Do you want to get more power in your tennis serve to blast your opponents off the court? Or set a new personal best time in a marathon? Or did you sign up for a white collar boxing match and now have to get in serious shape in a matter of weeks or risk humiliation? Whatever your sporting goal, there is no doubt that a carefully designed conditioning programme can give you the edge. The benefits are so widely accepted that it is almost impossible to find a top sportsperson in the world who doesn’t undertake a certain amount of conditioning work to boost performance in addition to their sports-specific skill training. Understanding how to condition your body for sports is really just about breaking down and understanding each sport in terms of its key movement patterns, balance of fast and slow twitch muscle fibres recruited, and balance of power to endurance requirements. Even for purely endurance sports such as long-distance running, there are distinct and measurable advantages from engaging in conditioning work such as resistance training where this is designed to improve muscular endurance and reduce the risk of overuse injuries. For many other sports, the success of an athlete is heavily influenced by the velocity of the specific sporting movement (think about a tennis serve, a right hook, or a quarterback throwing a pass). Appropriate training should therefore develop speed as well as strength. How can you achieve this?
Plyometrics and ballistic weight training…is the way top sportspeople give themselves the edge.
Try plyometrics and ballistic weight training. This type of training, which uses the stretch-shortening cycle of muscles to increase the rate of force development and replicate the movement patterns of the actual sporting movement, is the way top sportspeople give themselves the edge. Unfortunately, it is a training method hardly seen outside of professional athletics clubs or specialised sports gyms. Traditional one-size-fits-all conditioning programmes, which focus heavily on building strength and endurance, ignore the fact that the execution of many sporting actions are explosive movements occurring in milliseconds. Athletes may get stronger, but do not obtain any significant advantage as their movements are too slow. Why not give yourself the advantage by training like a real professional? We have experience in working with elite sports coaches to design conditioning programmes for athletes in a wide variety of disciplines including rugby, boxing, football (soccer), and long-distance running. Just as importantly, we have knowledge and experience of analysing movement patterns and designing appropriate conditioning programmes which can be applied to any sport to give you an advantage.