Getting strength training to the forefront of the fitness evolution
In 2019 the Chief Medical Officers Physical Activity guidelines were revised. For the first time, the recommendation for healthy living was centred around a core element prescribing two strength-based training sessions per week.
The fact that it took until 2019 for this change to come into effect is astonishing. It followed years of lobbying by health and wellness experts and is backed up by decades of peer-reviewed research that indisputably shows that, per unit time, strength training provides the greatest positive impact and physical development than any other exercise modality.
Age-related loss of muscle mass with decreased strength and muscle function (sarcopenia) is one of the biggest challenges for our society. This is in no small part because of its association with decreasing quality of life and reduced independence of older people. Also significant is the identification of sarcopenia as a risk factor for metabolic syndrome, non-alcohol fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease.
Strength training is the exercise protocol that is most effective for combating sarcopenia. In fact, evidence for the benefits of strength training in all population groups has been well known and easy to find for well over 30 years. So why did it take until 2019 to get direct government endorsement?
As with so much, misrepresentation by certain facets of the media is at least partly to blame. But it can also play a role in reversing the damage. The misdirection of where we should focus our efforts when it comes to exercise can be traced to a specific era and a number of unwitting accomplices. From the 1960s into the 1980s, the media was dominated by reporting of ‘cardio’ based exercise, initiated among others by running texts from:
Arthur Lydiard – 1962 “Run to the Top”
Kenneth Cooper – 1968 – “Aerobics”
Fitness enthusiasts targeting the predominantly female mass audiences were typified by the likes of Jacki Sorensen promoting aerobics dancing in the late 1960s and Judi Sheppard Missett with Jazzercise in 1969.
At the Munich Olympics the USA’s Frank Shorter won Olympic Marathon Gold, further cementing the popularity of distance running, an event that did not go unnoticed by a burgeoning sports footwear manufacturer called Nike who would take the running craze bit between the teeth and never let go…
In 1982 Jane Fonda’s “Workout Video” probably did more for mass acceptance of ‘aerobics’ as the gold standard for fitness than any exercise recommendation before. And the aerobics workout ‘video’ is still something receiving mass media attention even now.
In the meantime, in 1977, the film Pumping Iron was released. With a focus on the world of competitive bodybuilding, the movie was unexpectedly well received and would launch a modest career for Lou Ferrigno and a meteoric rise for a young Arnold Schwarzennegar. Its success also unwittingly (but very publicly) linked resistance training with a subculture of physical extremism and generated widespread belief that the appearance of elite bodybuilders was a guaranteed effect of going into a gym and lifting weights! This only reinforced the trend for the public to view strength-based training through a very limited lens and overlook the plethora of benefits that apply to everyone.
Coming back to the Chief Medical Officer’s revised guidelines, it’s no surprise to us at Athlete Academy that strength-based training is now being recognised for its abundant merits. We’ve seen the benefits first hand, time and time again. And our testimonials and case studies are further evidence that S&C training works – and works well. Take a look and then ask yourself if you’re ready to take the first steps on your fitness; sustainable steps, based on decades of science, finally recognised by the Government.
Diploma for Strength and Conditioning Trainers
“Strength and conditioning is the route to improving wellbeing and physical performance by applying tried and tested training strategies that enhance muscle function and boost metabolic health.”
The Level 3 Diploma (L3DipSCT) is a new qualification for those interested in becoming really effective at training strength and conditioning. It’s designed for a range of people including teachers, PTs, Musculo-Skeletal (MSK) therapists, physiotherapists and sports coaches. At Athlete Academy we also see it as a great option for school leavers who are considering a university course in sports science or an S&C degree.
The themes and modules within the course provides learners with the confidence and competence to master and deliver the most effective exercises and principles of S&C.
The L3DipSCT is the first UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) approved first stage S&C qualification and our Head Coach, Ed Archer, was part of the UKSCA team that developed and designed the course. Ed’s involvement from the start gives him an unparalleled insight into how to get the best from the course.
Ed and the Athlete Academy have an outstanding track record in S&C coaching and training including Army and Royal Navy PTI’s, the Head of S&C for Manchester City Women FC, the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s physio team and former England Women Rugby international and now S&C Coach, Fiona Pocock.
With Ed’s mentoring and first-class knowledge, candidates will get the most out of their investment and come through with not only the best S&C qualification available, but having been taught by the best in the field.
Our unique package is simply unrivalled by other training providers and spaces are limited, so get in touch to find out more.
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