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Old 12-03-2015, 10:27 AM   #1
Dane Thomas
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Stockholm  Sweden
Posts: 66
Redefining the relationship between Power and Intensity

The terms "force", "work", "distance", "time", "power", "area", and "intensity" all have well-defined meanings within the field of physics, and the relationships between these terms are precisely understood. Power = Work / Time, and Intensity = Power / Area (where the area is an imagined surface that is perpendicular to the direction of propagation of the energy)

When writing for a more general audience there is a natural temptation to descend from these precise usages to more colloquial definitions. I do not, however, feel that this makes it accurate to claim that in the field of human performance "...power is the definition of intensity...", or that "...intensity is defined as power.". I can memorize those phrases to get a better grade on a certification test, but that does not make them factually correct. Likewise, the fact that the phrases came directly from Coach Glassman in an article published in 2002 and have been repeated by countless other since then also does not make them any more scientifically accurate.

It seems to me that a program that is empirically driven, clinically tested, and community-developed, with an open-source charter that makes co-developers out of participating coaches, athletes, and trainers through a spontaneous and collaborative online community should welcome a discussion on this topic. Doing so could improve the general level of understanding and consensus, and potentially enhance something that is already very good. Think of it as a way of chasing intellectual virtuosity.

Please be assured that I understand and agree with the spirit of the point being made by the phrases. I just think that making the point while respecting the terms in question would make the argument more sound.

I think that it would be more accurate (yet still understandable and meaningful) to say that power is directly correlated with intensity, which in turn has been linked to nearly every positive aspect of fitness.

Anybody else out there agree? Is it more laudable to preserve dogma for dogma's sake, or to improve upon it when the opportunity arises?
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