Integrating strength into sport conditioning demands


Published on

This was a presentation given for a staff in-service on April 18, 2013 at the University of California Berkeley. I presented on the principles of strength integration into track and field training schemes and potential applications for sport strength and conditioning programs.

Published in: Sports, Education

Integrating strength into sport conditioning demands

  1. 1. Working the “S” into “S&C”Thoughts on integrating strength into demands of team sport practice By Joel Smith, MS, CSCS
  2. 2. Why mixing conditioning with strength haphazardly can limit gains• Florida University Football training research and tracking, presented by Andrew Fry, Ph.D, 2011 NSCA national nutritional conference.• January was weightlifting only. – Strength increased significantly – 40 yard time and vertical jump increased significantly• February was when “team conditioning” began. Strength coaches were not in charge of conditioning. – Strength stayed the same or decreased – 40 yard time and vertical jump decreased
  3. 3. Purpose of this presentation• Talk about integration of strength and sport conditioning methods in a basic sport: – Track and field• Discuss implications for integration methods in sports demanding a wider skill range/energy system demand. – Basketball – Football – Baseball
  4. 4. Basics of Track and Field Strength Integration.
  5. 5. What is vertical integration, and why should I care?• Vertical Integration is a system of working all demands of a sport, in different volumes/intensities, through the whole training year.
  6. 6. What is vertical integration, and why should I care?• It is largely a “track term” but can give us insight on means of perfecting S&C integration based on sport demands
  7. 7. Vertical Integration vs. Classical Periodization• Classical periodization has a few faults• The biggest two are: – Loss of qualities trained early on in the year by the time competition happens (ex. Hypertrophy starts to fade in 30 days following cessation of training, Loss of aerobic capacity in 7 days, max strength loss in 7 days) – Loss of time to focus on maximizing qualities of prime importance to sport.
  8. 8. How should I go about keeping strength in the program?• The closer an athlete moves to important competition featuring fewer qualities, the less extra work they need to do.• The coach still needs to maintain the most important qualities to the highest degree that is practically possible. – Your sport qualities? – Fast guys get slow – Big guys don’t get smaller
  9. 9. Principles of Balancing Sport Play with Strength Work• Jumping, accelerating, decelerating, backpedaling, etc provide a demand to the musculo-skeletal and nervous system which must be taken into account when writing strength programs.• An athlete does not have an unlimited amount of adaptation to distribute between sport practice and strength training.
  10. 10. Principles of Balancing Sport Play with Strength Work• Strength training is complementary.• Therefore, the coach must be efficient in the strength training integrated into the total program.
  11. 11. Important track and field concept: The speed reserve• The “speed reserve” is a concept that is based in track and field, but filters down to all sports.• Speed reserve means that an athlete with a high top end speed/jumping ability/etc, will have an easier time maintaining that speed over their race. – 400m world record holders Michael Johnson and Marita Koch had 10.09 and 10.8x 100PR’s respectively.• The majority of the training year must be devoted to #1. Improving speed/power and #2 speed/power capacity. – “Endurance”/”Lactic tolerance”/etc is actually farther down on the list. Build speed THEN learn to maintain it. If your top speed is s^$t, then you will be maintaining s&#t for your race. – Don’t kill the beast!
  12. 12. CNS and Structure Concepts• The goal of strength for track and field is to improve the power and capacity of the athlete’s CNS throughout the course of the year. – CNS refers to the ability of the nervous system to send powerful and rapid signals to the muscles. – Structural training refers to increasing cross sectional area of muscle, strengthening tendons, improving proprioceptors, improved capillary density and stretch shortening cycle, increasing elasticity, and raising the ceiling for CNS training.
  13. 13. High demand CNS based track activity/High demand weight room activity balance• Track work that will drain an athlete’s CNS: – High volume of maximal short sprints (500 meters + of total volume) – High volume of jumps, plyos, multi throws (20 jumps, 40-50 high intensity plyo contacts.• When an athlete has had a high intensity track day, the CNS section of the lifting must accommodate – More than one high CNS drive exercise for the day can drag out recovery time. – If the athlete had a high sprint volume: lower posterior chain intensity or volume in weight room. (Clean, DL, Hamstring) – If the athlete had a high jump/throw volume: lower axial/vertical loading in the weightroom. Lower intensity or volume. (Squats/Step- ups)• Going heavy on squats/deadlifts is a lot more draining than going heavy on cleans/snatches from a CNS perspective.
