Strength Training for High Performance Sport – An Overview

It was not all that long ago when the words “strength training” and “gymnasium” conjured up images of muscle hulks and Arnold Schwarzenegger – that is before he become the Governator!

However, in recent years, strength and conditioning has gained acceptance as an applied sports science and is respected as a profession in its own right in many high performance sporting systems around the world. It has become a fundamental and integral aspect of the training and preparation of elite athletes in a wide range of sports.

This article will cover some of the contemporary issues in strength training for high performance sport and suggest some practical applications for the practicing coach.

The basic issues: Strength training or no strength training?

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Put Physiology Last…and See What Happens.
Put Physiology Last…and See What Happens.

It’s all the same. All over the world, in every sport, when coaches write training workouts they think in terms of the big three physiological variables only: volume, intensity and frequency (how much, how hard, how often). But what if there was another way? What if instead of writing training sessions based on the physical aspects of performance, coaches and athletes built their training sessions and programming around the mental side of performance. This article challenges coaches and athletes to look at putting physiology last when they design and deliver training sessions and to think about what might happen if they looked at things differently.

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