Every athlete, be they a runner, a rugby player, or parent of two active children (sometimes a contact sport!) needs to get stronger. Your body needs to build not only muscle, but the tendons and ligaments of joints require strength work to prepare for the stress of your activities!
Strength has lots qualities: Max effort strength, explosive strength, speed strength, strength endurance. All of which need to addressed in your training. Heavy lifts of Back Squats, Presses, and Deadlifts along with conditioning sessions of sandbag work, weighted walking lunges, pullups, sprints, kettlebells, & maybe even handstand pushups (work your way up to those). All are examples of scalable exercises all athletes should be incorporating into their training programs. How often and with what intensity/load depends on the individual and the sport.
The lesson is that now is the time for building strong bodies that will better handle the sports we play. Begin adding new ways to build strength of all kinds into your workout.
Don’t just rely on what you have always done! Remember the SAID principle: Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands. You must challenge yourself. We are recreating life, work, sport, the paleolithic hunt, etc in the gym. Sitting on shiny machines will not build strength for real-world movements. Coach Mike Burgener says: You must use “ground-based, free standing movements…using multiple joints”! Coach Greg Glassman: “Constant Varied High Instensity Functional Movement.” That is how we build strong, functional athletic bodies.
“What do I do, Ryan?”
Never trained at all? Find a good trainer and some dumbbells.
New to barbell strength training? Learn to squat and deadlift correctly.
Are you a more experienced lifter? Try some of Louie Simmons’ Conjugate Method, using speed lifts and box squats.
Need build strength for a contact sport? Sandbags for tackling and grappling strength.
Want to build more speed and explosiveness? Learn the Olympic Lifts.
- Metropolis Rugby Winter Training Group
Every athlete, every person needs to build strength for their activities.
Look at your program and see where you can add new strength exercises to help you prepare for the best year of movement yet. Then, get out and Lift Heavy Things!