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High Performance Training for Mortals

High performance training methods are designed to target athletic components that are relevant to an athlete’s sporting discipline in order to optimise their sporting performance. However, HPT shouldn't be reserved for athletes alone!

Strength and conditioning is an ever-evolving discipline as more and more sporting organisations are starting to introduce the role and see the benefit of athletic development.

As the sport and fitness industry continues to grow, more discoveries are being made every week in identifying more effective training methods to promoting athleticism. High performance training methods are designed to target athletic components that are relevant to an athlete’s sporting discipline in order to optimise their sporting performance. This type of training is often reserved for athletes as their training is required to reflect and prepare them for the demands of their sport.

What is not being promoted is that high-performance training has just as many benefits for non-athletes. An example of this would be instability exercises; basketball players will perform ankle proprioception exercise to reduce the risk of ankle sprains. Instability exercises are also effective for elderly or any individuals who struggle with balance. Quality of life will always be more important than athletic development and it’s more important to prevent falls amongst elderly than for young athletes.

Individuals might be hesitant to engage in more complex training methods, particularly if they are new to the gym environment, so obviously there must be a few considerations before introducing high performance training methods. Every exercise that an individual performs must have a “why”, even if the why is simply because the client (you) enjoy it and it puts you in a good mood. Every exercise must be assessed on it’s risk, so it is critical that the exercise does not pose a substantial threat to the individual’s health.

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One of the safest methods of high-performance training used amongst general population is pool work, most commonly done in the form of aqua aerobics. Dynamic movements like running and jumping in the water is beneficial for gym goers of all ages and ability as water both restricts movement while also reducing the impact on joints when landing. Training in the pool is unique as the resistance offered occurs in all planes of movement, meaning that your body in constantly having to work. A variation of this would be jumping while hanging from a resistance band, this will reduce the impact on the knee and ankle joints while improving the individual’s reactive strength. As someone that has struggled with chronic knee pain for over 7 years, I can say with some confidence that explosive training methods like weighted jumps have been a centrepiece in rehabilitating my knee and improving my athleticism. It sounds counterintuitive for someone with knee pain to jump with added weight, but research indicates that the landing forces are less when jumping with weight than without as your body is not capable of reaching the same height with added weight than without it.

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In my experience, high performance training methods are well received amongst non-athletes and they have just as much if not more fun than athletes. A change in scenery is often welcomed amongst clients and high-performance training would be a great addition for those seeking a new challenge or goal.  I am yet to prescribe a set of banded jumps or sprints to my clients and them not enjoy it.

Keen to give it a go? Get in touch!!

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Raphael Morrissey

Raphael Morrissey

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