T Nation

Power Building.


At the end of one article on t-mag you eluded to what you “are doing now is power building”. A powerlifting/bodybuiling routine? You briefly mentioned something about it and went on to say your own training program is much more in depth. Okay, is there any place you go into more depth on this topic?(ie: your books etc?)

Could you give a bit of guild line of it on here? Oh and which article? I swear I went through this entire year and yet to find it!!! Thanks Christian. :wink:


i would be interested in this as well. i think i share in ct’s sentiments in that i want to look as good as possible but i also want to be a strong mo-fo.

Well my new book (in pdf format only) does explain some things, but not powerbuilding per se.

I’m in the midst of writing an article on the subject. The approach I use is called Pendulum periodization…

Week 1: Structural (hypertrophy training)
Week 2: Functional strength (limit strength work)
Week 3: Functional power (strength-speed work)
Week 4: Functional strength
Week 5: Structural
Week 6: Structural
Week 7 …

As for the specifics of the program you’ll have to wait a few weeks :wink:

Great! Very interested. Guess I’ll have to wait. Thanks Christian. :wink:

how about your OLD book in PDF for us overseas ppl!!

come on christian:)

Captn, sure … it already is in pdf format… why not sell it?!

i would really like to get my hands on that article before christmas break…

Christian, the 7 wk program you briefly outlined is interesting,
but I’m curious as to what “Functional Strength (limit strength work)” means??

Does that mean employing Oly lifts rather than bodybuilding-style movements (as wk 1 implies) or powerlifting techniques?

And wondering too why functional power is only given 1 wk while hypertrophy seems to have 3?

Or I could wait to see your article…:slight_smile:

In any case, thanks for your always helpful advice.

Functional gains refer to improvements in physical qualities that can be transferred to sport actions, in simpler words functional gains means that the body will work more efficiently. Functional gains are mostly due to improved neural factors and can thus happen without a change in muscle mass.

Structural gains refer to improvements in the quantity (hypertrophy) or quality (adaptive reconstruction) on the musculoskeletal structures. For example an increase in muscle size or a strengthening of the tendon?s structure is a structural improvement.

Functional gains

One could say that functional gains means that you improve your capacities by developing the capacity to make better use of what you already have. Improved intramuscular or intermuscular coordination are two of the most important reasons for that increase in function. Intramuscular coordination refers to the capacity of the nervous system to optimally recruit the motor units within a muscle while performing a motor task while intermuscular coordination refers to the capacity of the nervous system to use optimal timing between the several muscle groups involved in an action. We could also mention that some of the functional gains seen with strength training are due to a lowered innervation/activation threshold of the motor units. This means that each of the muscle fibers in a muscle will require a lower neural drive to be activated. This is obviously very important for every athlete, especially strength and power athletes.

The number of weeks of each can be tweeked depending on your goals of training phase.


Week 1: Hypertrophy
Week 2: Strength
Week 3: Power
Week 4: Power
Week 5: Strength
Week 6: Hypertrophy
Week 7: Repeat


Week 1: Hypertrophy
Week 2: Strength
Week 3: Power
Week 4: Strength
Week 5: Hypertrophy
Week 6: Strength
Week 7: Power
Week 8: Repeat


Week 1: Hypertrophy
Week 2: Strength
Week 3: Power
Week 4: Strength
Week 5: Power
Week 6: Strength
Week 7: Repeat


The program is not static. The basic idea is to rotate training emphasis every week.

Thanks Christian, very interesting! And we all appreciate your time & help.

This leads me to wonder why strength building methods & speed-power work shouldn’t be done in the same session or consecutive days (for example as in some of Mr. Waterbury’s articles)?

(Not being skeptical here as I catch your drift, just for clarification)