Raasay Waters Sports Therapy Cape Town

Strength and Conditioning

Strength and Conditioning

Strength and Conditioning training is a method of improving muscular strength by gradually increasing the ability to resist force through the use of free weights, machines, or the person's own body weight. Strength training sessions are designed to impose increasingly greater resistance, which in turn stimulates development of muscle strength to meet the added demand.

Strength Training is achieved by working dynamically against high loads or statically against fixed resistances. In both cases the forces involved must be such that relatively few repetitions are possible without a substantial rest period. A sustained strength-training programme will progressively increase the loads and number of lifts over a period of months, the exercises being performed in several sets, each embodying a specified number of repetitions. In the first 2-3 months the main improvement in strength is attributable to increased recruitment of motor units within the pre-existing muscle mass (the 'neural phase' of strength training); thereafter, increase of muscle fibre diameters is the major factor.

I have particular interest in endurance athletes especially triathletes and runners who spend hours and hours running, pounding the pavements which places an enormous amount of stress on the body. I encourage the importance of strength training especially targeting weak muscles and correcting imbalances, which will allow runners to run even more, climb hills better and become faster and improve performance with reduced injuries.

Strength training can also boost running economy, allowing you to hold the same pace while burning less oxygen. This becomes all more important when you reach your mid-30s and start fighting age-related muscle loss.