All posts filed under: Strength & Conditioning

Strength and Conditioning posts, excerpts and articles. Read all about the latest happenings from the world of S&C. Find out how to gain size and strength for sport specific applications.

man and woman in the gym

Secrets of a personal trainer: How to keep clients on track

As a personal trainer, one of the first steps you will take with a new client is conducting an initial assessment, determining an appropriate starting point for achieving established goals.  Such assessments are not one-off events, but should be ongoing – checking in along the way to make sure the client stays on track. In this post, we explore some of the most important responsibilities of trainers when it comes to ongoing assessment and keeping the client on track. Adapted from Secrets of Successful Program Design. Ensure safety One of the top priorities as a coach or trainer is assessing clients’ health, safety and susceptibility to injury. The program designed may be balanced to address any movement limitations or strength deficits found in their initial assessment, but things change and regular assessment is necessary to see if they need to spend more time recovering, doing regeneration sessions, or if they are compensating in a way that could lead to injury. You should always remain vigilent for any potential signs of injury. However, that said, becoming hypervigilant …

man powerlifting

What are the best supplements for powerlifters?

Diet is an important part of any athlete’s regime, proving the fuel required to perform. However diet alone may not always be able to provide everything you need, this may be due to a deficiency you have or the fact that some nutrition you may not be able to take in. That’s where supplements come in. In this article we explore the most beneficial supplements for powerlifters, adapted from Dan Austin and Bryan Mann’s second edition of Powerlifting. Before taking supplements Before taking a supplement, it’s important to check a couple of things. First, if you are competing as a powerlifter see if your organization allows its competitors to use the supplement. For example, some organizations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) test for pseudoephedrine, but others do not. Someone competing in a meet sanctioned by this organization who takes a cold medicine that contains pseudoephedrine may test positive. Another thing to check is the reputability of the company that makes the supplement. In many instances athletes have tested positive for banned substances simply …

How to choose the right strength training exercises for athletes

As a coach choosing the right strength training exercises for athletes can be a daunting task with so many options out there: free weights, exercise machines, isometrics, uphill ambulation with an additional load, drop jumps, self-resistance exercises, and so on. In this post, adapted from Science and Practice of Strength Training, we explore the various classes of exercises used for strength enhancement for both beginning and qualified athletes. Classification First, let’s start by exploring the different classes of strength training exercises. Exercises used for strength training are typically classified according to the change in muscle length. They may be static, or isometric, which literally means “constant length,” or dynamic, a category further divided into exercises with concentric, eccentric, or reversible muscle action. Dynamic exercises are also sometimes labeled isotonic (from iso, meaning “constant,” and tonic, meaning “tension”). The underlying assumption is that the muscle produces an unvarying amount of tension while shortening as it overcomes a constant resistance. This is not the case for intact muscles. If external resistance (weight lifted) is constant, the tension exerted by a muscle varies during shortening because of …

How to design a program for maximal hypertrophy

In this post we explore how to achieve maximal hypertrophy from your training plan. Adapted from Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy we explore how to gain maximal hypertrophy across various major muscle groups. Exercise Selection Strategies Selecting the appropriate exercises is an important factor for maximizing whole-body muscle hypertrophy. For example, certain muscles have multiple attachments that improve leverage for movement patterns. Moreover, myofibers often are subdivided into neuromuscular compartments, each of which is innervated by its own nerve branch. Functionally independent muscle segments facilitate the central nervous system’s ability to fine-tune human movement for optimum efficiency during complex motor tasks. Importantly, these inter- and intramuscular architectural variances reinforce the need to adopt a multiplanar, multiangled approach to hypertrophy-oriented training using a variety of exercises. Maximal hypertrophy can be achieved only by systematically varying the exercise performed and fully working all aspects of the targeted musculature. We explore how to employ these strategies to maximize hypertrophy in various major muscle groups. Abdominals Crunch The rectus abdominis is the primary muscle responsible for carrying out spinal flexion. …

Injury prevention methods every footballer should know

Photo by Pixabay (Pexels) Injury is something which can fill players and coaches with a feeling of dread, potentially hindering performance for both the individual and the team.  Preparing the body through conditioning, strength training, and developing power, speed and agility are all key factors in preventing injury in football, ensuring the body is primed and ready for the demands of the sport. However, preventing injury isn’t simply about physical fitness. In fact preventing injury starts before even stepping into the training session. In this post we explore the key aspects of daily training and match routines to help lower the risk of injury taken from Complete Conditioning for Soccer.  Sleep It’s probably not news to you that getting enough quality sleep is important. It’s vital for our overall health, but also for injury prevention too.  When preparing for a match sleep should be taken into consideration. Pre-match day training should help players return to their baseline levels, to perform close to their optimal standards. This includes the management and care of all fatigue and damage the body …