It’s far too easy to walk into the gym and work on your strengths. It acts a great ego boost to show off and shift big weights at the movements you’re good at but it isn’t helping you long term and here's why.
When pursuing strength you need to have a critical eye, you need to step back and find your weak link. This is where having a coach is worth its weight in gold but if you don’t have this luxury then you need to even more critical. Whether you are a powerlifter, Olympic lifter or a rugby player finding out the piece of the puzzle that is holding you back from improving and attacking it is the way we make progress.
Lets take a rugby player who has an abundance of strength but lacks speed. Having strength is great but if you lack the ability to express that strength quickly on the field it’s pointless. By moving his training focus away from heavy lifting and more towards developing speed you will see his performance on the pitch improve dramatically. Instead of performing heavy squats we now get him to perform speed squats.
A – Hurdle Jumps 4x4 – Focus on minimising ground contact time between jump
B – Speed Squats 10x2 @ 60% - Focus on the speed of the movement
C- Russian Step Ups 4x6ea – Focus on driving the trailing leg up fast.
This will help improve the athletes rate of force development and therefore improve his expression of strength on the pitch.
In conclusion, we are all different and possess different strengths and weaknesses. Having the ability to highlight your weaknesses and address them is the quickest way to seeing results. Far too often I see people working for the sake of work and with no real direction. Be precise in your exercise selection and make sure it has its purpose and not just fatiguing you.