5 Rules of weight & resistance in strength training

In strength training, as in any type of training, there are several methods that athletes need to follow; depending on their fitness level and the goals they want to achieve.

That said, with strength workouts, athletes usually try to reach the following objectives:

  • Strength resistance
  • Muscular hypertrophy
  • Maximum strength
  • Muscular power

Each of the aforementioned goals has its own specifications and training requirements, in order to get the desired results. These specifications and requirements, more often than not, have to do with: 

  • repetitions,
  • the break between exercises,
  • the percentage of the applied resistance for 1 maximum repetition (1RM), and the
  • speed of the exercise.

In this article, we won’t bother you with the details; besides, as a coach, you know them well. However, we will talk about a few basic ground rules that apply to all types of strength training — and all athletes.

5 rules to help your athletes conquer strength training

Often, endurance athletes don’t pay much attention to strength training; instead, they focus more on endurance exercises. That being the case, you need to make your athletes understand the importance of strength workouts, first. Then, to ease the integration of resistance exercises into their training routine, you can advise your athletes to:

1. Choose the resistance workouts that suit you best (after consulting with the coach)

Upon hearing ‘strength training’, many athletes think of free weights; yet, this is far from the case. Strength training is resistance training, and — apart from free weights — this means: 

  • Body weight workouts
  • Exercises using Functional Training Equipment (e.g., resistance bands, bosu ball, dumbbells, kettlebells, battle ropes, parallettes, plyometrics box, etc.)

Always in collaboration with you, the coach, athletes can choose the type of workouts they like best and are confident are most suitable for them.

2. Follow a strength or resistance training technique

This is the most basic rule when performing strength training sessions. From the very beginning, athletes must learn a suitable technique of execution and apply it every time they engage in strength training; and, by all means, definitely before using any training equipment. If they execute a strength exercise applying the wrong technique — or no technique at all — they’ll get injured, sooner or later.

3. Don’t skip the warm-up and cool-down exercises

Before your athletes start any strength workout, they need to warm up their musculoskeletal system, to prepare for the workout that follows. The post-workout cooling down works in the same way, only reversed. Your athletes’ bodies just went through intense physical activity; so, they need to perform low-intensity workouts, to end their training without injuries and sore muscles.

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4. Pay attention to nutrition and hydration

Nutrition and hydration are two essential elements in any type of training. Strength training is no exception. Make sure that your athletes get well hydrated and follow a balanced dietary regime; both before, and during their training period. If necessary, they can consult with a nutritionist to help them create the perfect nutritional plan, based on their needs. 

In this way, athletes help their bodies endure the intensity of the resistance training better. Moreover, proper nutrition and hydration keep their energy at optimal levels, preparing them for the next day’s training.

5. Don’t omit recovery days

Last, but certainly not least, recovery days are equally critical, especially in strength training. Physiologically speaking, the body needs time to recover from the physical effort and adapt to the training stimuli. In other words, the body needs to rest. 

Rest and recovery are integral parts of the training cycle. Without them, athletes would go out of balance; and their training would not have the desired effect on them. As a rule of thumb, your athletes can rest the muscle group they just trained for up to 48 minutes, before executing the next workout.

Wrapping up

Strength training should be an integral part of every athlete’s training plan. That’s why coaches always include strength workouts in their athletes’ routines. Of course, they always adjust these workouts to each athlete; because, not all athletes share the same goals — nor have the same needs, right?

And, if you’re worried that your athletes won’t put the necessary focus on their strength workouts — as opposed to their endurance workouts — just try to apply the rules we’ve discussed in this article. You’ll see that, with time, they’ll find the integration of resistance training into their plan an interesting addition, after all. 😉

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5 Rules of weight & resistance in strength training was last modified: April 7th, 2023 by Marilena Kokkinou