Saturday, June 23, 2012

TRAIN LIKE A HAWK! - Strength and Conditioning at the University of Hartford - By Graham Anderson

Originally posted on on June 15, 2006

At the University of Hartford we strength train with one goal in mind: to be stronger, both physically and mentally. In turn, the athlete is able to play his or her sport at a higher level with a decreased chance of injury. The amount of weight, number of reps, and exercises used all help to achieve this goal. The biggest component, however, is effort. The amount of effort undoubtedly affects the overall level that an athlete can achieve in any sport.

Our resistance training exercises are dictated by the equipment we have available. Currently in our weight room we possess 6 full racks, dumbbells ranging from 10 – 100, two glute-ham machines, two cable lat-pulldown/seated row machines, 12 Dynamax medicine balls, 6 Physioballs of various sizes, 2 Sorinex Land-Mines, 2 four station dip racks, and 3 iso-lateral Hammer leg presses.

We train (dependant upon game schedule) 2 – 3 times per week. Each workout is a full body workout; each day having a different emphasis. Generally speaking, day 1 focuses more on upper body, day 2 lower body, and day 3 concentrates on the core (abs/lower back).

Ultimately, a muscle can strengthen in 3 different ways. These include a non-momentum movement (bench press/squat), a momentum movement (clapping push ups/squat jumps), and a static hold (push up position top/bottom/wall sit). Most of our lifts are non-momentum movements because these create the most tension while training the full range of motion of the muscle. The idea is to develop muscles, tendons, and bones to withstand heavier loads for longer periods of time. In order to achieve this, we have developed a training program that works the major muscle groups in the 3 different planes (frontal, sagittal, and transverse). As an example, for the chest we perform the bench press, dips, and flys. The coaches of each sport then strive to improve the more developed athlete through practice and game situations.

We try to find a common thread that lies within all sports. We then focus on developing it through resistance training and conditioning exercises. Although being a great squatter will not help an athlete become a great basketball player, the effort exerted will guide the athlete to become a stronger player. The effort to push yourself beyond your limits and never quitting is desired by all coaches, no matter what sport. This effort is the backbone of our training and can be summed up in one word. RELENTLESS.

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