Sports based on your strength training needs
In this entry, we will comment on sports based on your strength needs and will give some ideas to program training based on objectives.
In this series of articles we deal with some of the most important concepts of strength training, collecting notes from the recently published book Strength, Speed and Physical and Sports Performance written by renowned researchers Juan José González Badillo and Juan Ribas Serna.
- Strength needs are not the same for all sports or sports specialties.
- To estimate the strength needs in a sport, they can be divided into two cases: 1/ there is only a need for strength relative to the movement of body weight, and 2/ there are external loads applied during sports practice.
- The less time the action lasts, the greater the need for force, because the action will be carried out at a higher speed, and for this the maximum force applied and the RFD for each unit of action must be greater.
It is reasonable to admit, and practice shows it, that not all sports or sports specialties dedicate the time to strength training doing what is usually called “strength training”.
Naturally, the dedication depends on the degree of application of force in absolute and relative terms that the specific actions of the different sports specialties require.
Considering the differences that exist between sports in terms of strength development needs, it would not seem logical for everyone to train with the same loads. Although the idea remains that, whatever the strength needs, the load should always be the minimum that produces sufficient performance, and that this minimum load should be maintained as long as it is effective, it is likely that subjects who need to develop in to a greater extent the strength should require a greater training load: greater IE for the same relative intensity and a tendency to increase the relative intensity to a greater extent than the others.
In accordance with these approaches, a distribution of sports or sports specialties has been made into five groups based on the needs of force development.
distribution of sports according to their strength needs in five groups
|Sprints, jumping, rowing, canoeing, judo, wrestling, track speed cycling
|Handball, swimming (speed events), fencing
|Medium – Low
|Football, basketball, field hockey, tennis
|Middle-distance and long-distance running, long-distance swimming, road cycling
Tabla 19.1. Proposal for the division of sports based on the needs of strength development.
In some cases, doubts may arise as to whether a sport should be in a certain group, depending on whether we consider that the strength needs are higher or lower than the proposals. It may also be that in some cases the sports were found between two of the groups or strength levels of those proposed. Although each specialist could consider that their sport should be in a different group, the analysis of the evolution of performance in relation to the applied load could confirm where it should be better located.
In addition, each specialist will be able to locate those sports that do not appear in the examples in the group they consider most appropriate.
In some cases, consideration of strength needs refers to the muscle groups or body members that are most determinant of performance, not all muscle groups. For example, it would not make sense to train the upper limbs with the same loads (degrees of effort) than the lower limbs in a runner and a jumper.
In other cases, such as fighting, the strength needs are of a similar level in the upper and lower limbs. To estimate what might be the strength needs in a sport, we could consider two situations:
- that the only resistance or opposition to movement in sports action is body weight, or
- that some external resistance is added in the form of a specific instrument to move in the form of dragging, pushing or throwing, as well as the existence of direct opposition from an adversary.
Within the first case, the strength needs will depend on several factors:
- Of the action fime or the distance to be covered, which are linked to different speed values. The less time the action lasts, the greater the need for force, because the action will be carried out at a higher speed, and for this the maximum force applied and the RFD for each unit of action must be greater.
- For the same action time:
- If the action is intermittent and mixed, with the combination of acyclic and cyclical techniques, the strength needs will be greater than if the action is only cyclical and continuous.
- If the technique is mixed, the existence of contact with the opponent(s) will make the need for strength greater than if there is none.
- If there are sudden changes in direction, the force requirements will be greater.
The less time the action lasts, the greater the need for force, because the action will be carried out at a higher speed, and for this the maximum force applied and the RFD for each unit of action must be greater.
None of these options would reach the “very high” strength needs (group A) but yes, in some cases, to “high” needs (group B), although also to “low” needs (group E).
In the second case, the force needs will depend on the same factors as in the first, but qualified by the magnitude of the external load present in the specific actions. These factors could be the following:
- In general, the strength needs will depend on the action time or the distance to be traveled, which are linked to different speed values. The less time the action lasts, the greater the need for force will tend to be.
- In actions of very short duration (2-5”), the magnitude of the load and the speed (normally, the maximum possible) at which it must be moved determine the force requirements. In this situation, the force requirements will always be “higher”. These actions are generally acyclic.
- In cyclical actions, the force requirements depend on the magnitude of the load to be moved and the duration of the effort. The higher the load and the shorter the action time, the higher the force needs. When it comes to a direct opposition to the adversary, the strength needs will depend on whether you have to drag or push the adversary or just hit. The strength needs will be greater in the first case.
In these second options, the strength needs range from “medium” to “very high”.