Strength and Conditioning is my passion in life, it's what I have studied at university for both a BSc in Sports Science and an MSc in Athletic Development and Peak Performance, but what actually is it?
I get many questions asking what 'Strength and Conditioning' is? With once even a question whether if it was to do with hairdressing! (It's not!), so in light of the fact that some of my followers might not know what I'm harping on about, I'm going to try and explain what Strength and Conditioning (S+C) is!
In its simplest form S+C is physically preparing the human body for sports performance. This means that a sports person is prepared to deal with the demands of competing in the sport without injury. Can a tennis player get to that ball in the final game of the last set? Can a footballer run for 90 minutes and still have the energy and strength to smash in a last minute winner? Can a golfer repeatedly produce the same power over 18 holes for 4 days in a row? Does a marathon runner's knees have the strength to repeatedly absorb impact from the ground for 2+ hours and keep on running?
If these athletes have prepared properly before hand in the gym then they should be able to perform to the best of their ability. By progressively improving in the gym by getting stronger, increasing power, increasing flexibility and inevitably become faster, we can begin to improve performance!
S+C is also about injury prevention. Literature suggests that stronger muscles, ligaments and tendons have a greater resistance to injury than weaker ones!
I could ramble on for hours and run out of words on what else S+C includes, so to save you from boredom and keep you reading we should ask, how can this apply to you?
Well, first and foremost if you are serious about your sport you need to be supplementing it with S+C for the reasons highlighted above and the fact that all pro athletes are.
But what if you are a member of the general public? Well we can apply the principles of S+C to you too. Want to improve fitness? Want to get strong? Want to lose weight? Want to build muscle? Need to rehab an injury or don't want to get injured in the first place? Find movement difficult and need to increase flexibility and suppleness? These are all the bases of strength and conditioning! And with a strength and conditioning coach you can do it supported by science & better results!
I Feel there is a stigma that only the elite receive S+C training, but this is wrong. The team here at WRF are on hand to give S+C advice, as well as Personal Training. As always, if you would like to know more, speak to a member of the team.
Written by Tom Smith, Personal Trainer and Strength & Conditioning Coach