Lots of trainers mean different things when they say “sport-specific weight training.” But here’s a simpler way to think about it: training customized to individual athletes.
In this sense, you can design sport-specific weight training programs based on five categories: the speed, strength, stamina, mobility, and durability required by the athlete.
Within these categories, you can get much more specific, but we’ll stay broad for now.
Know Your Goals, by Category
Any time you’re talking about training, whether you’re an Olympian or a weekend warrior, you need to be talking about goals. So before you start training, ask yourself: What is it that you want to achieve?
As an athlete, it’s especially important to get specific so you’re using your time in the gym as efficiently as possible. To make sure you’re being specific with your athletic goals, connect them to one of the five categories I outlined in the introduction:
For example, if you’re a golfer who wants to prevent injuries and lacks power, your goal would be more suitably connected to strength and durability… but not necessarily speed.
Still, don’t feel like you have to restrict yourself to one category; your goals can (and should) connect to two or more categories.
With a concrete understanding of your goals, you’ll be much better suited to understand how programming sport-specific weight training plans will benefit you the most.
Taking the golfer example a step further, to prevent injuries, you’d want to focus on weight training that builds strength in your core and legs and improves mobility in your hips and shoulders.
Of course, if you want to set meaningful goals, you should talk to a personal trainer who can help you think through your individual needs.
Assess Your Athletic Development Level
Imagine two cyclists who are both aiming to use weight training to climb hills faster. The first cyclist is an Olympian, and the second is a middle-aged man who cycles for fun on the weekends.
Clearly, you’re going to create different weight training plans for these two cyclists, even though their ultimate goal is similar. The reason for this is that these two athletes bring different athletic development levels to their training.
The Olympic cyclist has trained for decades, dedicating countless hours to building stamina, strength, durability, speed, and mobility. She needs to get very specific about how she builds these qualities because for her, making improvements is much harder relative to the middle-aged man.
The middle-aged man has limited athletic experience so for him, almost any kind of responsibly planned weight training program will result in big performance gains. Of course, a good personal trainer will be able to help you create a plan that makes the most efficient use of your training time.
Find a Trainer to Focus on Your Individual Needs
The last fundamental of sport-specific weight training is your individual needs.
Are you fast but lack agility? Do you want to extend your athletic career? Or maybe you just want to avoid injuries and play pain free. In any case, to properly train to perform as best you can, you need to know the answers to these questions.
If you need help answering these questions, or you want to create a sport-specific strength training program, download The Bright App on the Google Play or App Store and find a trainer who can help you.