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Can being strong ever be TOO strong?

How strong is strong enough?
What do I mean?
I mean, for your chosen sport how strong is strong enough?
When do you reach the point of diminishing return?
Should a fighters focus be on increasing their their one rep max? Will that cross over to a better performance in the cage?
What about a golfer? Do they need a 2.5 times bodyweight squat? Will that help increase their drive?
How about footballers? Do they require a bodyweight shoulder press?

Before we answer these let’s examine the question that all these are built upon.
What is the purpose of strength training?
Most people will say, “to build strength”.
I would disagree. I believe the main purpose of strength training is to bulletproof the body. The idea is to strengthen bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles, so as the risk of injury is decreased. Becoming stronger is simply a by product of this focus.

I regularly see these self titled “strength coaches” posting videos of their “athletes” lifting weights that are not only too heavy and dangerous for them, but also pointless as the crossover to their sport is minimal.
As a strength coach, before I put someone through a program there are a number of questions I ask myself.

1. “Is it safe?”
2. “Is this exercise going to improve this persons sport?”
3. “Is it going to hinder their training in anyway?”
4. “Is there a better bang for buck movement?”

The next thing I consider are the movement patterns and muscles used in the sport, i.e. For golfers, shoulders, elbows and back injuries will be probably be the most common. The rotational plane will be a big component, so focusing on linear exercises might not be the best option. Unilateral and stability exercises along with strengthening hip drive would probably yield better results.
As for footballers, ankles, knees and hips will be what is at most at risk with a focus on multi directional movements. Again stability will also need to be focused on for strength in tackles etc. For me though, my main area of expertise would be in MMA and this is what the second part of this blog will look at. What is the best way for an MMA fighter to train?

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