Q: What is the purpose of doing evaluation testing prior to starting a supervised strength and conditioning program?

A: The initial purpose is to obtain baseline information on general physical parameters such as strength, power, speed, and endurance, along with biomechanical and physiological status of the athlete. This enables the strength and conditioning professional to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of the athlete relative to the demands of a particular sport, and help in deciding which conditioning activities will optimize training. Ultimately, pre-assessment testing provides a guide for program design and implementation.

Q: What is the purpose of doing evaluation testing on a regular interval basis or at the completion of a supervised strength and conditioning program?

A: Post-assessment testing enables the strength and conditioning professional to determine if improvements in the training levels of the athlete has been accomplished and program objectives and goals have been achieved.

Q: What is functional sports training?

A: Functional sports training involves training muscle groups and their respective areas of the body to work in a similar manner as used for a particular sports activity. Muscles and joints work together, not in isolation, therefore it is important to think in terms of training the movement as opposed to just the muscle groups. Sports require multi-joint, multi-plane, multi-directional movements therefore, it is important that functional sports training is transferable to the sport being played by the athlete

Q: Won't weight training make my body bulky and less flexible?

A: No, actually a properly designed weight (strength) training program will not only increase your strength, but will also improve your range of motion.

Q: What is the significance of balance for the athlete?

A: Balance is a component of all movement, whether that movement is dominated by strength, speed, flexibility, or stamina. Problems, which appear to be related to strength, speed, flexibility, or skill can in fact be balance-related and are simply manifested as a lack of strength, speed, flexibility, or skill.

Q: What is Periodization?

A: Periodization, sometimes referred to as cycle training, is the gradual cycling of specificity, intensity, and volume of training to reach peak levels of fitness for the most important athletic competitions. Over a time period of several weeks, training shifts from non-sport specific activities using high volume and low intensity to sport specific activities of low volume and high intensity. One year of training is categorized as a macrocycle, which is further divided into two or more mesocycles for that time period. Each mesocycle is subdivided into periods of preperation, competition, and transition.

Q: Free weights vs. machines-Why is this an important consideration for the athlete?

A: For athletes, performing exercises using free weights enables them to simulate the movement demands of their particular sport. Free weights will allow athletes to perform three-dimensional movements, and does not inhibit their movement pattern. Machines only allow for movement in a two dimensional direction, and usually only work single joint movements at one time.

Q: Is it possible to improve the speed of an athlete, who was not born to run fast?

A: Yes, although it is true that naturally fast athletes are born with a genetic predisposition, which provides physiological advantages such as a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers. However, most athletes with average speed can improve their running speed by following a properly designed speed development program. While, a slow athlete might not be able to develop the same speed as the fastest athletes on their team or in a particular sport, most athletes have not come close to reaching their genetic potential in running speed.

Q: What is overtraining?

A: Overtraining occurs when the athlete uses excessive volume or intensity of training or both, which leads to fatigue in the body. Also, not allowing for proper rest and recovery will also lead to overtraining. The resulting condition is called "Overtraining Syndrome", which can manifests itself in a plateau or decrease in athletic performance. Overtraining that occurs from excessive volume and intensity during resistance training can be overcome after a brief period of rest and recovery. Overtraining for athletes performing endurance activities can take a longer period for recovery, which could be 5-6 months in severe cases.

Q: What is complex training?

A: Complex training is a training program that alternates weight training and plyometrics within the same workout session. An example would be to combine a squat(strength movement) with a depth jump(speed-strength movement). Because this is an advanced level of training, it should only be performed by mature athletes, who already possess an adequate strength base.