The average fitness participant generally avoids sport-specific training programs because many people are intimidated by the exercises or feel the exercises aren¡¯t suitable for their goals. The sport-specific training terms maximum strength, power, speed or endurance seem to have no relevance in the average person¡¯s life.
This mentality is ironic, since developing these abilities unknowingly allows many of us to perform our daily activities with less effort and a reduced risk of injury. Think of the strength and muscular endurance a mother needs to lift and carry her child for several minutes at a time or the power your body requires to jump out of the way of a moving object or to quickly spring up onto a step or curb. Although these actions may not occur all the time, it is important that your body has the ability when the time comes.
Training for maximum strength, power, speed and muscular endurance also brings many of the positive physiological adaptations required to achieve many of our fitness and health goals. Whether it¡¯s looking good in a bathing suit or improving your cholesterol levels, intense sport-specific training is a great way to get you there.
Weight Loss with Sports Training
Losing weight boils down to burning more calories than you consume and having a higher proportion of lean muscle mass on your body. Sport-specific training exercises generally challenge your body to a higher degree. This not only forces your body to adapt to the stimulus by getting stronger, but also burns more calories in the process. If you wish to have the physique of a professional athlete, doesn¡¯t it make sense to train like one?
It is the intensity of the exercise that dictates the body¡¯s response, not the individual¡¯s technical ability. Therefore, intensity is a relative term and sport-specific exercises that involve coordination, agility and flexibility can be used for anyone, regardless of age, gender or fitness level.
Obviously, certain precautions must be taken into account prior to starting an intense program:
1. Ease into the program: Too much too soon is a recipe for disaster. Many injuries occur as a result of training at a high intensity without the proper foundation. A general strength and aerobic training routine should be completed for at least six to eight weeks prior to trying out any sport-specific training program.
2. Monitor your heart rate throughout the workout: Many sport-specific exercises challenge the body to levels far greater than the typical workout. Therefore, managing your heart rate response is an important safety tip. If your heart rate rises quickly to levels exceeding 85% of your maximum, take a break and make sure you allow your heart rate to go back down to approximately 60% before continuing with the workout. To learn how to measure your pulse, click here.
3. Listen to your body: If your body hurts or takes too long to recover between sets, you are probably not ready for this type of training. Change the exercise, select a simpler version of the exercise, increase the rest interval or decrease the number of repetitions until your body feels comfortable with the entire workout.
4. Keep a mental log: Take note of how your body feels several hours after the workout or even the next day. If your muscles and joints feel stiff, then you pushed yourself too much. If you feel energized and strong, then continue with the workout and gradually raise the intensity.
5. Use common sense: If you¡¯re working out for the first time, do not try this type of program. Intense sport-specific training exercises are an excellent alternative for weight-loss participants who need to shake up their routine or get past the typical speed bump on the road to weight-loss.
We have attached a sport-specific program that will help you tone up and trim down. If you have never done this type of a workout, we suggest you rest for 48 hours between workouts. Keep in mind that you should warm up and cool down before and after all weight training days. For a detailed warm-up, stretch and cool-down program, complete the Truestar Exercise profile.