In order to contextualize and better frame strength training, how we define it is very important. My definition is a take-off on the Frans Bosch definition of coordination training with resistance, in my opinion that is not thorough enough. I define strength training as coordination training with appropriate resistance to handle bodyweight, project an implement, resist gravity and optimize ground reaction forces. To better understand and apply this definition demands that we look closely at each element of the definition. Intermuscular coordination is the key to efficient movement and effective force application. Appropriate resistance will incorporate the following:
- Handle bodyweight – The emphasis is on relative strength working with various percentages of bodyweight resistances.
- Project an implement – In throwing events the weight of the implement determines the required resistance to develop strength to move that implement to achieve the desire release speed.
- Resist gravity – Sports that demand work against gravity necessitate more eccentric and isometric emphasis to express the necessary force.
- Optimize ground reaction forces – Sports with high ground reaction forces demand realistic reactive strength.
This definition should direct the training to incorporate a spectrum of training methods to address the varying strength/power demands of all sports. This should help go a long way to making strength training more applicable. After all is said and done it is not numbers in the weight room that count but performance in the competitive arena. My goal is to have strength transfer to performance, be a means to end, not an end unto itself.