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Basics of Strength Training & Conditioning
The best way to build and tone muscles is through resistance training, or strength training. In resistance training
weights, weight machines, bands or simply the weight of your own body can be used to apply resistance. Muscular
strength is the maximum amount of force a muscle or group of muscles can exert against resistance or an opposite
force. Muscular Endurance is when muscles can continue to exert a lot of force for a long period of time. The
feeling of heaviness and weakness means your muscles are fatiguing. Athletes with high muscular endurance have
higher proportions of slow twitch muscle fibers. You can increase your muscular endurance through weight
training.
In resistance training, overloading means putting more stress on a muscle that is accustomed to handling. Athletes
are best trained through a progressive resistance training program or a systematic increase in muscle workload by
the addition of more weight or resistance.
Overloading can be achieved by following the acronym FITT:
Frequency: Increasing the number of times you train per week
Intensity: Increasing the difficulty of the exercise you do. For example running at 6 mph instead of 5 mph
or increasing the weight you are squatting with.
Time: Increasing the length of time that you are training for each session. For example, cycling for 45
minutes instead of 30.
Type: Increase the difficulty of the training you are doing. For example progress from walking to running.
Athletes should consider:
Specificity The type of training that you do should be specific to you and your sport. You should train the energy
system which you use predominantly (i.e. don't run a 6 mile run in training if you're a sprinter!) and the fitness and
skill components most important to your sport, for example agility, balance or muscular endurance.
Reversibility Use it or loose it! If you stop training the improvements you have made will be reversed. So if you
are ill or have a holiday and do not train for a period of time (even as little as a week) you may not be able to resume
training at the point where you left off.
Variance Try to vary your training, to keep you interested and to give your body a different challenge. Remember a
change is as good as a rest. Many professional athletes will play a completely different sport in their off season, to
keep their fitness up while- still having a rest!
Your body has the following Types of Muscles:
1) Smooth muscle – These are muscles responsible for the movements of internal organs, such as
intestines, bronchi of the lungs, and the bladder. The contractions of smooth muscles are involuntary.
2) Cardiac muscle – Found in the heart, acts like rhythmic smooth muscle. The contractions of cardiac
muscle are involuntary.
3) Skeletal muscle – These are muscles attached to bones that cause body movement. Contractions of
skeletal muscles are under your conscious control.
Muscle Fibers: Everyone is born with two types of fiber---slow-twitch and fast-twitch. Fast Twitch Used for
powerful, fast movements. This however means they get tired quickly. Athletes who are good at short events which
require speed or power, and will have a higher number of fast twitch fibers. Slow Twitch, Good for endurance
activities. They contract slowly with less force but do not tire so easily, long distance runners tend to have more of
these fibers. It can be! Free weights training should be learned under the supervision of qualified and experienced
trainers. If performed wrong or with poor technique there is a serious risk of injury.
Why is weight training so good for sport?
The advantage of free weight training over weight training with machines is that in addition to the main muscle
groups strengthened the smaller supporting muscles or synergists are used. They help control the movement
resulting in a more natural strength development. Also, more explosive movements can be used which simulate
natural sporting activities more closely.
Muscle Pairs
Because muscles only pull, they cannot push, they work in pairs. These pairs are called antagonistic pairs. As one
muscle contracts (shortens), the other relaxes (lengthens). The muscle which is contracting is called the agonist, or
prime mover. The relaxing muscle is called the antagonist. There is a third muscle type within this model, called a
synergist. These muscles help to stabilize the bone which isn't moving. For example - when performing a bicep
curl:
Agonist - Biceps Brachii
Antagonist - Triceps Brachii
Synergist - Deltoid
Types of Muscle Contractions
Dynamic Contraction Also sometimes called isotonic contraction; this is a type of muscle contraction that occurs
when the resistance is moveable. In the concentric phase is when the muscle shortens and exerts force opposite of
gravity. In the Eccentric phase the muscles should slowly and smoothly release its contraction and become longer.
Static Contraction An isometric contraction occurs when there is a contraction of the muscle, but there is no
movement. This will happens when you are pushing or pulling on an immoveable object. You also perform an
isometric contraction when you tighten your muscles without producing movement or motion.
Performing exercises and being active in our daily life can cause our muscles to get stronger. As already mentioned,
strong people have larger muscle fibers. This growth in muscle size is called hypertrophy.
If we do not use our muscles regularly, the opposite can happen and the muscles reduce in size or atrophy. Muscles
are always slightly under tension, to enable us to hold a position, such as sitting upright. This small amount of
muscle tension is known as muscle tone.
Strength Training Myths:
Bulky Muscles
Myth: Females that lift weights will develop big, bulky muscles.
In general- females have a lighter smaller skeleton, narrower shoulders, less muscle mass, and a lower amount of
testosterone than males. These factors ensure females will not develop big, bulky muscles.
Strength
Myth: Females muscles will not develop increased strength.
In general- females typically have less muscular strength than males have, this does not mean lesser strength gains.
Children and Teens
Myth: Weight training is harmful to the growth and development of children and teens.
Weight training is not harmful to the growth and development of children and teens. Done correctly, resistance
training is not dangerous for teens.
Older Adults
Myth: Older adults should avoid weight training.
More and more older adults are recognizing the benefits of resistance training.
Bodybuilders
Myth: With enough time and effort, anybody can be a world class body-builder or power weight lifter.
Everyone can expect some strength and size improvements with regular training, but not the same results.
Muscle and Fat
Myth: Muscle can turn to fat if a person stops lifting weights.
Muscle and fat are different kinds of tissue. Strength training increases lean body mass and helps muscle tone.
People that stop training can see a decrease in muscle size and tone.
Muscles and Flexibility
Myth: Resistance training will limit my flexibility.
