Ahh, well, it’s sneaking up on the holiday season, and the number one excuse for not exercising becomes more valid. Yep, the old-time reason for not having any time. But what if I told you there is a simple way of maintaining your muscles and strength while enjoying all the treats of the holiday season?

Oh, yeah, you’re interested now.

By training power (which I’ll get into below), you can stay in shape and maintain your gains with a minimal time investment. It’s one of my favorite ways to exercise, and my clients really enjoy throwing medicine balls around, especially at me.

Here, I will get into what power is, the difference between strength and power training, how it maintains your gains and a sweet power workout you can do in the comfort of your home or local gym.

But What Is Power?

Power = Force X Acceleration (P = F x A). Force is a push or pull from the object’s interaction with another object, such as gravity acting on you while doing a push-up. Acceleration is the rate at which an object changes speed, like sprinting to catch the bus or pulling a heavy weight from the floor. When you combine force and acceleration, power magic happens.

What’s The Difference Between Strength And Power Training

Both involve overcoming resistance, but power training emphasizes overcoming resistance quickly. This is why the resistance is lower when training power and the movement speed are higher.

How Power Training Maintains Your Gains 

How hard you get after it determines the difference between building or maintaining your hard-earned muscle gains. You’ll train your muscles only to mild exhaustion to maintain your gains, which is in the power training ballpark.

But with building muscle or becoming stronger, you train hard enough to cause your muscles to overcome homeostasis to improve. So, maintaining your muscles is much easier than building them because of a little thing called fast twitch muscle fibers. We have two main types of muscle fibers.

Slow muscle twitch fibers (Type 1): These muscles are used for long endurance-based activities, like your calf muscles for standing and walking. Slow twitch fibers are smaller, have a larger oxygen supply, and fatigue is slower.

Fasttwitch muscle fibers(Type II) kick into gear when you need to generate power or lift heavier weights. Fast twitch muscles fatigue much faster, but they are larger muscle fibers that largely determine the muscle size. (1)

When you’re power training, you’ll increase the number of fast-twitch muscle fibers involved, and this will help keep up your muscle mass when time and motivation are limited.

At-Home Power Training Workout

Here’s an example of a power training you can do at home with a bit of space, a milk jug, and, if you have one, a medicine ball. Before you get into it, here are a few guidelines to follow.

Sets And Reps: You must be as explosive as possible when training power. When you lose your speed and explosiveness, you’re not training power; you’re training muscular endurance. This is between 3-8 reps or 10-15 seconds of 100% effort for most of us. Using the example below, two to three sets are more than enough. 

Rest: Fast twitch fibers fatigue quickly; you need extended rest periods for recovery and the muscles to replace lost energy. Anywhere between 60 and 90 seconds of rest works well.

Instructions: Do this workout after a warm-up two to three times per week, resting 48 hours after each workout. Do 1A. Rest, do 1B, and repeat once or twice for two to three sets.  

1A.  Broad jump 3-6 reps

Rest 60- 90 seconds

1B.  Med Ball Chest Press Or Incline Plyo Push-Up 4-8 reps

Rest 60-90 seconds

Repeat for 2-3 sets.

2A.  360 Squat Jump 4 reps on each side

Rest 60-90 seconds

2B.  Milk jug high pull 6 to 8 reps on each side

Rest 60-90 seconds

Repeat for 2-3 sets.

Wrapping up 

Let’s face it: during the holidays, even if you love training, there is limited time to do it because your demands are great and energy is little. But by performing power training a few times weekly, you will maintain your hard-earned gains while enjoying the spoils of the holiday season.


1.   Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Nov; 110(4): 665–694.The muscle fiber type–fiber size paradox: hypertrophy or oxidative metabolism. T. van Wessel, A. de Haan, W. J. van der Laarse, and R. T. Jaspers

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