Strength is absolutely the foundation to all success in the gym and a huge benefit to all physical activities outside the gym; strength should be your cornerstone. If you aren’t strong, sport performance and even daily activities can be drastically hindered, the chance of injury is greatly increased with basic movements under load and you may find yourself in some rather peculiar position that can cause injury for those who play sport.
A major benefit is that being strong can greatly alleviate pain or eliminate it completely. When performing a lift, running, jumping, basic daily activities or even work around the house, everything should be strong enough to keep you in an optimal position, if not its usually due to imbalances and body parts get into positions that can cause pain. Having the strength, as you would expect will allow you to get the job done (whatever that is) more efficiently without pain and reduce the chance of injury.
Basic physics is enough to understand how it will be hugely beneficial for sport performance as well. If you have a 1RM squat of lets say…100kg to keep it an easy number and you increase that to 150kg it makes perfect sense that you can now apply 50kg more to the ground and if you train with speed you can generate that force very quickly, which means you can now run faster and depending on your sport you will be harder to stop or it will be easier for you to stop someone else. Not to mention you’re less likely to get injured because your muscles are now able to handle heavier loads without you buckling into awkward positions. You will undoubtedly recover better as well because as there is less strain on joints and your muscles won’t work as hard to performance movements.
As we all know the best way to build up some solid strength is to perform the three core movements correctly under load. That is the squat, bench & deadlift we do these everyday a lot of the time without even realising it. As you start getting really strong with these lifts and hitting weights close to your max is when you will start to see imbalances such as weak muscles and engrained movements patterns that are inefficient usually due to the weaknesses. Smaller muscles especially or any muscles that is lagging will be among many other reasons why you plateau and can’t get stronger in that movement.
Isolating those muscles to make the stronger becomes key to progressing further. Glutes & quads in the squat for example, if your gluteal muscles aren’t strong enough at the bottom position your knees are going to want to cave in and if your quads can’t help drive you up you’ll want to push your butt right up as the initial movement to drive forward with your hips instead doing it as a single fluid movement.
Now all if this is okay, when attempting a new 1RM it is to be expected to see some form breakdown. In a way that’s a good thing as long as you aren’t completely overshooting it and becoming a part of the banana family to the extent of injury. It allows you or your coach see where you need to put some more focus in and what you need to make stronger.
If you aren’t strong enough to move the weight the weight will move you.