One of the most common questions that I get about Strength and Conditioning is how it differs from personal training, doing gym classes or just going it alone, and it’s a good question. So, the following is my explanation of what strength and conditioning are by using a case study of how a program is prepared. In this case mine.
A long time ago and far away (about 2 km from where I am currently sitting), I used to spend a significant portion of my life paddling up and down the Yarra River. Fast forward 15 years or so having just returned to Melbourne, I have made the decision to get back into a boat. This is code for terrifying some school children by seeing a large man in lycra and testing the limits of floatation. Subsequent posts may reveal a transition from a return to rowing to the commencement of being a submariner, time will tell.
First of all, what is strength and conditioning?
Effective strength and conditioning involve a variety of training methods to develop mobility, stability, endurance, muscularity, strength, power, speed, agility and overall performance. Delivery of training to address these fitness variables is done within an overall plan, that is, that each training session is developed to build incrementally to an overall season goal. Moreover, these sessions are delivered in a way such that each training session is complementary to the other training sessions around it. Well-designed strength and conditioning will also place focus on injury prevention. Far too often, I see athletes’ plans derailed by avoidable injures. Strength and Conditioning is typically designed to improve performance in athletic competition and as such is timed to achieve peak performance at a given time. This is referred to as periodization.
So, the big difference between strength and conditioning from say a single personal training session, a gym class, boot camp session or any other non-tailored program, is that each session of strength and conditioning should form part of a larger whole aimed at achieving an athlete’s specific goals.
In setting up a training plan for an athlete, or myself in this case, I typically work through the steps below, and in the subsequent posts will detail how I complete each of these:
Goal setting Benchmarking Testing Planning Implementation Monitoring Review and Revision