Strength and conditioning or S&C as referred to in the fitness industry is often associated with athletes or sports teams and focuses on improving components of fitness including speed, strength and power. Strength and conditioning and focus prescribed exercise programs can be the difference between a gold and silver medal or missing a competition due to injury.
So, how does that help you if you aren’t an athlete and maybe have a more modest goal of just to get a bit fitter or lose a bit of weight? Well, the good news is despite traditionally strength and conditioning being focused around athletes it can be applied to everyday life scenarios too.
The main aims of strength and conditioning are to improve movement and avoid injury: this approach can even be applied to training with the eldery to prevent falls and improve quality of life.
What is strength and conditioning?
Strength and conditioning is a combination of strength training and aerobic conditioning. Often people can focus on one element and neglect the other, for example a runner who only well, runs. Typically a Personal Trainer will focus on areas of strength and conditioning with a client with the overall outcome of improving both health and fitness. In comparison, a strength and conditioning coach will typically work with athletes or sports teams with an outcome to improve sporting performance. Whether you are a general gym goer or an athlete, strength and conditioning should look to improve both strength and speed and prevent injury.
Why add strength and conditioning?
For those of us looking to add strength and conditioning to a general weekly gym program or workout routine there are many benefits just like to athletes. Aerobic conditioning is improving the aerobic or cardiovascular system. You may have heard of people referring to exercises like running or even Zumba as “cardio”, this is simply something that works the cardiovascular system: your heart and lungs and basically gets the blood pumping! Adding exercises into your workouts that focus on conditioning can have many benefits including improving your cardiovascular health, lowering your blood pressure and helping to manage or lose weight.
Adding effective strength training into your workouts will build muscle mass, your endurance and strength. The benefits of strength training include lowering the risk of chronic diseases, improving heart health and burning calories efficiently. There are other overlapping benefits from both strength and conditioning exercises that include boosting self esteem and general mood.
What are strength and conditioning exercises?
The good news: strength and conditioning exercises can use a combination of equipment including your own bodyweight, free weights, resistance bands and machines. You may already do some of these exercises in your own gym workouts or if you are a beginner to strength and conditioning these may be some you can add to your new workout routines:
Deadlifts (checkout our benefits of Deadlifts blog)
Kettlebell Swings (checkout our benefits of Kettlebells blog)
Medicine Ball Slams
Split Leg Goblet Squats
Dumbbell Incline Presses
Beginner lifting weights?
If you are a beginner to lifting weights or want a refresher, we run a 6 week strength and conditioning course at our private Personal Training gym in Manchester city centre. Over the course of the 6 weeks you will work with our Head Personal Trainer Andy and learn to use a range of equipment including dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells to perform exercises including deadlifts and kettlebell swings. Our course currently runs every Monday 6pm or Wednesday 7.15am and all 6 sessions are only £99 - an affordable alternative to Personal Training!
To reserve your place on our next strength and conditioning course click here
Written by Jade Mottley - Sport Science BSc & Human Nutrition MSc