Strength & Power Continuum Training – Ashley Jones

Strength & Power Continuum Training
Ashley Jones

Following on from some discussions I had with colleagues in the Northern Hemisphere during the Wallaby Spring Tour I though I would re-visit some strength programming concepts to cover all my bases on the Strength/Power continuum in each workout that I program.


The key areas that I feel need to be addressed in a workout structured in a way to stimulate all aspect of the force velocity curve are as follows:


  • Ballistic
  • Speed Strength
  • Strength Speed
  • Maximal Strength

I think Plyometrics can be included with or without Ballistics as my initial exercise or session “primer” (if you prefer that terminology) to commence the training session.


Movement Speed
In a paper written by Louie Simmons on the speeds for Tendo use he devised this template to work from:


  • Speed Strength – Squat/Bench – 0.8 – 1.0 metres/second
  • Strength Speed – Squat/Bench – 0.6 – 0.7 metres/second
  • Absolute Strength – Squat/Bench – 0.3 – 0.5 metres/second

And when using the modified Olympic lifts the following:
Power Clean 1.25 metres/second
Power Snatch 1.50 metres/second
Block/Hang Clean 1.35 metres/second
Block/Hang Snatch 1.60 metres.second


Schmidtbleicher previously had looked at the percentages of maximum when attempting to train either inter-muscular co-ordination and intra-muscular co-ordination. His reccomendations were are follows –


  • Inter-muscular co-ordination – 25 – 40% of 1RM
  • Intra-muscular co-ordination – 60 – 80% of 1RM
  • Maximal strength >80% of 1RM


Program Design
When constructing a program to train all aspects of the force velocity curve I would recommend the following sets and reps:


  • Ballistic 2 x 12
    • (Or until visually/proprioceptively as the movement begins to slow)
  • Speed Strength 3 x 6
  • Strength Speed 6 x 3
  • Maximal Strength (see below)

Maximal Strength
With maximal strength programming, I have used the following with good success:


Straight Set Wave Loading 
Perform all sets for a given exercise before moving onto the next exercise.


  • Box Squat
  • 6 @ 100kg
  • 5 @ 120kg
  • 4 @ 140kg

This can be done over a 3 week block where the subsequent weeks take the loading down to a heavy double or single, add around 2.5% on the second wave.




  • Week 1 – 2 x (6,5,4)
  • Week 2 – 2 x (5,4,3)
  • Week 3 – 2 x (4,3,2)


Marsh Protocol
4 x 6 either changing each week for a four week period or using a different method for each of 4 total sets of 6 in one workout.




  • 4 x 6 – straight style with no rest in between each rep
  • 4 x 3/3 – 3 reps rest 10 seconds then perform a further 3 reps
  • 4 x 2/2/2 – 15 seconds rest in between each block of 2 reps
  • 4 x 1/1/1/1/1/1 – 20 seconds rest between each single rep


Thornley Variation
4 x 3/2/1 – 3 reps add weight rest 10 seconds
2 reps add weight rest 15 seconds
1 rep


So as an example using a session from a Pull, Push & Squat program




  • Medicine Ball Scoop throws in the vertical plane
  • Power Snatch from Blocks at knee height
  • Power Cleans from floor
  • Deadlift


Cheers, Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones specialist in the physical preparation of rugby athletes. He has worked with professional sports teams that include Sydney Kings, Newcastle Knights, Parramatta Eels, Northern Eagles, Crusaders, New Zealand All Blacks, and Australian Wallabies. Irish by Ancestry, Australian by Birth, Japanese by Accident and a Kiwi by Choice.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: