What Kind of Strength Does An Athlete Need?

In spite of all our advances in trainining for sports performance, there are still many outdated ideas causing problems for young and old athletes alike. One of these misconceptions is the thought that just lifting weights to develop strength is enough to make an athlete better.


Although some strength coaches and trainers do practice this idea it is not an effective way to help an athlete continue to play better and to become more athletic. Now this doesn't mean that getting stronger isn't important because strength is athletic qaulities in it. However, an athlete not only needs to be strong as far as lifting alone goes. Because strength (especially Max. strength) is the qaulity that is one of the foundational ones to better sports performance. However, if just lfiting heavy weights is enough to make an athlete perform at their top level, all competitive lifters and body-builders will kill it at every sport and that isn't the case.


We also need to understand that there are different types of strength when it comes to performance and fitness.

There is limit of absolute stregnth, this is maxing out strength and athletes do need. some of it

There is also relative strength, which is seen in pull-ups. push-ups etc. This type of strength is useful for athletes as well.


There are different aspects of this strength. Such as:
Strength endurance
strength speed
Speed strength and so-on


Each one of these qaulities is useful for sport and should be trained the proper way to achieve the desired outcome. (You see training is much like a recipe that requires the right ingredients.)

In light of that do you now see that just lifting weights to only see your pounds lifted go up is not enough to become a better athlete.

In fact there are more pieces to the puzzle than this. As a matter of fact, there is a componet that hasn't been mentioned yet in this article, that many so called strength coaches won't even talk about. That qaulity is often refered to as movement and is broken down into a few different abilities that are essential to health and are needed to perform better.

The following two aspects are essentials in order to move well:

Mobility: The is the joint or joints moving throughout what is the fullest and safest range of motion needed to get in and maintain the proper position to absorb forces that could be damaging otherwise.

Stability: This element of quite often misunderstood in the fitness, health and performance field. All this concept simply is the ability to control your body and move it properly as you live, train and play.


There needs to be enough of these factors in order to achieve our full potentional while doing all that we can to stay healthy as we compete.

The chart below gives a breakdown on what this should look like as far as priorities go in training.


As you can probably see this is quite often wrong in preparing for sports. Depending on the person and their philiosphy, they either will work too much on specific skills for their sports, or they spend the majority of their time on physical preperation without spending time of movement or very little time given to it.


Now is it is not that you shouldn't work on those things, it is just that everything has its place and that some things should be more of the focus of a good strength and conditioning program.In this case movement should be our focus. This however, doesn't mean that we should trian and build skills, but rather our movement issues should be number one in correction before strength, power and skill. It also means that movement and proper mechanics must be a priority in training as we get bigger, faster and stronger as well as build up our sports related skills.


Be sure to train in phases or cyles when preparing to play better. Start off your cycles with working on movement, mobility, stability and working on exercise technique if you have enough time to do so. (before your season or event) If not avoid anyhting that may excaserbate your issue. Let's say for example that you can't touch your toes, until you do don't go beyond your present mobility in deadlifting. Instead do rack pulls. romianian deadlifts and spend time correcting your lack of toe touch. Then once it is fixed begin to lifte heavish wieght off the floor. Work single leg exercises, train ballistically and so on.

Strength is important, but isn't everything in terms of athletic development. One must move well, get stronger in the right ways and patterns, practice their sports skills and have an overwhelming desire to win.

If you would like more information on our program and how it will help you play and live your best, email us at with the tagline program and we will get back to you.


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