Strength & Conditioning

Having spent time across multiple sports including boxing, rugby, weightlifting, powerlifting, and other endurance based sports, the greatest aspect to concentrate on is - “in this sport, where should the optimal expression of power be positioned on the force-velocity curve?”   I like to utilise the method of post-activation potentiation (PAP).   What is this? It is a short-term improvement in performance (power exercise) following a conditioning activity (strength exercise). This short-term improvement is thought to be related to an increased potentiation of motor units following a high motor unit activity in the muscle. An example of this is an improvement in counter movement...

Hamstrings of steel – decrease your risk of injury and re-injury by increasing your hamstring strength   It isn’t irregular upon asking someone their injury history to find out they have had hamstring issues. Hamstring issues are the most common injury in sports that involve repeat bouts of sprinting (soccer, AFL, hockey etc.) it is therefore paramount that prevention of primary and recurrent injury is be taken into consideration during a strength and conditioning program. In recent studies, likelihood of hamstring strain injuries (HSI) was increased due to three factors; Increased age Previous injuries Poor eccentric strength.   Of those factors, two are modifiable by...

One of the areas that has been unclear in addressing strength training for children is actual program design and progression. Accredited Exercise Scientist, Thomas Wheeler, talks us through the basics of an ideal youth strength and conditioning program.   Previously, other bodies releasing position statements on this matter have made very general guidelines regarding program design and progression for children. The Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) has attempted to put together clear guidelines so that coaches can develop safe and effective strength programs for kids. Several studies have shown that children can benefit from training; Tsolakis et al., (2004) examined the effects of...

For long term athletic development young athletes should start a structured strength & conditioning program early in their development.  The focus should begin with developing fundamental movement skills and over time (many years) taper down to emphasise more sport specific requirements, competition and success in competition.   The benefits to starting kids early are numerous and include increases in strength, overall health & wellness, reduced injury rates and improved sports performance. Sounds good to me! Research shows that resistance training/weightlifting is a relatively safe activity when compared to common sports such as Rugby, Soccer, Basketball and Athletics i.e. there are less injuries...

Bigger muscles have the potential to create more force. More force creates greater power output. Greater power output means sprinting faster, jumping higher, changing direction more efficiently and ultimately better performance.   Whilst it’s important to note that it’s not all that black and white, having a fairly distinct training focus and outcome is vital to the design, structure and overall success of most resistance training programs. To put it very, very simply; we want athletes with more muscle, who can apply high amounts of force and do it rapidly. Hypertrophy. Strength. Power. Hypertrophy – build more muscle Simply put hypertrophy means an increase in the...