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Why is strength training important?

Last week we evaluated our program and goals.

Let’s dive into our first series of the year, which also happens to be one of the biggest components of any training program: 

Strength Training.

What Is Strength Training?

Strength training is defined as a type of exercise that causes muscles to contract against an outside resistance.  

In most cases this is "Weights".

Why Is Strength Training Important? 

Strength training is vital to any program because it gives you power, explosiveness and control.

You’re growing your muscles from head to toe, to increase strength and athletic performance.

You need a balanced training program. 

For example: you’re not going to live on the bench press to improve your 40 Time, like you’re not going to run sprints to increase your power. 

Getting big and bulking are not the ultimate goal to increase overall athletic performance.

Strength Training Types 

For beginners, many might think there is only one kind of strength training - weights.

Depending on your goals and level there are other elements to consider.

In this series there are a few different kinds of strength training and complementary training we are going to focus on:

  • Conventional/ Traditional training
  • Bodybuilding
  • Olympic lifting
  • Hybrid (Crossfit,Circuit programs, body weight training.

Social media makes it seem like there are ever evolving training methods, but it all goes back to the basics. 

Many are trying to re-invent the wheel.

The most basic of those is: "traditional" or "conventional".

We'll talk more about other types in the coming weeks.

Traditional (Conventional) Strength Training 

Traditional training focuses on and isolates different muscle groups and works them to exhaustion, so that in recovery your body can regrow those muscles. 

This may or may not involve single or multi-joint movements.

A typical training session usually consists of 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps of each exercise. 

So you may see 3 sets of 12 or something similar.

Push vs Pull

When it comes to working different muscle groups, I like to break training down into push vs pull.

The easiest way to understand which is which is by thinking of it as which direction is the resistance going during the exercise? 

Pull exercises come towards the body and pushing goes away from the body.

Some push exercises include the three major presses:

  • Chest press
  • Incline Press
  • Bench Press

Pull is vice versa. An exercise that exerts a force by pulling weights.

  • Lat pulls
  • Rows
  • Chin/Pull Ups

When it comes to the chest fly, back fly and lateral fly, it's a bit more nuanced.

Chest fly is pulling the weight into the midline of the body and the back fly pushes it away from the midline.

The lateral fly is pulling the resistance away from the sagittal plane of the body.

It’s All About Balance

The importance of push and pull is a balance. You need balance in your program, and in your body. 

Imbalances are a good way to get injured.

A balanced program allows you to work all of your muscle groups equally and efficiently, as well as develops well rounded athletes. 

Again, we are not going to live on bench press to get our 40 time down. 


Bulk Is Not The Goal

Traditional strength training can be boiled down to one main concept: 

How does the whole body impact your athletic performance which relies heavily on the development of your Speed.

Speed  =  Stride Length x Stride Rate (Frequency) 

If you solely focus on getting big you will likely just create tightness in your upper body.

The more tightness in your upper body, the less your upper body will be able to move. This can reduce your stride length and stride rate.

If you reduce those, you reduce your speed.

Bulk can slow you down. 


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