A Strength Question?


Got this question from a reader and thought I’d make the answer a post.

Q- “When you are in the strength phase for a specific sport that doesn’t require you to be brutally strong(basketball, baseball,tennis) would you train to be as strong as possible(how they do in football) or would you still stay fundamentally sound?”

A- The reason I wanted to answer this as a separate post is that I think we can address a couple of strength and conditioning misconceptions in one post.

If we read above,  the first assumption/ question is should you train to be strong in sports that might not appear to require maximum strength.  The answer to that would be a resounding yes. The bigger question relates to the question we pose frequently in seminars, “How strong is strong?”, or “what defines strong”?

All athletes should train to be as strong as possible, period. There may be rare exceptions but, they are few and far between.

The second issue relates to the “how they do it in football” part of the question. This relates to how we define strong. I don’t define strong by back squat or bench press. I define strong first by the ability to handle bodyweight.

Can you do a good pushup? 

How about 10 chin-ups? 

How about a one leg squat?

The simple answer is it’s not that simple.

8 Responses to “A Strength Question?”

  1. mboyle1959 Says:

    Trish- I’m going to write a separate post. Great question

  2. Wondering where you think olympic lifts fit into the strength/power equation…should there be a limit to weight/ repetitions for those trying to gain speed/strength for field sports?

  3. mboyle1959 Says:

    Rich- not always. I think bodyweight can be the friend or the enemy. Bodyweight before external resistance certainly applies to things like squat patterns but pushing and pulling are relative. If you have a high bodyweight or a poor strength to bodyweight ratio you may need external resistance as a precursor.

  4. You are saying 1.body weight control before external load/ resistance ?

  5. Great post! The need for strength is not sport-specific. Whether you’re a pro golfer, an amateur football player, or a weekend warrior, safe strength builds injury resilience and I can’t think of anybody who wouldn’t benefit from more injury resilience. Obviously there will be some modifications for certain types of athletes as far as specific exercises go, but one way or another we all need brute strength.

  6. […] Mike Boyle – “A Strength Question?” […]

  7. vince moya Says:

    Thanks! This is just what I needed!

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