Strength & Conditioning

Question: “I want to bulk up, how do I do this?”   This is a common question in the fitness industry, especially from young men and adolescents. A common answer to this question goes something like this: “Lift heavy weights to failure every set in the gym, take pre workout so you have energy to do more in the gym, and have a protein shake immediately after the session otherwise you will lose gains!” Unfortunately this advice is misinformed and gives a ‘one-size fits all’ approach. Body composition is specific to the individual, and everyone responds differently to an exercise or protein ingestion stimulus....

If you’re over the age of 50, strength training is one of the most important forms of exercise you can do to stay fit, strong and healthy.   Strength training may not be the first form of exercise that comes to mind as you age, but not only will strength training make you stronger, it will keep you healthier too. Strength training increases bone density and can improve independent living by decreasing the risk of losing muscle (sarcopenia) which in turn decreases your risk of falls. Both men and women benefit from strength training at all ages but it's important to implement it...

Are you looking to take your running to the next level this year? Perhaps win a running race? Or maybe just get that competitive edge over your friends at a fun run? If so, this is a MUST READ! You may already be familiar with the term Strength Training, or have previously read our blog post What is Strength Training? A Beginners Guide…. But how does this all affect your ability to run? Well, if you are not doing STRENGTH TRAINING as a runner, you are in fact negatively affecting your PERFORMANCE…. And here’s why! Strength training can benefit running performance without any change...

Hamstring injuries are one of the well-researched topics within the sports industry. So it may come as a surprise to some to know that they continue to be one of the most common sporting injuries. This article will discuss the latest information on common hamstring injury mechanisms, risk factors, as well as the type of exercises that should be included in a hamstring injury risk reduction program. Mechanism of injury to hamstrings The two most common locations for a hamstring strain are at the biceps femoris long head, and proximal tendon of the semimembranosus (Brukner, 2015). It is proposed that damage to the biceps femoris...

It’s the New Year and many of us would like to start strength training, but what is it? There are so many guides over the internet on the different types of strength training. When we talk about strength training, the majority of the population will think of heavy barbells, dumbbells and “moving weight”. However it is not limited to barbell training, there are a number of other equipment you can use to a certain extent. So what is strength training? Strength is the ability to produce force, such that the best way to produce force and get stronger is to move heavier weights overtime....

For most endurance athletes the pre-season or early base phase usually consists of lower intensity and duration of endurance training which provides a great opportunity to improve maximal strength through regular strength training sessions. Strength training is safe and effective for most athletes and should be included as part of any comprehensive training program.   The benefits are huge, not only in enhancing athletic development but reducing the risk of injury and numerous health benefits, especially for older athletes. The initial phases of strength training aim to develop basic levels of strength and lay the foundations for greater workloads and higher intensity sports specific...

There are many derivatives of this myth and the simplest response to this is usually “deadlifting is not bad for your back, it is how you are deadlifting that is bad for your back”. The more complex answer however is going to involve explaining some biomechanics and basic anatomy. Forces First of all let’s start with some basic numbers the average lumbar spine load tolerance for shear force is 2500 Newtons (N) and compressive force is 16,000N. The majority of force encountered at the lumbar spine in a deadlift is a shear force. However, there are also compressive forces along the spine...

Every time we exercise, the body undergoes change to adapt to the stress that we place on it. The by-product of these adaptations can include muscle soreness and fatigue, reduced muscle strength and power, all of which can impair athletic performance in the hours and days following. Recovery modalities allow us to accelerate the process, and return to training or competition feeling fresh and ready for the next training session or competition. The following strategies can be used to assist recovery following training or competition:   Compression garments These work through applying pressure to the areas of the body in which they cover. It...

Training the neck is a very underutilized aspect of training and is lacking in most programming. For anyone involved in contact and collision sports, such as boxing and football, training the neck should be an integral part of their training programs. For many sports neck strength should be strong in all directions such as martial arts, football and hockey. For example in boxing when someone is copping a left hook to the nose we need eccentric neck flexion strength to absorb the neck extension forces. Training the neck for strength and stability can help prevent injuries.   A thick strong neck is vital for...

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions placed around strength training. This may be a result of your stereotypical gym junkie throwing weights around in the gym or the many unfounded reasons why a lot of women and elderly people shy away from lifting weights. This article will share with you some of the benefits of strength training and why it should be a part of everyone’s regular routine.   Firstly strength training does not have to be Olympic lifting, powerlifting or Crossfit type sessions; all great forms of training if done correctly and relevant to your individual goals, but strength training...