Should You Train For Strength, Power, or Both?

Posted by Norse Fitness on

Take it back to 2014 with me for a second. Powerlifting has officially emerged from the shadows with the help of Youtube and social media. Someone peculiar enters the scene by the name of George Leeman.

Why did this young guy turn so many heads and gain so much attention from the powerlifting world in a few short years? He had a seemingly inhuman, sent-from-hell type of strength based on principles of extremely heavy hypertrophy training; he was at the helm of blending true strength and power.

He was 22 with 500-pound rows for 20 reps, 900-pound shrugs for 20 reps, 405-pound bench press for 17 reps, 907-pound deadlift for 4 reps, just to name a few. All when he was 20-23. How did he do this, and how can we apply these principles to you for maximum benefit and minimum risk?

Extremely heavy hypertrophy training was only really seen performed by the likes of old school bodybuilders. It’s far from a common sight because of the intensity and risk involved, and should not be performed year-round.

Throwing this in as a 3-month training block can shock your body into new growth if you’ve never done it, so long as you’re careful and ensuring proper recovery and nutrition. This style of training is fullsterkur.

Here’s a practical application for your back day- for this purpose, deadlifts are included, so it would be a posterior chain focus.

Exercise 1: Rack Pull

Pyramid up to 1 set with 100 pounds over your current max deadlift. Shoot for 15 reps.

Exercise 2: Leg Press 

Pyramid up with medium/ high reps.
2 sets of 15

Exercise 3: 1” Deficit Deadlifts

Maximize leg drive; everything is fully engaged right off the floor. Pyramid up safely with medium/low reps.
1 set of 12-15 reps

Exercise 4: Yates Rows

2 sets of 15 as heavy as you can. Pyramid up with low reps.

Exercise 5: Shrugs

1 set until absolute failure with your deadlift max. Pyramid up with sets of 5, then max out your reps on the top set.

Exercise 6: Pull-ups (Extra Credit)

Divide your max pull-ups in half and do 10 sets.


Tapping into those higher percentages while pushing for reps forces your body to grow in a way that otherwise it would not.

It is a different animal than the traditional periodization programs with their hypertrophy, strength, and power phases. Progressively overloading some high rep rack pulls before moving onto your heavy leg press and shrugs will give you muscles you didn’t know you had.

Keeping your reps high and adding weight over time will ensure that when you do peak up for lower reps and near-maximal weight, you have accumulated so much volume and training with heavyweight and reps that the power development will be magnified as well.

That’s the spirit of this method- training strength so aggressively that it becomes one with your power.