Strength and Conditioning Principles

Jul 31, 2022


What is strength and conditioning?

• To perform a skill or movement, in training, with greater intensity than what your sport or daily duties require, thus improving performance and reducing risk of injury.


Strength and conditioning is a useful way of structuring training to meet specific goals. Your therapist will conduct an initial assessment consisting of subjective assessments. This would include taking a background history of training, medical history taking, likes/dislikes and creating S.M.A.R.T. goals with you to focus training around. Following this a physical assessment component would be undertaken to determine current physical capacity, baseline values and assess how you move.

Strength and conditioning training works on the concept of supercompensation which is a response to stress from training placed on the body. The body must adapt to this level of stress and increase its ability to perform work to be better prepared for the next bout of exercise. By training in a specific way, we can achieve specific results such as improvements in muscle growth, strength, jumping, sprinting etc.

Your therapist will employ the strength and conditioning principles below to tailor the training to you and your goals.


Progressive overload

The principle of overload refers to the fact that to force the musculature to adapt and become stronger, it is necessary to expose it to a level of stress beyond the point to which it is accustomed. Stress or overload in training can be modified by altering the following training variables:

• The volume of training,
• The intensity of training,
• The speed at which the exercises are performed
• The rest interval between repeated sets and exercises



The specific type of training you perform will elicit improvements in specific attributes. For example, lifting weights can help increase muscle strength and size, interval training can help increase aerobic endurance and plyometric training can improve jumping and sprinting ability.



Variation is the need to have variety in the program to avoid boredom and promote new stimulatory effects on the body. This principle relates to the fact that if the training stimulus is consistently presented to the body in exactly the same way, its efficiency will diminish, the individual will become stale and their training gains will be reduced. Adequate variety will keep the individual engaged with the program and cause the body to constantly improve with changes in training.



Your therapist will ensure the training is tailored to meet your specific needs and to you. No two people are the same and will have differences in age, gender, training levels and physical capacity. It is important the training is tailored to you and your goals.



The body develops and adapts in the time between training sessions, so it is essential to have enough rest and quality rest between training. This includes good nutrition and sleep to allow the body the fully recover. With enough recovery the body will be able to develop and improve performance along with reducing risk of injury.



If you don’t use it, you will lose it. The body is constantly changing and will adapt to the amount of work it needs to do. When training the body adapts to the new workload and becomes stronger and fitter. However, the opposite is also true. If the amount of work the body must do is low, the body will adapt to this low level of activity and fitness levels will decrease. It is important to ensure adequate levels of training to improve to and maintain higher fitness levels.


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