Strength and Conditioning means engaging in activity to improve performance and/or fitness. This is best accomplished by understanding general seven sports training principles: overload, reversibility, progression, individualization, periodization, and specificity.
- 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/Periodization - Overloading should occur at an optimal level and time frame to maximize performance. Overloading too quickly may lead to poor technique or injury, while very slow overloading may result in little or no improvements.
- Diminishing Returns/Adaptation - 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.
Proper strength and conditioning allows an athlete to strengthen supporting muscles, even out muscle imbalances, increase mobility, correct posture, stabilize joints, learn new movement patterns and enhance coordination and peripheral skills. Specifically:
- Increases muscle strength.
- Increases muscle endurance.
- Increases muscle fiber size.
- Strengthened Mental Health.
- Increases neural recruitment.
- Improves connective tissue function.
- Improves bone health.
- Improves motor skill and confidence to engage further in physical activity.
- Improves mobility and flexibility.