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
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
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
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