At informed performance we believe that the role of a conditioning program is to enhance your performance in your chosen sport. For us, this means that whatever training we prescribe must integrate, not compete with the technical and sport specific training you already do, and not inhibit your ability to perform and progress in that domain. This is an important learning from our over 25 years combined experience working in the British high-performance system, as unfortunately many strength and conditioning programs are written in isolation from, and without consideration for the technical and sports specific training.
The reality is that every training session you undertake applies a stimulus to you and your improvements, or lack thereof, are as a result of your individual response to the entire program, not just the strength and conditioning sessions.
As such our approach is to:
- Identify how you currently stack up versus the strengths and movements required for your sport.
- Identify how much room in your week you have to undertake additional training.
Your needs vs. the needs of your sport
Undertaking this step enables us to identify what you are currently getting from your training week and where the opportunities are.
This is a key consideration as even through you and your training partners and/or team mates are most likely undertaking the same training as you are, the individual responses to this training can vary considerably – indeed research has shown that with the same resistance training program, some subjects see great improvements, and others actually get worse. Therefore, there is a high likelihood that your needs are going to vary from others.
The approach we take is to ensure that you have a full range of stimulus important to the qualities that are required to be successful in your sport. Let’s say you are a sprinter who needs to improvement your start out of blocks, for example:
All of the strength and movement qualities outlined are required to successfully execute the start, but for each athlete the limiting factor can vary. For example three athletes might share the problem of becoming too upright, too quickly as they leave the blocks. However…
Athlete ‘A’ might be lacking the capacity to generate enough power to project forward
Athlete ‘B’ might be lacking the mobility required in the shoulder blades to hit the correct positions in the first few steps
Athlete ‘C’ might simply need to put more time into practicing, and improve their ‘skill’ of coming out of blocks.
As you can imagine the training required is going to differ between these athletes even through the goal is the same. Athlete ‘A’ places greater emphasis on strength and power development, athlete ‘B’ on improving shoulder function and range, and athlete ‘C’ can spend more of their training time on track practicing, and less time in the gym.
This brings us the second element of our approach.
Optimising the training week
As we said at the start this blog, the aim of an Informed Performance program is to integrate, not compete with your specific training. The reality is that all of us can only undertake a given amount of training before we get ill or injured. By monitoring various metrics, we will work with you to ensure that the intensities, frequencies and volumes of training you are undertaking is at a level that you can not only survive, but thrive, and will help optimise your recovery via a combination of education and intervention.
The above approach has been developed, tested and refined across 5 Olympic cycles with multiple Olympic and world medallists. However, it doesn’t matter if you are masters athlete looking to perform at a local competition, or a professional athlete looking to take your performance to the next level; if you like what you’ve read and are interested in taking your performance to the next level, get in touch and we can chat further.