Strength & Conditioning

Strength and conditioning training (known as dry-land training in snowsports) is concerned with enhancing the five S’s of Training and Performance:

  • - Skill
  • - Speed
  • - Stamina
  • - Strength
  • - Suppleness

Strength and conditioning training is essential for all sports from recreational to professional and can help improve:

  • - aerobic, anaerobic capacities 
  • - power and force output 
  • - strength 
  • - sport specific body shape, specific sport fitness 
  • - agility, quickness, reaction, speed, acceleration 
  • - flexibility, core stability, injury prevention 

Principles of Training 

Progressive Overload
Physiologic adaptation occurs in response to stress, if you do not stress a system with training, minimal improvements in fit- ness will occur

The adaptation that occurs is specific to the stress the system is placed under. The 4 factors that determine the type, rate and magnitude of response are:
1. Frequency ...........of training stimulus
2. Intensity ..............of training stimulus
3. Time ....................duration of training stimulus
4. Type ....................of exercise / muscles used
For example; strength training has minimal effect on you capacity for aerobic work.

Different people have different training sensitivity with respect to rate and magnitude of response to training. 

The fitness requirements for all sports fall into 3 broad categories: 

1. Energy System Training

All work (activity) requires energy. There are 2 main pathways that can be adapted with training:
1. Aerobic Energy System Pathway
2. Anaerobic Energy System Pathway

The contribution of each of these pathways to the energy supply is influenced predominantly by the intensity and duration of the activity. Both systems are always working and as the intensity of the exercise increases there is an increasing contribution from the anaerobic system.

2. Neural System Training

Strength, power and speed are about “switching on” the right muscles at the right time. Strength training promotes an increase in the FORCE generating capability of a muscle or group of muscles. Power training promotes and increase in the FORCE and VELOCITY capabilities of a muscle or group of muscles. Speed training promotes an improvement in the VELOCITY capabilities of a muscle or group of muscles.

3. Posture Training

There are 2 aspects to posture training:

Postural Control - This includes aspects of training such as abdominal muscles, back muscles, muscles that control hip  movement, muscles that control shoulder movement.

Flexibility - The purpose of this training strategy is to improve range of movement about joints through stretching the muscles. There should be a static and a dynamic aspect to this training. 

For more information view the SSA Athlete Handbooks or the Normative Fitness Testing Protocol of the National Alpine Committee (ie. Physical Benchmarks)