There is often confusion as to what strength training actually is, the benefits of strength training, and how to improve it.
Strength training should be made a top priority in every training program because the carryover to health, performance, body composition is too great to ignore. It has been proven that resistance training is more effective at improving body composition than cardio alone and there are various studies that go into more depth about this.
When most think strength work the Barbell movements: Bench Press, Deadlift, Squat come to mind. However, strength training goes beyond a barbell.
* Unilateral Movements– improve body composition and improve your lifts like the squat, press, and pull-ups.
*Loaded Carries– improve aerobic capacity, core stability, and grip strength.
*Sleds– allow us to train strength and conditioning at the same time without axial loading.
*Bands– improves the quality of ligaments and tendons as well as increases the mind-muscle connection.
Most importantly, all of the above are easy to learn and execute. You do not need to be a freak athlete to perform these movements.
Strength by definition is “the ability to exert maximal force”, however you should take an holistic approach and use all the tools that improve strength. A well-rounded strength training program will allow you to:
1. Improve body composition.
2. Improve muscular imbalance and posture.
3. Improve the strength of smaller muscle groups that assist in complex movements which allows our athletes to perform complex movements with less risk of injury.
4. Improve neuromuscular efficiency allowing your athletes to actually use more muscle fibers to generate more force.
This approach will allow you to consistently assess where you are lacking, weaknesses and help you take ownership of their limiting factors. You will also be less likely to get injured because you have prioritized building a base of fitness.
Next week, I will provide you a sample of a Strength Training week here at Phase 6!