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Athletic Performance Questions and Answers:  Introduction

Although you can improve athletic performance with a strength and conditioning program, the actual improvement pales in comparison to what you will achieve by mastering your sport or athletic event on the field. Spend as much time as possible in the field or on the court mastering your sport and use strength and conditioning to compliment your on the field practices.

In order to get the most out of your strength and conditioning program, it must be sport specific and periodized.

Sport Specific

Sport-specific means the bulk of movements you do in the gym should be as similar as possible to the movements you do on the field or on the court. For example, someone involved in competitive rowing, would not benefit very much from a weight lifting program which focuses on bench presses and other movements, since rowing is predominantly a pulling motion.

In addition to movements in the same planes of motion, many movements are best performed at a similar velocity as they are on the field. For example, an athlete who is throwing the shot put would benefit more from performing shoulder press type exercises in a fast, explosive (powerful) manner than bodybuilder style slow and controlled sets and reps.


Periodization is a way to split the overall training program to avoid plateau, injury, produce constant improvements while most importantly, peaking as close as possible to time of competition. The periodized training program is broken down into macro-, meso- and micro- cycles all which have different schemes of training volume and workout intensities. Periods (usually week-long) of active rest are included throughout the (long-term) macro-cycle and are a very important part of the periodized weight training program.

In order to have a successful athletic performance training program, overtraining syndrome must be avoided at all costs. Learn all about it here:


Athletic Performance Q&A: Questions & Answers for Men
Q&A for Athletic Performance for Males



Athletic Performance Q&A: Questions & Answers for Women
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