Weight Training for Sport

Written by Mike Pratt
Monster Supplements Spokesmodel

OK, let me say this! If you think or anyone you know says that weight training is just for ‘bodybuilders’ and building muscles, please think again! I quite like building muscles and bodybuilding, but that’s a story for another time.

The one fundamental that runs through all of my training principles is strength, and bodybuilding training methods. Whether it be for building a physique, losing weight, improving sports performance or for overall general health, fitness and wellbeing.

Interestingly enough, when I first started coaching over 20 years ago, I was on the receiving end from many coaches, in certain sports, that my ideas and methods for improving performance using strength and conditioning programmes, with weights, could be detrimental to the athlete! Somehow making them muscle bound and diminishing overall technique.

Now however, it is a different story, as in recent years it has become fact that strength training is pivotal to all athletic programmes, no matter what the sport. Search the internet and social media today and there are strength and conditioning coaches everywhere, along with scientific data to support the results these coaches and athletes are having and for more proof just look at the physiques of athletes today, compared to 20 years ago.

It is fair to say I am delighted at witnessing the development of weight training within the world of sport. I have been dedicated to this industry for nearly 3 decades! Promoting the performance benefits of body building and strength training and developing my own methods that have proven successful with many world class athletes, from a variety of sports.

I may be biased but I believe strength and conditioning training has had the single most influential contribution to improved sports performance over recent years . It is great for me today to see that athletes find it essential to incorporate weight training and conditioning programmes to prepare themselves for their competitive season.

I believe that performance at all levels of ability is effected directly or indirectly from an increased quality of strength.

IN SIMPLE TERMS

You see to break it down into simple terms I see it like this. The fundamental function of muscles is to contract (remember, we have just over 600 of them) which in turn move body parts and as only muscles can cause movement then the stronger our muscles are and the more powerful the contractions, then the potential for improved performance involving movements such as jumping higher, punching harder, running faster, kicking harder, and throwing further for example.

Now these movements within particular sports require perfect consistent technique and for these techniques to be effective, the athlete needs to possess great relative body strength in relation to their bodyweight.

Yes I understand that other elements and skill sets are also vital in sports such as balance, flexibility, hand eye coordination, timing, spatial awareness , relaxation, reaction time and also genetics in relation to each particular sport.

However for me the bottom line is this. I have always strived towards improving an athlete’s strength to bodyweight ratio and increasing power, as I believe that when all other factors are equal such as skill, speed and fitness levels they will always have the potential to outperform the competition in the majority of sports.

EXAMPLE

A major sporting event of a world title eliminator has been announced in my local town of Hull this week. Two special local talents are taking part: IBF International Champion Tommy Coyle comes up against Olympic Gold Medallist Luke Campbell, making this event highly topical. Check out some of the photos below, as an example from when I was working with Tommy Coyle as his Strength and Conditioning Coach, in a previous training camp.

In these photos you see Tommy generating fantastic upper body power ability in the plyometric push up. This type of power shown in the gym, was generated by the use of our weight training techniques and is indicative of Tommy's performance in the ring, as his potential to knock an opponent out is always apparent. As he showed against legend Michael Katsidis, when Tommy scored a second round knockout!

I will be covering the fight between Tommy and Luke in more detail in a later article, so remember to bookmark the Monster Supplements Resource and check back soon.

 

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