As athletes begin to move on from youth sports, into high school, college, and beyond, they quickly learn that the best players usually exercise outside of only the practice field. Many athletes want to be able to run faster, jump higher, or throw harder. These are just three examples of the many components to being an athlete. While it is important to lift weights in order to reach these goals, results will only be maximized when an athlete follows a carefully thought out and individualized training program that is followed on a consistent basis.
The word ‘workout’ is a very broad term. A workout is commonly thought of as exercise. Exercise is a period of time in which an individual's heart rate is elevated due to physical exertion. There are many ways to ‘workout’. For example, some people may choose to run or bike for miles, some may go for a hike on a nice day, while others may prefer to lift weights in the gym. Again, these are just a few examples of what a workout can be. I chose these examples because it is very easy to understand that they are very different examples of working out.
Running, biking, and hiking for extended periods of time are great ways to exercise. However, these types of workouts recruit energy from your aerobic energy system. Generally speaking, aerobic energy systems are used for exercise bouts exceeding 5 minutes in duration, and are usually at light to moderate intensity. In turn, sports are predominantly anaerobic. This means that they require repeated bouts of high intensity movements, oftentimes with a short rest interval between exercise bouts.
The human body has three main energy systems. As Strength & Conditioning professionals, it is our job to understand how our bodies utilize fuel in sports, and in turn, write a corresponding training program that is tailor fit to that one individual athlete - based on their individual needs. The program will be designed to help the individual move more efficiently, develop higher strength levels, and increase their power output. These three things will help the athlete run faster, jump higher, and throw harder. If an athlete does not take all of this into consideration, they will experience diminishing returns over time, and they will not optimize their athletic potential. It is important to train with a purpose; so the athlete will get the most out of each training session and reach their full athletic potential. These are some of the many reasons why it is so important for athletes to participate in a Strength & Conditioning program.
Coach Tim Treschitta