Weight Training Fundamentals

I prefer negative training for increasing tendon strength. Eccentric, or negative, training aides collagen production. Tendons have a slow metabolic rate with limited blood supply, making them very slow to heal. Eccentric movements stimulate blood flow, promote tendon healing and activate mechanoreceptors in the cells of the tendon, increasing its strength.


Negatives will also lengthen the muscle-tendon unit, increasing range of motion. For example, eccentric training is commonly used to rehabilitate, strengthen and lengthen the Achilles tendon. If you are new to it, begin by manipulating tempo with a four-second eccentric phase and a one-second concentric phase. You can vary that tempo by using a longer eccentric phase and an explosive concentric motion.


Consider that weight training dramatically improves heart function. It has repeatedly been shown to decrease blood pressure. A recent scientific review found that across eight trials, systolic blood pressure decreased by an average of 6.2 mmHg. That is a clinically significant result because it is more than double the benefit of the typical blood-pressure-lowering medications.


Weight training also enhances arterial function and decreases inflammation. One review showed that older women who weight trained had lower C-reactive protein, an oxidative stress marker that causes an inflammatory status. The combined effect of lower systolic blood pressure, less inflammation and better blood flow can reduce cardiovascular disease risk by more than 14 percent.


One popular expression in strength coaching is, “All things being equal, the stronger athlete will always win.” That said, why train your body to be weak? Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens when sport coaches exert too much influence on their athletes’ strength and conditioning programs.


Many sport coaches are so worried that their athletes will get too sore from training that they tell the strength coaches to work them light several days before a competition—or worse, tell them not to train at all. The result is that by the end of the season, when the most important competitions occur, the athletes will be weakest. Remember, it’s the volume of training, not the intensity, that is most likely to cause overtraining. During an athlete’s season, prepare for major competitions by reducing the volume first—but still go heavy!

Be man enough for a wrestle.

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