What is Power?

definition of terms


Power refers to the rate at which muscles can perform work. Power equals force x velocity, combining strength with explosive speed.


  • Power is strength applied quickly, determined by how much force can be exerted over a given time period.
  • Powerful movements recruit fast twitch muscle fibers and involve sprinting, jumping and Olympic lifts. Plyometrics also train power.
  • Sets of 3-6 reps with moderate weight and maximal speed develop power. Move the weight as fast as possible.
  • Box jumps, cleans, snatches, broad jumps and bench throws are effective power exercises using bodyweight or light loads.


  • Generating high wattage on a bike during a rapid interval sprint.
  • Explosively jumping out of a squat position with light weight.

Related Terms

  • Strength, speed, plyometrics, fast twitch fibers

Common Questions

  • Does power automatically mean you’re strong? No, power requires applying baseline strength rapidly.
  • How do I program for power? Use lighter weights and low reps with maximum speed and velocity.

Do Not Confuse With

  • Strength – Producing high force but not necessarily quickly. Needed to build power.
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