Strength & Conditioning Intramural



Fall: Mr. Bernard Del'Aquila 
Mr. Frank Ciaramitaro
Spring: Mr. Erik Knudsen

The Fitness Room is available to all High school Students immediately after school on the specified days listed below.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday - 2:45-4:00 pm

Students will be provided with supervised instruction in the areas of Cardiovascular Endurance, Conditioning and Weight Training. 

Strength training is an essential element of fitness for virtually every man and woman. Long gone are the days when people believed resistance exercises only added unnecessary bulk , hindering their ability to execute skill.

The benefits of strength training are enormous and many. .

However, aside from perhaps bodybuilders, sport-specific resistance training requires a more refined approach than simply lifting heavy weights to complete exhaustion. A physiological analysis shows that a good routine requires explosive power, muscular endurance, maximal strength or some combination of all three in order to excel. Rarely is pure muscle bulk the primary concern and when it is, other elements of strength are equally as important. 

Elements of a Strength Training Program

Synonymous with most people's perception of strength training, this refers to increased muscle bulk and size. This is only one aspect of a sport-specific strength training program and one that should be included for only a select group of athletes. Football and rugby players require significant bulk to withstand very aggressive body contact. For most athletes however, too much muscle bulk is a hindrance. And remember that a larger muscle is not necessarily a stronger muscle.

Maximal Strength
Maximal strength is the highest level of force an athlete can possibly generate. Its importance will vary between sports but this relates more to the length of the maximal strength training phase than whether it should be included or not (1). The greater an athlete's maximal strength to begin with, the more of it can be converted into sport-specific strength endurance or explosive power.

Maximal strength training can improve exercise economy and endurance performance (2,3). Interestingly, it does not appear to lead to a significant increase in muscle hypertrophy (4).

Explosive Power
Rarely is an athlete required to produce a singular maximal effort in their sport. With the exception of power lifting most sports require movements that are much more rapid and demand a higher power output than is generated during maximal lifts (5,6). So while maximal strength training lays an important foundation increasing the potential for additional power development, if there is no conversion of this strength into sport-specific power, the program as a whole is much less effective.

An athlete can be exceptionally strong but lack substantial power due to an inability to contract muscle quickly. Training for power is used to improve the rate of force production and a range of methods such as plyo-metrics can be employed to convert maximal strength into explosive power.

Strength Endurance
Explosive power is not always the predominant goal of the strength training program. For events such as distance running, cycling, swimming and rowing, strength endurance is a major limiting factor. Again, the greater amount of starting maximal strength, the more of it can be maintained for a prolonged period.

Strength endurance can be developed through proper circuit training or the use of low weights and high repetitions. However, many strength endurance programs are inadequate for endurance-based sports - a set of 15-20 repetitions for example does not condition the neuromuscular system in the same way as a long distance event.

The concept of periodization is key to sport-specific strength training. Dividing the overall training plan into succinct phases or periods, each with a specific outcome, allows sport-specific strength to peak at the right times, whilst minimizing the risk of over-training.

It also allows more specific elements of strength to be built on a solid and more general fitness foundation. Athletes cannot progress week-in week-out indefinitely so periodization permits variations in intensity and volume to promote performance enhancements for as long as possible.

Circuit Training Section

Circuit training is an efficient and challenging form of conditioning. It works well for developing strength, endurance (both aerobic and anaerobic), flexibility and coordination.

Its versatility has made it popular with the general public right through to elite athletes. For sports men and women, it can be used during the closed season and early pre-season to help develop a solid base of fitness and prepare the body for more stressful subsequent training.

A well-designed circuit can help to correct the imbalances that occur . It can also be one of the best types of training for improving strength endurance be it for a sport such as soccer or a classic endurance event like the triathlon.

Circuit training is superb for general fitness and caters for a wide variety of fitness levels. A great time saver, it can be a refreshing and fun change from the more monotonous types of exercise.

Circuit training in itself is not a form of exercise per se, but the way an exercise session is structured. Routines can be developed purely for strength or for improving Cardio Vascular endurance or some combination of the two.

Circuit classes often seen in gyms typically consist of about ten exercises stations completed for 60 seconds in sequence with 30-60 seconds rest between. While this is a great structure for some individuals its only one of many potential circuit programs.