The Case Against Strength Training
I hear this all the time… Guys who avoid stepping into the gym, and justify that weak behavior with even weaker excuses.
I don’t want that muscle to weigh me down…
Strength training will make me stiff…
I play X sport, I don’t need to be strong…
These are weak excuses, and any athlete who makes them is weak. I know this because these are the same guys who, while other athletes are lifting, will lounge on the couch and scroll through Instagram. Or they’ll glue themselves to the TV for hours and play Fortnite. Or they’ll stay up late doing God knows what…
All behaviors that make an athlete worse… Not better.
They’re not spending time watching film, mobilizing, or recovering.
They’re investing their time in fruitless endeavors.
The Other Type of Athlete in the Wrong
Aside from the outright lazy athlete, there’s another type of athlete in the wrong.
This athlete thinks they’re training the right way, but in reality, they’re training their body in a way that will actually cause their performance to plummet.
For example, athletes who engage in traditional bodybuilding,
Or do powerlifting,
Or that functional patterns nonsense.
They’re setting themselves up for injury, bad performances, and general embarrassment.
That’s not to say these things don’t have their place…
For example, if you’re more concerned with how you look in the mirror than your performance on the field, bodybuilding might be a good route for you…
Or if you just want brute strength on your big three lifts than your ability to move dynamically and quickly on the field, you can opt for the powerlifting route…
But, there’s a way you can get bigger, stronger, AND more athletic…
Strength for Athletes
As I alluded to above, many athletes go about building strength the wrong way.
And it was only a few years ago that I discovered a method to develop strength that translates over to the field.
It’s called Triphasic Training, and it works by manipulating different anatomical mechanisms in the body to allow you to tap into more strength, and even power.
If it sounds kind of crazy, it is.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what it looks like:
Phase 1: Eccentric
This phase is dedicated to teaching your body how to absorb force. The more force you can absorb, the more you can produce. Which means if you increase your ability to absorb force you’ll be able to move more weight, and of course be more powerful.
Phase 2: Isometric
In this phase, you’re working the transition phase of the movement. On a squat, the isometric is the time in between the lowering and above.
Holding this portion of the movement longer teaches the body to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. This will allow you to move weight quicker, and will make you more explosive.
Phase 3: Concentric
The goal in this phase is simple. Move weights as fast as possible.
Here, you’ll lighten the weights, and work on becoming as explosive as you can.
This is a general summary. To go deeper into this topic you can check out my free advanced strength series.
Bodybuilding for Athletes?
Bodybuilding can be very harmful for athletes.
It makes the muscles stiff, rigid, and tight. In addition, it can facilitate muscular imbalances that create injury and poor performance.
So, how can you get a more attractive physique as an athlete?
A few methods…
First, strength training the way I laid out above. This will stimulate myofibrillar hypertrophy, and will grant you more dense muscles.
Second, you have to be mindful of your training volume.
Third, use tri-sets and higher reps to develop Lean Athletic Muscle.
If you want more on this topic, I go deeper into it here: