Gain Explosive Power and Lose the Learning Curve

By: Josh Bryant

Noah Bryant Covers Med Ball Throws

To get to Carnegie Hall, you must practice, practice, practice, and ultimately the ends justify the means. The same thing could be said for great technique in the Olympic lifts.  

Tactical athletes and traditional sport athletes looking to gain an edge do not have the time and often the desire to learn a completely new craft to aid their current one.

So, whether the objective is a SWAT officer kicking down a door and clearing a room, a running back wanting to increase his average to five yards a carry or someone training to set the homerun record at the church softball tournament on Labor Day—explosive power is needed!

Here are four ways to increase explosive power, minus the learning curve.

Increase Relative Strength

Relative strength simply means strength-to-bodyweight ratio. 

Set a goal of a minimum of 2.2 times your bodyweight in the full squat and deadlift and eventually as high as 2.5 times your bodyweight.  Up until the 2.5 times threshold, you will run faster and jump higher.

That is why some experts correlate low body fat with sprint speed. For every 10 pounds of bodyweight gained, you must increase these lifts by 25 pounds to maintain maximum speed.  

Compensatory Acceleration Training (CAT)

Any lift can be an explosive lift as long as you focus on moving the barbell from point A to point B as fast as possible without sacrificing technique. This is CAT, the brainchild Dr. Fred Hatfield. 

Think about it. You can half squat more than you can full squat.  As your leverage improves, you can hit the breaks or accelerate.  If you want to be explosive, you must accelerate.  CAT means you compensate for improved leverage by accelerating the weight.


Plyometrics bridge the gap between the weight room and the field of play.

To maximize sprinting ability, train horizontal jumps. For increased jumping ability, train vertical jumps.

For extreme shock methods like depth jumps, you should be healthy and able to squat twice your bodyweight.  Heavier/weaker athletes should stick to CAT training and medicine ball throws.

Weighted Triple Extension Movements

A movement that extends the ankles, knees and hips is called a triple extension movement.  Without triple extension, maximal sprinting and jumping cannot be accomplished. Triple extension is paramount to an explosive athlete.

Here are five movements that accomplish triple extension with a simple learning curve.

  • Trap bar jumps
  • Tire flips
  • Any strongman loading event
  • Jump squats
  • Backwards overhead medicine ball throws

Final Thoughts

The reason you train outside of the valid emotional benefits of satisfaction and empowerment is the training effect.  The objective is to maximize results and minimize added baggage i.e., a tedious learning curve.

The objective is explosive power!  Focus on its acquisition not which training tool the so-called experts say you should use.

Learn more and get specific programs with Tactical Strongman Training.