At Evolution Sports Performance, we work with a lot of young athletes. These athletes are typically not experienced in a weight room, and when they are it usually was not a good program.
90% of the time, athletes and parents choose us because they want their athlete to get faster, quicker, stronger, or in better shape. We teach them speed/agility technique but that is only one part of the equation.
Every athlete that starts training with us becomes faster and quicker as they also become stronger.
I am a huge fan of strength training.
For those that have been here before, you probably already know that. Strength training is a huge difference maker when it comes to general fitness and sports performance.
Strength training allows athletes to:
- Put more force into the ground
- Load the body to slow down
- Explosively start moving
- Control their body
- Jump higher and further
This is why some gyms can help athletes run faster without actually running. Getting stronger helps. The one common theme among the best gyms in the world is that they help people get stronger. Everything else is built off of strength.
3 Reasons why Strength Training is Essential
1. It is the one thing that most people are missing
When I ask people about their training background, a well rounded strength program is always missing. Athletes may do a million camps a summer and tons of skill work. Adults have done spin, zumba, kickboxing, cardio bootcamps, and any other form of exercise there is.
Strength training is always left out of the equation. This is also why my adult classes are centered around strength training.
Nutrition aside, the one thing most people are missing is strength. A soccer player with great dribbling but no shot is missing the power to kick the ball. A stronger athlete will kick the ball much harder.
The same goes for a hockey player that is too slow to display their speed. Their skills may be awesome but if there is always a defender in the way, then they are going to struggle to make plays. Stronger athletes will skate faster and be able to display their skills more effectively.
Everyone is always looking for more skills, more games, more practice when they really need more strength. A less skilled player that can always manage to get wide open is going to score more goals and get noticed. A defender that can always get back and disrupt plays is a very desirable weapon.
Strive to bring up the weak links and I have yet to meet someone who is too strong for their sport.
2. Strength training builds lean muscle
No one wants to be fat.
It looks bad and does not perform well. People want to look good and athletes want to be fast. Incorporating strength training (plus nutrition) is important for keeping body fat down.
Lean muscle is important because it uses more energy at rest than fat does. You will burn more calories at rest without doing anything.
One of the popular analogies is that marathon runners are skinny/emaciated and sprinters are muscular machines. Well those who do not lift weights are going to struggle to look muscular.
I know that looking good in the mirror is not the only important thing in life but anyone that claims to be satisfied looking like crap is probably full of it.
And no I am not an elitist with a 6 pack looking down on the world from my throne of awesomeness.
3. Joint health improves
This is important for reducing injury risk and maintaining long term health. Tendons and ligaments get stronger with strength training. Stronger connective tissue is resilient.
Strong muscles also provide support for the joint. An absence of strength is going to put a lot of tension on the tendons and ligaments. Over time they will give.
Poor posture and weak muscles are major contributors to this. Getting off of the couch to go and lift some weights will have serious benefits.
When I worked at Stop and Shop I used to see a wide range of people. We shared a few gym stories once they knew my deal. Those that did not take care of themselves looked much older than they were. The same with those that only did cardio.
Those that lift weights, much younger in appearance. Dan John made this same observation in his book- Before We Go. Almost a third into the book and I am really enjoying it so far.
He is someone who has been a big proponent of strength for close to 40 years now. I listen to him.
Strength training is more important than you might think and it needs to be a part of everyone’s program. Unless of course you are good with where you are at and have all of the answers. Then keep on keeping on, the rest of us do not need that in our lives.