Introducing Your Body to Weight Training

Agostina Casamento Moran
Tennis and Strength and Conditioning Coach
Doctoral Student – Bio-behavioral Science
Neuromuscular Physiology Lab – University of Florida
agoscasamento@ufl.edu

agostina

In my previous post I shared how, as a coach and athlete, I always encounter students and colleagues saying that they want to become a world-class athlete. However, most of them only take seriously their sport specific training and ignore the importance of a well-designed comprehensive training.

Although ignored by many, weight training is an important aspect of your training routing. It will make you feel stronger, powerful, and confident in your sport.

It has a competitive outlet that teaches you how to beat your biggest opponent: YOURSELF! While weight training, you are competing against yourself for personal records. You will always be trying to lift a little more or do some extra repetitions. Once you learn to compete against yourself, it will be a little easier to compete against others.

In addition, it has several physiological benefits that will improve your performance as an athlete. It:

A) Enhances your metabolism. Metabolism is the term used to describe all the chemical reactions in your body. Muscles are highly metabolic tissues that make up about 45% of your total weight. Greater and stronger muscle mass helps stroke metabolism during and after exercise.

B) Improves blood pressure regulation. Intense amounts of force constrict blood vessels, which in turn raises blood pressure. Stronger muscles do not have to work as hard to exert the same amount of force, thus, constricting blood vessels less.

C) Develops your strength, power, balance, and coordination. Having strong and powerful muscles is essential for smooth and easy performance. Weight training will improve the efficacy of your movements and the utilization of your force. You will do more with less.

D) Delays your fatigue. Stronger muscles do not have to work as hard to exert the same amount of force.

E) Helps maintain motor nerve connections and muscle quickness.

F) Accelerates your recovery from injuries. Stronger muscles are healthier muscles, and healthier muscles recover faster from injuries than weaker ones.

Although it has a lot of benefits, good instruction and proper technic are critical for you to achieve them. For example, a poor hang-clean (power exercise) technique can injure you rather than improve your power (your ability to exert maximal force the shortest time possible).

Remember, if you really want to become the best you MUST TO DO IT RIGHT. Go ahead and TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!