A Q&A with Tone House Head Coach & Education Specialist Yusuf Jeffers

Why is strength training just as important as conditioning, and how do the two compliment each other? 

Head Coach Yusuf Jeffers

Simply stated, strength is defined as the ability to exert force. Conditioning is training with the goal of improving cardiovascular function and work capacity. A balanced training program works on improving both aspects of overall fitness.

What benefits does actual weightlifting provide that bodyweight exercises alone do not? 

Weightlifting or resistance training can help improve strength, power, muscle hypertrophy, and strength endurance. Typically, lifting weights requires more muscle recruitment to perform the movement than bodyweight exercises do. That ultimately leads to greater specific adaptions where strength and all its attributes are concerned.

How should someone split up their strength & conditioning workouts throughout the week? 

Splitting up strength workouts and conditioning workouts throughout the course of the week is entirely dependent on which of the two a person is most focused on working or improving on. A moderate exercise program will have 3-4 sessions/week. Determining which of the two is the main goal is the priority. Trying to improve strength and conditioning at the same time leads to poor results. Individual focus on each will help you get the most out of your training sessions. The most important distinction to keep in mind is to prioritize training goals to maximize results. 

If someone has never lifted before, how should they approach starting strength sessions at Tone House? 

It’s very important that a novice lifter approaches strength sessions in a  gradual, progressive, consistent manner. Don’t be afraid to start with just the bar until you get comfortable with the movements. This affords your body the chance to positively adapt to the stimulus of resistance training, while minimizing training stress, fatigue, and potential injury. Heavier weights come after a strong foundation is established.

Let’s talk about the 3 major lifts found in TH Strength sessions, the bench, squat, and deadlift. Why do we focus on these 3 major lifts and what benefits do they provide? 

These 3 major lifts are some of the most commonly programmed resistance training exercise used in athletic development programs.

They most directly improve strength in major muscle groups:

Bench Press – Pectoral, biceps, shoulders

Squat – Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes 

Deadlift – Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes 

How do you suggest athletes focus more on learning movements properly, with sound form and technique, before adding weight to the bar. And, how do you know when it’s time to add weight to the bar? 

Athletes should begin any new resistance training exercises with a basic understanding of the muscle groups trained and practice the movement pattern under a relatively light load. Novice lifters should add weight gradually, and should only increase the load if proper form and technique are maintained during the lift.

Once proficiency is achieved a higher percentage of his/her 1 rep max (60-80%) should be used as a working weight. We’ll cover how to determine your appropriate weight in our upcoming workshop series dedicated to fine tuning each of the three major lifts.

What questions on Strength do you have? Let us know and we’ll address them in our workshops: info@tonehouse.com.

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