Ever wondered why the guy doing bicep curls was doing bicep curls when he had a triathlon coming up? Or why the woman doing the cross trainer was doing the cross trainer when she wants to get better at basketball? Well most trainers should because they’d be wasting their time.
To get better at your chosen sport, you have to train specifically for it. Whether you know how to or not, seek help or at least research well to do it. The truth is, there are many sports so different from each other that the training often needs to be very different too. This may seem like common knowledge but it’s not common practice I can assure you. Here’s a few essential tips to adhere to:
1. Every training programme needs to take into account your training load from the sport itself. There’s no point in giving you intense gym training sessions 6 days a week when you’re also doing intense UFC type jujitsu grappling everyday because you’d be dead within a week! Exaggeration I know but you get the point.
2. A fundamental rule, is that strength training should be a part of every training programme. Just ask any marathon runner that has had joint stability issues that then started a strength training programme to help his joints and performance. I give the example of a marathon runner because these types of athletes often shy away from anything to do with resistance training.
3. Stretch the right muscles and train the weaker muscles for the right sports! Most sports are very dominant on certain muscles and leave others behind which result in various problems with the body. Just look at Federers left arm in comparison to his right and the way Tennis players are often getting back issues because they’re over using core muscles on one side in comparison to the other.
4. Balance training. Some strength coaches would argue that balance training is not needed, well I’d agree if you’re training bodybuilders or power lifters but tell that to an elite surfer like Kelly Slater. Train for your sport and try not to get stuck in Neanderthal thinking.
A few of my favourite elite athletes in action that train/trained very differently from each other:
Train intelligently but most importantly, have fun!