Weight training will not negatively affect a person’s flexibility. Proper weight training will improve your flexibility
provided that stretching is part of the training program.
Muscles and skilled related Fitness
Myth: Larger muscles will hinder athletic performance.
Because many weight training exercises involve the coordination of several muscles, resistance training improves
coordination and conditions your body to move more efficiently.
When designing resistance training program you need to know:
Repetition – the performance of an exercise, through the full range of motion, one time.
Set – a group of consecutive repetitions.
Body Area- back, chest, abdominals, arms, shoulders, legs
Large Muscle Group – any group of muscles of large size as well as any large numbers of muscles used at one time
Small Muscle Group - any group of muscles of small size as well as any small numbers of muscles used at one
time
Alternating Push Exercise with Pull Exercise– alternate pulling motions (flexing) with pushing motions
(extension)
Alternating Upper-Body Exercise with Lower-Body Exercise
Weakest Muscles before Strongest Muscles – working the weak muscle when energy is at its peak
Total Body Workout – all major muscle groups are worked, with one day of rest between workouts
Split Routine – exercise 3-4 major body areas in each session (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Abs – Back, Legs,
Biceps, Abs)
Training Load – how much weight you should lift for a given exercise.
1 RM – one repetition maximum (what you can do one time-max)
Volume – related to sets and reps. Basically how many, not how much.
Recovery Time – the duration of rest between workout components.
Resistance Training Cycles – modified programs to meet the needs of off-season, pre-season, and in-season
athletes.
Pyramid Training – training that uses progressively heavier weight and fewer reps through successive sets of an
exercise.
Multiple Sets – the lifter uses the same weight for three to five sets a training load of 80 to 95 percent of their 1RM.
Negative Reps – you do the eccentric, or negative, phase of the exercise only with 10 to 15 percent greater than
your 1 RM.
Supersets – the lifter alternates of exercises that train opposing muscles, without resting between sets.
Compound Sets – similar to supersets, but the exerciser trains the same muscle group.
Name_______________________________________________ Hr____
Fill in the Blank
1. A good way to build and tone muscles is through ______________ training, or strength training.
2. Muscular ________________ is when muscles can continue to exert a lot of force for a long period of time.
3. Muscular ___________ is the maximum amount of force a muscle or group of muscles can exert against
resistance or an opposite force.
4. Putting more stress, in the form of weight or resistance, on a muscle that is accustomed to handling.
This is known as ________________ the muscles.
Match the Following Terms:
____5. Progressive Resistance
A.
____6. Frequency
B. Increasing the difficulty of the exercise you do.
____7. Intensity
C. Increase the difficulty of the training you are doing.
____8. Time
D. Systematic increase in muscle workload.
Increasing the number of times you train per week
____9. Type
E. Increasing the length of time that you are training.
____________________________________________________________________________________________
___10. Specificity
A. If you stop training then the improvements you have made will be reversed.
___11. Reversibility
B. Vary your training, to give your body a different challenge.
___12. Variance
C. The type of training that you do should be specific to you and your sport.
____________________________________________________________________________________________
___13. Smooth muscle
A. These are muscles attached to bones that cause body movement.
___14. Cardiac muscle
B. Found in the heart, acts like rhythmic smooth muscle.
___15. Skeletal muscle
C. These are muscles responsible for the movements of internal organs.
____________________________________________________________________________________________
True or False
____16. Fast Twitch, They contract slowly with less force but do not tire so easily, long distance runners tend to
have more of these fibers
____17. Slow Twitch, Used for powerful, fast movements. This however means they get tired quickly.
_____18. The muscle which is contracting is called the agonist, or prime mover.
_____19. The relaxing muscle is called the antagonist.
____20.
____21.
____22.
____23.
____24.
____25.
Static Contraction
Eccentric phase
Concentric phase
Dynamic Contractions
Atrophy
Hypertrophy
A. (Isotonic contraction) resistance is moveable
B. Muscle shortens and exerts force opposite of gravity
C. The muscles release its contraction and become longer.
D. Isometric contraction but there is no movement.
E. Growth in muscle size is called
F. Muscles reduce in size
Name_______________________________________________ Hr____
Designing resistance training program you need to know:
____ 1. Repetition
A. how much weight you should lift for a given exercise.
____ 2. Set
B. related to sets and reps. Basically how many, not how much.
____ 3. 1 RM
C. one repetition maximum (what you can do one time-max)
____ 4. Volume
D. a group of consecutive repetitions.
____ 5. Training Load
E. the duration of rest between workout components.
____ 6. Recovery Time
time.
F. the performance of an exercise, through the full range of motion, one
____ 7. Body Area
A. any group of muscles of large size
____ 8. Large Muscle Group
B. any group of muscles of small size
____ 9. Small Muscle Group
C. back, chest, abdominals, arms, shoulders, legs
____ 10. Alternating Push Exercise with Pull Exercise
D. exercise 3-4 major body areas in each session
____ 11. Weakest Muscles before Strongest Muscles
motions (extension)
E. alternate pulling motions (flexing) with pushing
____ 12. Total Body Workout
peak
F. working the weak muscle when energy is at its
____ 13. Split Routine
between workouts
G. all major muscle groups are worked, with rest
____ 14. Resistance Training Cycles
exercise only.
A. you do the eccentric, or negative, phase of the
____ 15. Pyramid Training
B. the lifter alternates of exercises that train
opposing muscles.
____ 16. Multiple Sets
C. training that uses progressively heavier weight and
fewer reps
____ 17. Negative Reps
D. the lifter uses the same weight for three to five
sets a training load.
____ 18. Supersets
E. similar to supersets, but the exerciser trains the
same muscle group.
____ 19. Compound Sets
F. modified programs to meet the needs of athletes.