  14. 14. Fitting Demands Together• The body adapts best neurally (suggested) when training days emphasize similar demands and energy systems.• Clearly in team sport training, this is rarely possible.
  15. 15. Sample Training Combinations for track: Speed Day• On the track: 3x Standing triple jump, 3x(3x30m at 97%) in spikes with full recovery. 2x5 Overhead Backwards Shot• In the weightroom: fall 4-6x2 Cleans @ 85%~, 4-5x5 squats @ 83%~, 4x5 bench press, 3x8 hip thrust• In the weightroom: spring 6-8x2 Cleans @ 80% ~, 2-4x4 squats at 70%~ with tendo, 3x5 bench press, 2-3x8 hip thrust
  16. 16. High demand structural based track activity/High demand weight room activity balance• Track work that takes a structural toll on athletes: – Long sprints: Example 2x450 @ 95% or 4x250 @ 90% – High volume submax plyo work: 150-200 contacts – Tempo sprints: Example 10x200m @ 70%• When an athlete has had a high demand structural day, I accommodate lifting by: – NOT lifting. Especially on tempo days. If you are in the GPP though and raising work capacity, you will want to lift. These days don’t match up well with lifting when trying to improve neural power. Unfortunately, based on scheduling, you may not have a choice. – Back off on structural work in the weightroom. i.e. Higher volume/time under tension squatting etc. – Replace some olympic lifts with less coordination demanding work (I usually just have athletes go lighter on olympics, provided their form is good) – Provide more rest time before beginning the workout. If possible. – Doing some explosive med ball throws prior to lifting can “reset” the body a bit and prime it for lifting.
  17. 17. Sample Training Combinations for track: Special Endurance Day• On the track: 3x(325m) in spikes with full recovery. 4x40m accels uphill. (Lots of fatigue, a little lactate)• In the weightroom: fall 3x2 Hex Jump @ 80%, 4-5x5 squat @ 75%, 4x5 bench press, 3x8 hip thrust• In the weightroom: spring 4x2 Hex Jump @ 75%, 3-5x4 deadlift (specific) at 70% , 3x5 bench press, 2-3x8 hip thrust
  18. 18. “Mixed” Workouts• Mixed workouts do exist in track (and often happen here, but more due to lack of planning and shared philosophy than design).• A mixed session would include two different stimuli such as tempo sprints and lifting. (Mixing ‘structure’ and neural drive/strength).• This CAN work IF the emphasis of the day is on neural drive or strength in the weightroom and the track workout is planned accordingly. – Example: instead of 8x200m on the track, the athlete does 4x200m, in order to minimize damage to the weightroom session. – This is present in a weekly format that goes: Lift/Jump/Rest/Lift/Jump/Rest, IF the coach is grouping movement speeds. – Submaximal track work and lifting are more similar movement speeds. Maximal track work is always going to be way faster than lifting from a neural perspective. – This is more useful in the GPP phase, where the emphasis is not as much on intensity based efficiency quite yet.
  19. 19. How can this apply to team sport practice?• Team sports involve lots of submaximal efforts of 5-15m sprints and short contact jumps. – Typically a high structural demand – Sometimes a high neural demand• Team training is based on specific capacity and efficiency, rather than proficiency. – Rather than a 8x30m at 97% workout, sport athletes may cover 100x5m at 93% in a sport practice. – Athletes are getting much of their capacity based training within their sport. How should conditioning reflect this? – How should the capacity being built between sport practice and conditioning be reflected, keeping in mind the need to direct adaptation reserves to strength, hypertrophy, improved neural drive, etc?• How would this change things in terms of planning strength or special strength methods?
  20. 20. Practice Considerations• Was practice neurally or structurally taxing?• Was practice demands out of the ordinary for this cycle?• Then match up the theme of the day (neural or structure) and complement accordingly. – If theme was heavy neural, go neural in weight room and base off practice intensity/volume and magnitude of neural stimulus. – If theme was structural, go structural in weight room, and base off of practice intensity/volume. – How does this theme coincide with your year plan? • Hypertrophy phase? • Strength phase?
  21. 21. Shooting in the dark• What to do if your sport coach doesn’t have a practice plan???
  22. 22. Shooting in the dark• Communication is vital: gauge if the kids are being “whiny” or if practice took really significant energy out of them out of accordance with the plan.• Find the nature of the practice. Lots of jumps? Sprints? Aerobic demand?• Lots of jumps  decrease squatting• Lots of sprints  decrease hamstring work• High aerobic or lactic demand? – Give kids a few minutes to recover to enhance strength – Consider reducing strength volume – Consider reducing explosive lifts (uncoordinated)