The definition of an athlete is very subjective and dependent on one’s favorite
sport(s), but if we were to break down the definition into the most basic form, it would be
– the ability to rapidly and effectively absorb and produce force. This definition includes
various athletes and sports: basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, weightlifting, etc.
A standard quality amongst these athletes is their ability to absorb and produce force,
represented as… strength!
The most effective way to build strength is to progressively overload the body
with common weight room strength movements such as the squat, bench press,
deadlift, and row. Each of those exercises stimulates large muscles to build bigger in
size, which allows for greater force to be produced by each muscle. This change to the
muscles will enable athletes to cut harder, sprint faster, and maintain muscle and joint
Another critical aspect of increasing strength is the physical health of both the
muscles and the joints. To perform a given motion (kick, run, jump, etc.) requires a
precise combination of coordinated muscle contractions and relaxations. If one of these
coordinated movements is interrupted, it can increase injury risks. As stated earlier,
strength training and multi-joint exercise train the body to coordinate those movements
and causes the muscles and joints to remain strong.
To conclude, strength training affects athletes in two ways:
1. Increase their ability to produce and absorb force = cutting harder, sprinting
faster, jumping higher
2. Better force production = stronger and bigger muscles = better movement
coordination, all of which lead to a healthier athlete.
A strong athlete is a healthy athlete, and a healthy athlete is a productive athlete!
Written by Coach Ryan M.