Sunday, 27 January 2013
PERCEPTION OF STRENGTH
PERCEPTION OF STRENGTH
Strength training is an essential part of fitness and health for virtually every man and woman . The days of resistance training to just bulking up and hindering their ability to execute skills is long gone.
The benefits of strength training to athletic performance are enormous and varied. Not only is it an integral conditioning component for power athletes such as football and rugby players, but for law enforcement,military personnel,MMA fighters and civilians.Performance in endurance can be improved with a well-structured strength routine.
However, aside from the bodybuilding type of strength training routines there are other methods out there to increase strength it just depend one's aims and goals. You have to ask yourself,"What am I training for?".This will help in narrowing down the goal you want and to the route to take you there.
Since most people are familiar with the bodybuilding type of strength training.I want to provide more ideas to varies sport specific strength training.Sport specific strength training requires a more refined approach than simply lifting heavy weights to complete exhaustion. If you watch any game or fighting event it will confirm that most athletes require explosive power, muscular endurance, maximal strength or some combination of all three in order to excel. Pure mass should not be the primary focus as other elements of strength are just as equally important.
Hypertrophy is basically muscle bulk and size. Contrary to what peoples "perception of strength" is, bulking up is only one aspect of sport specific strength training. Even if massing up is the primary focus its usually for one selective group of athletes. Football players for example need bulk to withstand the aggressive hits to the body. For other athletes too much bulk would be a hindrance . And remember a large muscle doesnt necessarily mean a stronger muscle. Here are a few example of different strength training methods.
Maximum Strength Training
Max training require an athlete to generate as much force possible.Its not necessary to do max training all the time as it taxes the central nervous system due to demand of the highest possible force one has to produce for this type of training. But again it all depends on what your training for. Basically you take a weight that is 80% off your 1RM (REP MAX) and 1-3 reps for 6ets. Your looking to generate as much force and power in each rep. Its all about quality and not quantity here. Keep the reps and sets low. Some of the excericses best used for Max training is Deadlift,Squat and Bench press.
Other than powerlifting its very rare to have an athelete just perform single output of maximum strength. Most activities we do require more of a higher output of strength for longer period of time than max training does. Although Max training can lay as a foundation for potential explosive strength , if you can't converge this strength to one's required sport or activity the program as a whole is not as efffective.
If a strong athlete can't contract his muscles quickly he will lack substantial power.Plyometrics is the key. Plyometrics can improve the rate of force production and range of motion therfore converting max strength to explosive strength. The plyometric excercises are many. One I use for my combat athletes is to start in a squat position with your hands by your side. Than jump as high as you can, at the same time flaring out your arms and legs forming a "human star" and land back to the squat positions and rejump.The key is to have "on the spot" power and do not use momentum by dropping you hips down to to aquire the explosive movement. 5reps for 5 sets would be adequate.
Like in Max training , Explosive strength is not always the goal of the strength training program. For events like distance running, fighting, swimming and rowing, strength endurance is a major element. The goal here is to maintain strength for a prolonged period of time.
Strength endurance can be developed through circuit training or the use of low weights and high repetitions. However, many strength endurance programs are ineffective for endurance-based sports - a set of 15-20 repetitions for example does not condition the neuromuscular system in the same way as a long protracted event.
An exercise my fighters use to increase strength and endurance together is a Dumbell Overhead Swing. To get in the proper position to do a D.O.S. stand up straight and push your butt out as you bend over. Make sure to bend your knees slightly and to keep your back flat and neutral. If you are familiar with the barbell bent-over row exercise, thats the position you want to be in as you pick up the dumbell in a vertical position with both hands grasping the handle in a baseball grip. Look forward and grip the dumbell real tight and keep your body tight. Flex your butt and abs as hard as you can. Now with one motion, swing the dumbell between your legs and quickly reverse the swing forward. As the bell swings forward snap your hips forward and keep the dumbell close to your body. The momentum of the legs and hips drive the dumbell overhead, not the back or the arms. Just as the dumbell descends dip your knees slightly and get under the weight. This will help you absorb the impact safely as well as allow you to do more repetitions. I have my fighters do this exercise continously for 1min straight and 30 seconds rest for 3 cycles which equals to 1 round .Your aim is to go 5 rounds or more depending on your athleticism.
Stay safe and Stay strong.-Edward Wong