A good strengthening program in the gym can be very beneficial at certain times in an athlete’s career.
By varying the number of sets, reps, weight, lifting tempo, etc. a program can taget;
- injury prevention,
minimizing muscular imbalances,
or even the sequencing of muscle activation/deactivation.
Strength training in non-elite level athletes also teaches them to use 100% of their muscle mass. Untrained individuals often apply less than 50% of their available muscle mass to any given movement.
There is no real “off season”, but a sensible strength training program can run in parallel with your regular training. A sprint distance athlete may get more benefits from gym work than a long distance athlete. Regardless, the trick is making sure it doesn’t interfere with sport specific training at key times and then making the transition from gym strength to sport specific strength.
However, nothing can replace correct sport specific technique work.
FYI For a REALLY psycho general strength training view (as opposed to padlding specific strenth training) that gets results visit www.crossfit.com.
I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone on a well structured trianing program, but their approach illustrates the importance of variety, some randomness and applied strength.
Give it a go and learn why their mascot is a barfing clown…
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