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Weight Training Activities

        Bodybuilding, weightlifting, power lifting and strongman are sports that use weight training as a major part of the athlete's training regimen.

        The principles of weight training are essentially identical to those of strength training, and involve manipulating of the number of:
  • repetitions (reps),
  • sets,
  • tempo,
  • exercise types
  • weights moved to cause desired increases in strength, endurance, size or shape.
       The specific combinations of reps, sets, exercises and weight depends upon the aims of the individual performing the exercise. Sometimes sets with fewer reps are performed with heavier weights.

Strength Training
        Strength training is an inclusive term for all types of exercises designed to increasing muscular strength and size (as opposed to muscular endurance, associated with aerobic exercise, or flexibility, associated with stretching exercise like yoga or pilates, though endurance and flexibility can improve as a byproduct of training).

        Weight training is one type of strength training and the most common, seen by all but specialists as synonymous with strength training. The difference between weight training and other types of strength training is how the opposition to muscular contraction is generated. Resistance training uses elastic or hydraulic forces to oppose muscular contraction, and isometric exercise uses structural or intramuscular forces (e.g. doorways or the body's own muscles).

       Strength training is done to increase muscle size and strength, improve endurance, and decrease fatigue, ultimately increasing performance, and prevents muscle, ligament, and bone injury.

       Athletes who are involved in power and strength-dependent sports will usually have a strength coach who works with the athletes five days a week as part of their regular training. Professional trainers target alternate muscle groups to allow a day for recovery. Warning: The heavier the weights and quicker the movements, the greater the risk of injury.

Trainer Certification
       Trainers should be certified. There are different qualities and requirements for certification. The highest recommended certification types are through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), American Council on Exercise (ACE), and National Council of Strength and Fitness (NCSF). These certifications require annual testing and updated continuing education credits.

       Exercise machines make strength training simple; however, equipment and machines are designed primarily for men; small women and children are advised against using equipment that is not designed for height and weight. Improper use of training equipment can result in injury when stretching to try to reach the equipment.

How You Train is What You Get
    The Principle of Specificity is based on the body responding to specific exercises of the training program. The body's adaptations will occur to the same muscles and systems targeted in the exercises. Whatever exercise you do, your body will adapt accordingly. This applies even when the exercises are performed under different environmental conditions

     For example, performing heavy bicep curls causes the biceps to get stronger and larger, without affecting any other parts of the body. However, after exercising at high altitude for a few weeks causes your entire body make physical changes to adjust to the the thinner atmosphere.

     The Principle of Specificity is that when you train with weights your body's natural mechanisms automatically respond to make your muscles stronger.

     Muscles increase in size (called hypertrophy), but the lack of testosterone in women limits their  increase in muscle.  Refer to Gender Differences.

     The Specificity Principle is most evident in the body types of elite track and field athletes who are at the extremes of the strength endurance events. Throwers have much larger and stronger bodies than distance runners, who tend to be much smaller and more slender.

     While the Principle of Specificity explains the effect that strength training exercises produce inside the muscles, specificity of learning is a different concept. It concerns coordination between muscles, or skill learning.

Examples of How to Apply the Principle of Specificity to Weight Training

1. If your training goal is general fitness with a focus on improving posture, emphasize strengthening the extensor muscles in the upper back and shoulders while increasing flexibility in the front of the shoulders and chest. Be sure to get specific direction from a physical therapist or qualified health professional.

2. If your training goal is to improve rebounding in basketball, emphasize explosive exercises, such as power cleans and speed squats to increase your vertical jump.

3. If your training goal is improving stability for downhill running in cross country, add strengthening exercises for joint stability in the lower body, such as squats, lunges, or other weight bearing exercises.

    Remember, these principles complement each other. They do not operate independently.

    Check out Training Principles Applied to understand more about the training principles used a former Soviet coach.

    There are many high quality programs based upon sound training principles that are generally effective in achieving their stated goals, but each program must be adjusted for individual and gender differences.

An Ineffective Weight Training Program

    When an athlete begins to lift weights they will experience results due to overloading and feel good about the early increase in strength; however, without a weight training guide or mentor to direct you, you could experience one of these possible scenarios:

1. The expenditure  of large sums of money only to end up with poor results.

2. The use improper technique and/or not following recommended safety rules, can result in injury.

3. Following the more is better philosophy results in over training which can result in injury or illness followed by depression.

4. Under training will result in little or no improvement.

5. The development of muscle imbalances will cause soreness, pain, and injury.

6. Hit a plateau sooner than you expected, followed by very slow improvement after that.

     Difficulty in adhering to a weight training or exercise program can become a source of frustration. This is usually followed by discontinuing the program, preventing the steady progress necessary to make lasting, healthy lifestyle changes.

References:

Fitness Training Plans

Developing A Training Plan

http://www.exrx.net/Exercise.html

Exercise for Beginners - Strength Training The first few weeks, focus on learning how to do each exercise rather than on how much weight you're lifting or how many exercises you're doing.

Mark Allen's 12 Best Strength Exercises | Active.com   Looking to add strength training to your triathlon regime? Here are a dozen key exercises that helped The Grip become a six-time Ironman champion.

Growing Stronger This strength-training program was developed by experts at Tufts University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Growing Stronger is an exercise program based upon sound scientific research involving strengthening exercises — exercises that have been shown to increase the strength of your muscles, maintain the integrity of your bones, and improve your balance, coordination, and mobility.

Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

 
Developing Training Plans for Athletes
Evaluation of Training
Age Training Guidelines
Components of Training Plan
Stages of Acquiring New Skills
Strategies for Training
Strategies for Competing
Fitness Training & Sports
Advanced Training
List Daily Training Tasks
Construction of a Training Plan
Developing An Annual Training Plan
Principles of Global Training
Competitive Training
Starting to Seriously Train
Skating Environment
Peaking Performance
Benefits of Cross Training
Principle of Varying Training
Varying Training Improves Results
Approaches to Training
Approaches to Jump Training
Transferring Knowledge & Skills
Aerobic Activities
Anaerobic Activities
Exercises to Develop Coordination
Off-Ice Activities For Skaters
Fitness and Conditioning
Off-Season Conditioning Activities
Tips for Long Distance Traveling
Mental Barriers to Training & Competing
Mental Considerations for Athletic Training
Mental Training Considerations
Mental Strategies for Training
Endurance Training Activities
Flexibility Training Activities
Body Weight Exercise Training
Weight Training Activities
Brian Grasso Articles
Evaluation Assessment
   

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