- INSIDE ATHLETICS
- FOR THE STUDENTS
Loyola Strength & Conditioning
Strength is the maximal force that a single muscle or muscle group can generate at a specified velocity. Using a variety of lifting techniques and equipment teaches the athlete advanced movements while putting the muscle skeletal system under stress and creates positive adaptations. This will mirror what the athlete undergoes during competition.
Power is the ability to generate large amounts of force at a high rate of speed. Explosiveness is the ability to generate power in a short amount of time. These two principles can be applicable to every athlete regardless of sport or position. Training power and explosion is developed through many aspects of training such as strength training, speed and agility development, and flexibility.
Static, Dynamic, and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) are the three main components of flexibility. Static stretching consists of passively stretching a muscle and holding for a period of time usually 20-30 seconds. Dynamic Stretching involves the muscles being stretched to move in an active process to stretch the muscle to full range of motion. PNF stretching involves static and muscular activation to enhance flexibility. This method requires assistance from another athlete or coach. Using these three methods helps prevent injury, improve muscle activation, prevents delayed onset muscle soreness, and increases range of motion.
Speed training is used to enhance the athlete's ability to get from one point to another as fast as possible. Speed training involves teaching the athlete proper body mechanics to optimize sprinting performance. An athlete's reflexes and reaction time are critical points of speed training.
Agility is the ability to explosively brake, change directions, and accelerate again. Agility implies greater involvement of deceleration and the ability to reactively couple it with acceleration. Agility requires sound balance, coordination, and explosiveness by the athlete. An athlete must be able to react as quickly as possible in all directions for any type of situation. Collegiate sports can benefit from this type of training to enhance overall athlete performance.
The core consists the muscle region of the abdominal area and lower back region. This is very important piece in the athlete's muscular skeletal chain. It helps protect the athlete from injury while optimizing performance through keeping the vertebral column erect and ready to react and helping support balance throughout the body.
The purest form of training for any activity is the activity itself. To be effective, a training program must reproduce the functional movements and metabolic demands of the sport being trained for. Sport-specific training challenges athletes' to perform specific movements and movement patterns safely, and efficiently; this helps to promote muscular adaptations that lead to superior sport performance.
The ability to generate force at high rates of speed (power) is crucial in sport. Power output is the result of motor unit recruitment by the central nervous system. There are two types of motor units- fast and slow- that vary greatly in their ability to generate force. Training explosively, using ground-based, multiple joint movements trains the body to recruit fast motor units at high rates of speed. This, in turn, improves performance potential.
Gains seen by an athlete can begin to plateau and/or decline if the same training outline is used for an extended period of time. Periodization is a model that uses different combinations of volume, load (intensity) and exercise specificity to progressively overload the body and bring about specific adaptations. The year should be broken into different periods that will be adjusted based on season and sport.
The goal in the off-season is to improve lean body mass, muscular strength (force production), power (rate of force production), and general conditioning. Large emphasis on strength training, workouts occur 3-5 times per week.
The goal in the pre-season is to convert gains made in the off-season into a more sport-specific form, while preserving the strength and power established during the off-season. Transition from strength training emphasis to specific conditioning emphasis, workouts occur 3-6 times per week.
The goal during the in-season is to maintain strength and power gains and to focus primarily on the competition and injury prevention. Major emphasis on strength and power training, workouts occur 1-2 times per week.
The goal in the post-season is to allow the body to physically and mentally recover from the demands of competition season.
Working with the sports medicine staff