Strength Training In Sports
Practically all sportsmen and women require strength training as it is a vital component of fitness. Vigorous exercises were not recommended by trainers in the past as it only added extra mass to the athlete and brought down performance. Strength training is beneficial and enhances athletic performance if it is well planned. Physiological examination of any sport will reveal the needs of athletes being a combination of maximal strength, explosive power and muscle mass as essential in order to attain excellent results. Muscle mass may not be always required by sports men and women, staying healthy and maintaining stamina is the prime concern. What should a strength training programme contain?
An increase in muscle mass and size is called hypertrophy and is not necessary for all sports and athletes. Athletes playing rugby and football need a certain amount of muscle mass to protect them from forceful body contact, muscle mass will otherwise be obstructive. Being muscular may not always mean being strong.
The maximum force an athlete can produce is called maximal strength. Not all sports require maximal strength training programs. If the maximal strength is higher then it must be transformed into explosive power or sports-specific strength endurance. Maximal strength training enhances performances that require high levels of stamina and the exercise economy gets better.
Most sports do not need athletes to generate an outstanding maximal effort. Sports require workouts with quick movements rather than weight lifting. Vigorous movements generate a higher output. Maximal strength training is the basis of all workouts for athletes because it helps develop extra power that must be converted into sport-specific power to make the whole workout successful. Plyometrics is used to transform maximal strength to explosive power, the production of force gets better and athletes can use their muscles more efficiently.
In any strength training regime getting to the point of explosive power is not of prime importance. In marathons, swimming, rowing and cycling, strength endurance is not very helpful. If an athlete possesses a high starting maximal strength it can be preserved for a longer period of time. Circuit training helps develop strength endurance by using of low weights for a long period of time. Different sports require different endurance levels therefore the endurance programs have to be selected as per requirement of each sport.
The duration of any sport-specific strength training is very important. The entire training program must be cut into short segments, each generating a particular result, this enables sport-specific strength to hit the highest point when required the most, this also brings down the hazards of over training. There is sound fitness foundation and the fundamentals of strength are firm. Periodisation enhances performance for a longer period of time as the intensity and workout durations vary.