Strength Training For Athletes With Josh Dowson

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 A lot of people think the key to improving your running time is by well, running. And Although it is very important, developing the strength of your muscles ultimately helps you not only run faster, but reduce your likely hood of injury.

Allow me to explain.

First of all, let me take you to the very source, your Muscles.

Once you have a greater understanding of Muscles, you can then understand why it is so important to keep them strong. So,

What are "Muscles"?

Builtlean.com

Muscles are like elastic tissue, Made up of thousands (and thousands) of muscle Fibres.  

What does "Muscle" Mean?

Simply.. Power. The more muscle mass you have, the stronger your body and the more power you can produce. Which is why Strength training is so Important in improving speed and endurance when it comes to distance events.

But won't I get heavier and slower from strength training?

That's not strictly true. Look at Jessica Ennis-Hill. Strength doesn't necessarily mean size. It depends on how much and the types of food you eat around it AND the type of training you do in the gym. Strength endurance in the gym is exercising to 12-20 reps for up to 3 sets. Building Mass 'Bulking' is working up to a maximum of 6 reps lifting 80%+ of your maximum strength for between 4-6 sets.

What happens to my muscles when I strength train?

When there is a greater resistance on your muscles than your body usually places upon them, you will start to develop the muscle's strength and endurance. However, first, the muscle tissue must 'Rip'. Unfortunately, the greater the rip, the more likely you are to get soreness (DOMS) over the few days after training (sorry about that). This is COMPLETELY normal so nothing to worry about!


*Side note 1*
Protein is essential for the recovery of these rips. protein helps speed up the recovery process and is the key ingredient in the growth of the muscles.

*Side note 2*
OVER-TRAINING: When you over train, your body isn't getting chance to recover, those rips aren't healing and you are at increasing risk of tears or ruptures.

How does it reduce my risk of injury?

I'll keep it simple,

  1. The stronger your muscles and the more they are used to being under extra tension, the harder it is to tear the fibres.
  2. The more muscle you have around a joint, the more protection that joint has, meaning less impact is being forced into the joint (as its being absorbed by the muscles).
  3. Your Muscles can Stretch further before they tear, so you can push that little bit harder without worrying your going to hurt yourself.

Example of strength training session for athletes 

Below is an example of a typical session in the gym you can do to help develop muscle.

This session's focus is building the strength and endurance of muscles, not increasing the Mass. 

Round 1:

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Round 2:

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Round 3:

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Round 4: Core

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How important is recovery?

You need to take as much time to plan rest, as you do training. Effective recovery allows for increased performance and enjoyment from what your doing. If your always tired, you will be seriously demotivated and find it hard to maintain your performance.

The use of Recovery shakes after Strength sessions helps speed up the repair process of those 'Rips' building them stronger, so the next time you do the session, you can not only lift more, but go longer before they Rip again.

Efficient recovery also allows the energy lost from your body to be recovered (good nutrition and enough good sleep helps with this) helping mood stay positive and performance high.

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Comments 1

Darren Button on Wednesday, 04 March 2020 12:48

Could you come up with replacement exercises for kettlebells for this - any suggestions?

Could you come up with replacement exercises for kettlebells for this - any suggestions?
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Wednesday, 20 October 2021

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