Strong for what?


Some things that I have seen the past couple of days brought to forefront again a conundrum that I have wrestled with for over 40 years. When you get in the weight room and get “strong,” you can lift more weight, it is measurable, but how does that strength transfer into performance? I am convinced it is not a matter of how much strength is enough, which is what I used to think it was. I really think it is about what strength you can use and how you apply the strength. I guess you can call it functional strength, but I try to stay away from that term because of all the negative connotations of standing on physio balls and juggling flaming swords. I am thinking it is more about getting parts of the body talking to each other, creating a better system of linking the parts. I think Frans Bosch came close when he called strength training- coordination training with resistance. I would say it is coordination with appropriate resistance. Appropriate for the sport you are training for, for the time of the training year and for the individual athlete. The way I view it unless you are a weight lifter or a power lifter how much you lift is not that important. In many ways it is how you move the resistance regardless of the mode. Some movements with heavier resistance are slower and more deliberate and other are faster and more ballistic. Movement in sports covers a spectrum of speeds; therefore it is important to train across those spectrum’s. That being said I think sometimes the weight room in a traditional sense can be a trap where we get caught up chasing numbers and lose sight of the application of the strength to the activity.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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