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Workout Components for Track and Field: Maximal Strength

weightlifter

Maximal strength is an important ability to just about every track and field athlete. Maximal strength is referring to the ability to exert force one time. It’s an all-out effort. It’s important because almost every event in track and field requires strength for success. This article is going to cover the role of maximal strength in a track and field athlete’s program, cautions associated with it, and how to train for it. The Role of Maximal Strength: Maximal strength is...

Strength and Hypertrophy: Evidence Based Or Arbitrary?

Almost every strength and conditioning textbook includes guidelines for volume/intensity of exercises when we are training for different goals. For example, the table below has some generic guidelines depending upon one’s goal:   Goal Sets Repetitions Intensity Maximal strength 3-5 1-8 80-100% Hypertrophy 3-5 8-12 70-80% Endurance 3-5 12+ <70%   We might quibble about adding/subtracting some repetitions or adjusting the intensity somewhat, but by and large most strength and conditioning professionals are going to accept the table above.  ...

Strength Matters: Postactivation Potentiation

The concept of post activation potentiation has been around for a long time. When I was starting out it was known as complex training. The idea being that if you perform a very heavy (and slow) strength exercise, it can have a positive effect on an explosive movement if that movement is performed in the proper time window after the slow strength movement. For example, squats and vertical jumps. The idea being that the slow strength move heavily recruits the...

Strength Training: Do Repetitions and Intensity Determine Gains?

bench press

For as long as I’ve been in this field, I’ve been taught that there are ideal ranges of volume and training intensity to accomplish different goals from strength training. For example, if you want hypertrophy then you should do sets of 8-12 repetitions at 70-85% of 1-RM.   In the Journal of Applied Physiology, Morton et al conducted a study that challenge that notion. The authors conducted a twelve week study to determine if volume/load and hormonal response to exercise...

Keep Testing Simple

With sports, testing has two primary purposes. The first is to assess the effectiveness of the strength and conditioning program. The second is to help select who is going to play at what level.   It is very important to assess the effectiveness of the strength and conditioning program. If the athletes are not becoming stronger, faster, better conditioned, and peaking at the correct time then it indicates that something has to change in the program. This is really important...