Som and I finally got around to our benchmark testing last Thursday, utilizing a force meter to register the power of a couple basic strikes. This will allow us to see how the progress we are making with our strength training carries over to our sports performance. I can confidently state, however, that even without any benchmark testing to prove it, my strikes feel stronger now after our last cycle, than they ever have before.
I’m not surpirsed. Because we took absolutely no prisoners with our last training cycle, and if you weren’t following along, then you missed out! But no worries…here are some highlights.
Roundhouse kick, front kick, spin back kick, and straight punch.
In order to get the most consistent reading, we placed the kicking pad against a concrete wall…
Well…It really wasn’t the worst idea, but the following problems did arise:
1. We were unable to follow through on our roundhouse kicks, because doing so would smash our knees and face against the wall. The funny thing is, is that our roundhouse kicks still had the highest force meter rating, but surely it was not as accurate it could have been.
2. We hit pretty hard at Dragon Gym, but I’ve yet to see anybody there move an entire concrete wall. Since there was no give whatsoever, we were overly hesitant with our spin back kicks. Intuition and experience would tell me that the spin back could should have registered the highest, but it was actually the lowest!
Here were the readings:
Roundhouse kick – Som – 77*
Roundhouse kick – Pat -74
Front kick – Som – 53
Front kick – Pat – 49
Spin Back Kick – Som – 39
Spin Back Kick – Pat – 37
Straight Punch – Som – 50
Straight Punch – Pat – 47
*The number represents 2x the g-force rating – meaning that a rating of 50 is equal to an impact of 25G.
Here is some footage of us measuring the power of our strikes.
If you are an athlete then you must measure the progress of your strength training program by increases/decreases in your sports performance. Now if your sport is weight lifting, then it makes sense for you to use certain lifts for your benchmark testing. But if your sport is not weight lifting, then you must find another way to measure your progress. Why does it matter how much you power clean if you are a swimmer? It doesn’t! Not unless there is a correlation between how much you power clean and your performance in the water! It is the correlation that you want to measure, and it is your performance in the water that truly matters…not the actual weight being lifted! If your training is not enhancing your athleticism, then you are doing something wrong, or what you have been doing is no longer effective and it’s time to mix it up. Mine and Som’s sport is essentially hitting stuff. So if our strength program is not allowing us to hit stuff harder, then what we are doing is not worth our time.
That is how I got into kettlebell training in the first place! Because nothing in the world of strength training that I’ve ever found comes closer to taking and throwing a punch than training with bells.
– Pat Flynn RKC