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Power Output is Important! And, It Doesn’t Matter!


Power Output is Important! And, It Doesn’t Matter!


Lately we’ve had quite a few conversations about Power Output and how it applies to fitness or performance in the workouts.  So, let’s talk.

Power is a measure of work over time.  How quickly we move an object over a distance can provide us a power output in foot pounds per second.  Don’t worry about getting out your abacus and pencil, Beyond the Whiteboard will do this calculation for you.  If you log your WODs and update your bodyweight in the program, it will provide you a power output once you log the workout.

Measuring our power output gives us a great way to keep an eye on how we are performing in our WODs (this power output calculation does not apply to the Strength portion of our classes).  Generally, we’re moving an object (barbell, kettlebell, wall ball, bodyweight, etc.) for some distance during a period of time.  If we keep moving during a workout and we’re not standing around staring at the barbell, then our power output should be approximately over 100 foot pounds per second for males and at least 65 for females.  Keep in mind, these numbers are general and not written in stone.  The style of workout and movements involved can greatly affect this number.  However, these numbers are a useful tool for assessing trends.  If your power output is consistently under 100 or 65 for males and females, respectively, then there are a couple of things that are possibly happening.  First, perhaps you’re going too heavy with your weights during the WOD and it’s slowing you down.  This will negatively affect your fitness progress.  We will go heavy and get strong in the Strength portion of our class, but in the WOD we need to go FAST!  Moving quickly through our workouts will ramp up your metabolism and increase your overall fitness.  The other factor that can negatively affect your power output is that you’re caving in to your screaming mind telling you to stop and you’re staring at the floor, wall, or barbell instead of moving.  Keep moving!

So, now that we know why power output is important, let’s talk about why it doesn’t even matter.  Let’s face it, we’re ultimately training at CrossFit Lobo to deal with life and what it presents us with day to day.  Most times life presents us with a task to complete and life is not necessarily concerned with our power output.  With that in mind, the most important thing we can do during the workouts is just keep moving, complete the task, and maybe on the way we create a lot of power.  Do work over time!  Keep making improvements and life gets easier for us.  Considering that we want to keep making improvements, the best way to measure this is to LOG YOUR RESULTS in Beyond the Whiteboard so that we can track the changes when you repeat a workout.  This is especially true during our benchmark workouts like the Named Girls (Karen, Cindy, Fran, etc.) or one of our Lobo workouts that we repeat on occasion.  If we haven’t logged the results, it’s difficult if not impossible to measure our progress.

So, log your results, check your power output but don’t get wrapped around the axle.

FYI, if you don’t know how to find your power output in Beyond the Whiteboard:
-Log your workout
-Click on the results of that logged workout
-Your power output will be the first number under the details of that WOD on your results page
It will look like this, for example:
80.4 (ft*lbs)/sec ave power output

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