The Ultimate Strength and Conditioning Workout: Reaching Your Genetic Potential

By Brad Rilling, CSCS
Sanford POWER

To create the best strength and conditioning program for you, several areas should be addressed for optimal athletic performance. Exercises, workouts and drills can be customized for you to reach your genetic potential and peak athletic performance. Below is a quick overview of a complete strength and conditioning program, focusing on power, speed and agility.

Sanford SCORE Testing

With any performance training program, improvements in strength, power and efficient movement is important. We have developed the Sanford SCORE Assessment. This measures overall athleticism through a series of power, speed and agility drills. Test results are combined using a scientifically derived proprietary method.  Athletes receive a number score that represents overall athleticisStrength and conditioning specialist, Brad Rilling, at Sanford POWER in Sioux Falls, SDm. It also helps to identify strengths and weaknesses.

Top Athletic Training Program Components

A Pre-Workout Must:

Movement prep or dynamic warm up is designed to increase core temperature, increase mobility, flexibility, stability and strength.  Its purpose is to activate muscles that have been “turned off” from disuse or dysfunction.  The movement prep should include a general warm up like light running and then develop into a more activity specific warm up.

Plyometrics – Reach Your Maximal Force:

Plyometric exercise refers to those activities that enable a muscle to reach maximal force in the shortest amount of time.  Practically defined, a plyometric exercise is a quick, powerful movement using a pre-stretch, or counter-movement.  Plyometric training has consistently shown to improve the production of muscle force and power when correctly programming the frequency, intensity, volume and recovery. Some examples include medicine ball throws, bounding, skips and hops.

How To Improve Your Speed:

Speed training consists of 3 main components. All 3 of these components: acceleration (starting quick), speed (top speed) and speed endurance (repeatedly achieving those speeds) are important to address in your program.  Body position, visual focus, leg action and arm action should also be addressed to maximize speed and decrease injuries. Acceleration and speed will increase by:

  • Proper technique
  • Frequency
  • Intensity
  • Volume
  • Strength

Best Agility Drills:

Agility is the skills and abilities needed to explosively change movement velocities or modes.  Body position, visual focus, leg action, arm action and braking mechanics should be addressed to optimize agility and reduced injury.  Some examples of agility are cone drills, crossover drills and ladders etc.

Beat Your Competition by Resistance Training:

Designing a resistance training program is a complex process. It requires the recognition and manipulation of seven program design variables.  Needs analysis (assessment), exercise selection, training frequency, exercise order, training load and repetitions, volume and rest periods need to be addressed in a resistance training program.

Pre-Season Conditioning:

Sports conditioning can be performed in a variety of ways.  The off-season is a good time for general conditioning and should become more specific the closer the athlete gets to the season starting.

Post-Workout Check List for Regeneration: 

Recovery and regeneration activities are important for your strength and conditioning program. They help the body physically and psychologically overcome the stress of training.  This includes foam rolling, stretching, nutrition and rest.

Reference: Essentials of Strength and Conditioning/ Thomas Baechle, Roger W. Earle —3rd ed.