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Strength and Conditioning Blog

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Maybe exercise isn’t as effective for weight loss as you thought

A new study (Careau et al., Energy compensation and adiposity in humans, current biology (2021)) has been doing the rounds on social media this week, so I thought I’d put a quick post together to discuss the findings and implications of this for MOST people. First off, this paper provides some hugely valuable insights into weight loss, and should be a consideration for all coaches working in the weight loss space. In fact, the main concept should be common knowledge for everyone looking to take control of their own health, and that’s the reason for this article.HOWEVER, before we get...

Strength training for Youth Athletes: Here’s how

Strength training is an important aspect of a young/ youth athlete’s development within their sport, or sports.  When it is properly supervised and appropriately planned it is a SAFE and an effective method of developing strength and power. Here's why youth athletes, coaches and parent's should be paying attention to this!  Stages of youth development Youth strength training, especially between the ages of 13-18, falls in the early to middle stages of a Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model.  These models are based primarily on physiological adaptations and can show how athletic potential can be developed alongside biological growth. Essentially, they give coaches,...

Athletic Training: Addressing Common Concerns For Coaches And Athletes

There are a huge number of training systems/ approaches out there designed to improve sports performance. Some work exceptionally well, and some are flawed. These flawed systems are easy enough to spot if you know what to look for, but most often, it’s the perfectly good systems- the ones WE KNOW WORK- that cause the problem.  They are used out of context, and slowly but surely, start to fall apart.  This has resulted in a huge problem: Sports coaches telling players that the best approach is to “stick to the sport”. Weaknesses are never improved, strengths never maximised, and ultimately, talented athletes don’t get the opportunity to reach their potential.   As...

Performance Training at Home

 For the purpose of this blog, we are going to use football as the performance sport, although the principles that I want to talk about can be used in in your training for other sports. At the minute you might be having a very unusual mid-season break or your training and match schedule might be very different to what you are used to. Perhaps you are not playing games? Your club training, both technical-tactical and conditioning sessions have been shortened or you have reduced numbers and you’re having to adapt.  You might not even have any club training at all, and...

Health First: Why we need to reopen Fitness ASAP

We are walking into a national disaster for health and fitness.Gyms being closed is more than just a short-term problem. We will be feeling the effect of this as a nation for years to come. For a month or two, this approach made sense, but 10 months since the first lockdown in the UK, it’s now time to consider the bigger picture, in particular with regards to general health and fitness.For millions of people, gyms are more than just somewhere to exercise. They’re the “third space”- the place people use to focus on themselves, and to “feel good”. We can’t...

Lockdown, Pain & Injuries

Pain and injuries during lockdown  Firstly, I just want to say this blog also relates back to Jamie and Josh’s first webinar in January (if you haven’t seen I highly recommend it), and in particular I want to draw your attention back their point of ‘Reframe the story’.  Re-evaluate where you really are, what can you realistically achieve both previously in the gym and in your current situation, what would make you happier? Hands up, who has had workouts effect by various pains and niggles? I know I have, and it sucks. (disclaimer: serious injuries that require surgery may need a different approach...

Strength training and Ageing

Strength and strength training If I was to ask you to define what strength is, what would you say? Being able to deadlift 2x your body weight? Being able to squat 100kg? Being able to perform a pull-up? Being able to jump in the air? Being able to walk up the stairs un-aided?I like to think of ‘strength’ as an umbrella term that includes a few different ‘types’ such as:Absolute strength – think the maximum load that you can lift during a specific exercise Strength endurance – repeatedly exerting force against a resistance Power/Explosive strength – the product of force...

Strength and Performance Improvement

You’ve heard about how important strength is to performance, right?It’s true, strength can play a key role in sports performance- or at least, in sports that work against a reasonable resistance (including sprinting/ jumping/ etc), but what do we mean by strength, and at why point is it less important to work on?First off, let’s get clear.  Absolute and Maximum Strength Often, when people talk about being strong, they talk in absolute terms. This “absolute strength” is simply the total amount of force that can be applied deliberately towards an outcome- for example, the total weight lifted - irrespective of any other...

Calories and energy balance: It’s simple, right?

Calories in, Calories out. How many times have you seen this on your social media recently as the holy grail of nutrition? The only thing you need to consider. Generally, this is talking fat loss, and although the message is wholly accurate, it can also be pretty misleading- even harmful if not fully understood. So, here’s something for athlete’s, coaches and gym goers to try to cover some of the key considerations when we’re talking energy balance.  First off, what is energy balance? Energy balance is a simple concept. If energy in (Calories we consume) exactly meets energy out (Calories we burn),...

Should we all train like athletes?

Athletes are often the pinnacle of physique and performance. When you want to get really good at something, people will tell you to “look at what the best people at that are doing”. More often than not, people who have achieved success tend to do a lot of things right.So, in context of the post, athletes tend to be the people who we look at for our physical goals. Want to be leaner? Faster? Stronger? Surely this is a good starting point: do what they do?You’d be right, and also very wrong, all at once.For me as a strength and...

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