Strength and Conditioning

Original Editor - Oyemi Sillo

Top Contributors - Naomi O'Reilly, Oyemi Sillo and Kim Jackson  

Introduction


Strength and Conditioning is an approach to sports training that combines strength training, aerobic conditioning, speed and agility training, as well as sport-specific training.[1] Aside from improving strength and endurance, strength and conditioning aims to reduce the incidence and severity of sport injuries and to improve technique and overall performance. While strength and conditioning has mostly been applied to athletic training, it is beneficial for people of different ages and abilities. Strength and conditioning training can help older people maintain and improve their health and quality of life.[2]

Principles of Strength and Conditioning[3][4]

Individuality - People will have unique responses to the same training stimulus, due to individual characteristics such as biological age, training age, gender, body size and shape, past injuries etc. Thus, training should be adjusted to the individual’s characteristics and needs.

Specificity - Physiological adaptations to training are specific to the muscle groups trained, the intensity of the exercise, the metabolic demands of the exercise, and specific movements and activities.

Overload - Certain adaptations require training with greater stimulus than that which the body is accustomed to.This could be done by increasing the intensity, duration, or frequency of training.

Progression - Overloading should occur at an optimal level and time frame to maximise performance. Overloading too quickly may lead to poor technique or injury, while very slow overloading may result in little or no improvements.

Diminishing Returns - An individual’s level of training determines how much improvements in performance they achieve due to training. A novice will see huge and relatively quick gains in performance when they begin training, however, the gains get smaller and come more slowly as they get more experienced.

Reversibility - The effects of training will be lost if training stimulus is removed for an extended period of time.

Benefits[4][2]

• Increases muscle strength

• Increases muscle endurance

• Increases muscle fibre size 

• Increases neural recruitment

• Improves connective tissue function

• Improves bone health

• Improves motor skill and confidence to engage further in physical activity 

• Improves mobility and ROM

Resources

References

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  1. Cissik JM. Strength and Conditioning: A concise introduction. London: Routledge 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 Haff GG, Triplett NT. Essentials of strength training and conditioning. Champaign: Human Kinetics, 2016
  3. Cissik JM.  Basic principles of strength training and conditioning. NSCA’s Performance Training Journal.2002:1(4), 7-11.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Murray TD, Eldridge J, Kohl HW. Foundations of Kinesiology: A Modern Integrated Approach. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2018