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Resistance Training   

Overhead medicine ball exercise that works on the upper arm complex and rotator cuffsLink to the Qld Weighlifting Assocation websiteThe following is adapted from article from the UK magazine 'Peak Performance' . So what do we mean by the term 'resistance training'? For some the phrase will conjure up images of muscle-bound iron men pumping iron (and much else besides) and generally posing in front of the mirror. In fact resistance training is simply a program of exercise, which uses one or more types of training systems.


Methods include exercises using bodyweight, such as sit-ups, press-ups and dips. Resistive tubing, free weights and machines may also feature in resistance work. Even many of the traditional Olympic lifts, if taught with correct technique and light implements, can substantially improve a child's balance, proprioception, strength and power. What we should not do, however, is confuse resistance training with maximal-type exercises performed during competitive Olympic and power lifting competitions. The key is not to perform maximal lifts with young athletes

A medicine ball exersise that works on the Obliques and AbsMention the words 'resistance training' and 'children' in the same sentence and most people will start giving you funny looks. To say the subject is controversial is an understatement. This is hardly surprising when you consider that until recently the benefits of resistance training to athletic performance have largely been dismissed in the UK. Only now are coaches, athletes and the general public beginning to realise that 'pumping iron' can not only transform your physical appearance but can also improve your health and sporting performance.


Young Athletes are not smaller versions of adults, nor are men and women made the same way. Most people assume that resistance training, best benefits males with their underlying testosterone driven adaptive systems. However its obvious that if you put women in a resistance training program they benefit. 


So why then do women and young athletes benefit from a resistance training program. Theorists have pointed to the possible contribution of neurological systems. Evidence suggests that strength increases in line with the development of the nervous system, which is of primary importance in the exertion and development of muscular strength. Research has indicated that there are three likely determinants of strength gains: improved motor skill coordination; increased motor unit activation; and undetermined neurological adaptations


My Viewpoint

So does this mean I advocate that all young athletes should be in a gym lifting weights as heavy as themselves? The simple answer is no. However in what ever form we want to call it, “Body Conditioning” or “Muscle Conditioning” or “Strength Training” or “Resistance Training" or "Weightlifting" or whatever.  I believe that exercise that uses resistance in some form, including weights, to strengthen and condition the musculoskeletal system offers an advantage to an athlete.


The advantages are many and include outright strength gains as well as improved motor skill coordination, increased motor unit activation, undetermined neurological adaptations and strengthening of the general body to allow more effective training and reduction of risk of injury.


There is no one right program for any one athlete. Each of us are unique and each of us will respond in differing ways to the same stimulus.  medicine balls might be too much for some and too little for others, weights might be easy for you and way to heavy for me. Each resistance program is tailored to meet an individuals and abilities.


Resistance training - Without weights

As a level 4 track coach I have received extensive training in how to deliver a resistance training program using an athletes own body weight and light weight objects such as medicine balls. They work quite well for some. This form of resistance training is an integral part of track coaching and is offered in most sessions.


Resistance training - With weights

As a level 1 'Olympic Weightlifting/Sports power coach' and member of the 'Queensland Weightlifting Association' I am confident that I can provide a safe and balanced program for those athletes who would benefit from a weight assisted resistance program.




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    Updated: 09/03/2018