Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Great Webinar from the NSCA

I've never taken the opportunity to attend a webinar, but I thought I would share the experience of a recent online lecture hosted by the NSCA. The webinar titled "Strength and Conditioning for the Endurance Athlete/Sport" was conducted by Greg Haff, PhD, CSCS from the University of West Virginia.

As a pretty finicky consumer of continuing education, I have to say this was a well organized and evidence-based discussion regarding the benefits and limitations of various strength training methodologies for the endurance athlete. Dr. Haff even addressed popular "core training" regimens and their dubious effectiveness in improving performance. Without ripping off his lecture completely, here are a few gems I picked up from the webinar:

  • A well-planned resistance training program is capable of improving endurance performance. This has been consistently demonstrated in activities ranging from running to cycling and swimming.

  • An important corollary is that endurance training does NOT benefit the strength athlete!

  • Resistance training should not simply be added to the total training time. Otherwise, cumulative fatigue may likely negate potential training benefits or expose the athlete to injury. Consider replacing some of the endurance training load with resistance training. Of course, seasonal variations should be considered here.

  • Focus on compound movement patterns that appear to have maximum specificity to the activity.

  • Core training appears to have little to no benefit for endurance training.

In one of my earliest blog posts, I resolved to return my efforts to my roots in exercise science. This webinar certainly helped stoke these fires. This year I will be blogging on issues pertaining to exercise science. In particular I will focus on the sometimes controversial role physical therapists have in this highly specialized field. I have strong opinions about the role of PT's in strength and conditioning and hope the posts will inspire those in our profession to seek a greater understanding of exercise science. Until that time, take care and talk to you soon!

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to your continuation on the subject.