The Stalwart

Sports and Weight Training



Lifting weights is great for your personal health, but it also benefits athletes. If you play any sports, such as football, basketball, golf, skiing, and more, you will need to incorporate weight training for your strength and your endurance. Athletes have a greater success, and become more developed when they incorporate sport-specific strength training programs. Most sports teams will have a strength and conditioning coach that help the athletes with the correct technique for lifting.

In sports training, the principle of specificity states that the weight training should be relevant and appropriate to the sport for which the individual is training in order to produce the desired effect. In this type of training, the athlete will begin with general conditioning and then progress to specific training for the particular skills required in that sport. The training should mirror the demands of the sport. Basically, when discussing specificity training, it is that the athlete will need to perform that specific skill in order to get better at their sport. For example a sprinter will train by using weight training skills that allow them to be more explosive off of the running blocks, a cyclist will concentrate on leg strength and leg endurance skills. It is the principle behind that old saying, “practice makes perfect.” The primary goal of specificity of training is to condition the muscles that will be used in the target activity. Over time, you develop muscle memory for specific actions so you can perform them without having to concentrate on them.

Instead of isolating a muscle group and working it to exhaustion as most bodybuilders do in their sport, other athletes train movements rather than muscles. A great example is a basketball player who needs to work on their vertical jump. The vertical jump involves quadriceps, calves, gluteals, and hamstring muscles. All of these body parts could be trained separately with exercise choices such as leg extensions, seated calf raises, lying down leg curls, cable glute kickbacks.

Instead of training each muscle separately, a basketball player’s routine would consist of a more appropriate exercise, such as is a barbell squat, and/or jump squats which are more specific to matching the movement of the vertical jump. Both of these movements increase the performance for the movement pattern of the vertical jump.

An athlete will have more exercises that mimic the actions and skills that will be needed in their specific sport. The fitness components that the sport may require will have the athlete concentrate on strength, power, and endurance. Endurance training will be more for a marathon runner, where as a running back in the sport of football will do a combination of endurance and strength training.

Once you train, and are able to master the skills you will need and learn the best form to use. With progression, you will begin to learn variations of those skills, which may be even more useful during training sessions.

For everyday weight training, train as you please or how your training has taught you as long as you have.a clearance from your primary care physician If you prefer training as the principles of specificity If you play sports, it is recommended that you first follow your strength and conditioning coach, and the principles of specificity. Competitive bodybuilders will train body parts separately, which is another way to train if you choose. Before starting any exercise/weight training program, please consult your primary. For personal training, and or consulting, I can be reached at

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