Strength is really the foundation of sport.
I know some would argue that mobility provides the foundation. I believe that mobility provides the foundation for training.
Someone must be mobile to add strength and prevent injury. Someone who does not move well should not be loading up exercises.
The only issue I have with that is the best athletes in the game are not always the most mobile. I am not dismissing mobility but strength separates a lot of athletes.
Some athletes are plenty strong and immobile. Well guess what? They need to train mobility.
I also feel that mobility and strength can and should be trained simultaneously.
When it comes to performance in a given sport, the athletes that develop more force will be more successful. Force development is accomplished by developing strength, quickly.
This is where improving strength becomes so successful. Take an athlete that wants to improve their vertical jump, a test of power. Give them a strength training program where they get the lower half stronger. They will now be able to put more force into the ground, which in turn causes them to jump higher.
This is a basic understanding of how strength and power are related. No strength means poor power development.
Yesterday, I was talking to one of our athletes that was squatting close double his body weight (about 385). He seemed to be concerned with a few pounds here and there. Then it hit me, he was already plenty strong. In the grand scheme of things does it really matter if he squats 425 or 450 by the end of the summer? Not really.
He is a football player so now he is transitioning into more power development while maintaining strength. He already has a ton of strength. Any more progress is certainly welcomed but his focus needs to shift towards being able to actually use it.
By adding in some jumping patterns and working on his running technique by putting force into the ground, we are teaching him to use his already strong legs to propel him down the field.
Is having the lower body strength he has a detriment to his performance? Absolutely not, it is only helping.
Should he really be concerned with adding more absolute strength? Probably not.
This is a situation where people often misinterpret. They think that since they are already strong that they do not need to work all that hard any more.
There is a fine line between being strong enough and shifting the training focus and just deciding that “I’m good enough.”
You cannot have too much strength but it does not always have to be a priority in training. This only applies to athletes that are showing great strength as it is.
Some guidelines for strength may be a 1.5x bodyweight bench press, a 2x bodyweight squat, and a 2.5x bodyweight deadlift. If an athlete is approaching these numbers then it is safe to say they are a strong kid.
The notion that being that strong means that you can’t move comes from athletes that can’t, in fact, move. They do not train mobility, they have no clue how to run, or maybe they are just strong as an ox and not a great athlete.
In these cases it is still not a bad thing that they are strong, they just have failed to train to use that strength.
Can you have too much strength? No way. But you can have a poor ability to use that strength to your advantage.