specificity

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Specificity: It’s Actually A Complicated Topic

agility training

The principle of specificity is an important one for the strength and conditioning coach, but it is also one that has limitations.  Traditionally specificity is defined as the body adapting to training according to how it is trained.  A very simplified example is that if you want to develop bigger biceps, you are probably going to have to perform exercises that train those muscles.  Relying on leg presses to increase your bicep size will probably be an exercise in frustration....

Strength Training And Velocity Specificity

weightlifting

The principle of specificity rules the gains we make from strength and conditioning.  Essentially, this principle states that your training has to be dictated by your goals.  For example, you can do all the leg presses that you want but they won’t improve your bench press.  It applies to the muscles and motions trained, the energy systems trained, and some believe it applies to the speed of movement trained.  For example, if you lift weights at slow speeds then you...

Training Should Improve Performance

Strength and conditioning is widely used in the preparation of athletes for their sport. As you can image, a lot of it is subject to the background of the coach. For example, years ago I competed in Olympic lifting. As a result, the programs for my athletes looked a lot like an Olympic lifter’s program. People with powerlifting backgrounds tend to develop programs that are heavily oriented towards powerlifting, Cross-fitters develop programs oriented towards Cross Fit, etc. Here’s the fly...

Is Exercise Velocity Specific?

For more than thirty years, the concept that training adaptations are specific to the velocities of the training has been popular in strength and conditioning circles.  This provides the justification behind plyometrics, the Olympic lifts, and performing exercises explosively in the weight room.  Tillin and Folland, in the February issue of the European Journal of Applied Physiology, studied the impact of training forced on either maximal strength or on explosive strength. They used recreational college-aged males that had not recently...

All Training Tools Have Limitations

Strength training is a wonderful tool to help increase sports performance and to prevent injuries.  There are some things that it does extremely well, but it has limitations when it comes to the conditioning of athletes.   Let’s begin with what strength training does very well.  Basically, it develops physical qualities that form the foundation for sporting success.  These include muscle mass, soft tissue (ligaments and tendons) strengthening to prevent injuries, increasing maximal strength, increasing power, and increasing the ability...