Can Work Capacity Improve Strength and Power?

We place a big emphasis on building work capacity.


A. Most of the people we train are endurance based athletes.

B. Building a strong work capacity actually helps improve your strength and power, allowing athletes to be well-rounded.

Work capacity is basically the ability to do X. That might be sprint 400m or run a mile or throw a sandbag over your shoulder and run up a hill.

The Russians nailed this in the sports science arena over the years as they like their athletes to develop a huge base of athleticism. This athleticism acts like a springboard for future athletic growth. Or as Ross Edgely puts it "Be general in your foundations so you can be specific in your goals."

With all kinds of training, you don't actually improve in the gym or on the track. Your body only adapts when you've given it sufficient time to rest and restore. This is where a strong work capacity comes into it.

You may feel like aerobic training may have no place in a strength athletes sport. But for majority of that athletes life, they are living in a highly aerobic zone. If they improve their work capacity and how the other systems (besides strength and power) function in their body, they can recover faster, train sooner and train more effectively.

This doesn't mean that work capacity has to overtake strength and power as the focus of training. It shouldn't in most cases. But a solid foundation of work capacity will help improve those areas.

Now before you tell me that cardio is going to kill your strength gains, let's have a look at some of the fittest people in the world - Crossfit athletes. Say what you will about Crossfit, they're very strong and very fit. The top guys can deadlift 500 pounds and run a 5 minute mile in the same day.

Now, they're never going to be the best in one area - a pro strongman is going to be well and truly stronger than the strongest Crossfit athlete - but for our needs as team sport athletes (to be as well-rounded as possible) this is good enough.

Here’s Mr. Engine himself @bquigley_ putting in some work pre Christmas.



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