weight will tend to be a little heavier. If you are proficient with these movements using a barbell and you have access to one, have at it!
TABATA - 20 seconds of work/10 seconds of rest for a total of 12 rounds (6 minutes). Ex- 20 seconds of up downs/10 seconds of rest. Then 20 seconds of push-ups and 10 seconds of rest. Continue until you have done each of the three movements in sequence 4 times.
Watch the videos carefully and practice each movement. Select a set of dumbbells that allows you to do the entire complex in 20-30 seconds. Do one or two trial runs of the complex to ensure you are selecting an appropriate weight and that you flow smoothly from movement to movement.
EMOM 20 minutes - Do the following complex of movements each minute on the minute for 20 minutes.
*Alternative: Use a barbell if you are proficient with these movements and have the appropriate equipment.
This is a core-intensive complex done 20 times within a time domain. Show your lower back a little “love” with this 15-minute segment. #dontskiptheyoga
15-minute lower back care