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Strength Training Dilemma


For recap my last write up delved on a dilemma. That some cricketers are immensely benefited by strength training by way of adding a yard’s pace in their bowling or packing a punch in their batting.

And then some in the past and present era have thrived without lifting. It may cloud the perception of the readers. Is it required for every cricketer?

Let’s clear the dilemma. I dropped some names like Michael Holding, Vivian Richards, Ian Botham, Shane Warne and even M.S. Dhoni. These greats never did any regimented strength training . In spite of that, they excelled as good as the ones who did. Then what’s the point in lifting?

Let’s talk about Michael Holding and Viv Richanrds. They were gifted with high percentage of fast twitch fibres in their body which is quintessential to power. Therefore, their body could generate power irrespective of they lifted weight or not. Having sad that, it is conclusively proved by exercise science that even though you are gifted with the fast twitch fibres, you can further enhance the power productivity by weight training. Fast twitch fibre is of two types. Type-11A and Type-11B. Type 11A produces both strength and endurance while type-11B is purely for power. With strength training type-11A can be transformed into power packed type 11B.

So had they trained for strength both Holding and Richards must have been benefited. It could have reduced chances of injury and even prolonged their career.

Cricketers like Ian Botham of earlier era never had any faith in strength training. Even Botham would surely have benefited which could have prevented his present terrible knee issue. Shane Warne and M.S. Dhoni of modern era despite having all the expertise under their disposal ignored it out of personal belief, caring little about exercise science.

We can see how much passionate Christian Ronaldo is towards both strength training and conditioning. His instangram posts are deluged with barbells or dumbbells in hand and a bare body flaunting six packs. But Lio Messi never flashes anything like that. Messi is less fond of gym work. Things vary.

Often once a sportsperson reaches great height a fitness coach or technical coach hesitates to force them in doing certain things. They leave it to the choice of the great. And as long as the great performs with consistency without issues on fitness then who can complain. But a good fitness coach should convince a sportsperson how strength training can enhance his skill. If strength training can add an extra yard of pace to Jofra Archer and Chris Wood then it could have done so to Michael Holding too. Period.

Wight training increases strength of both muscles and joints. It corrects posture, apart from increasing flexibility. Some self styled experts often say strength training makes one stiff, robbing flexibility. Golf is regarded as the sports that demands the most silken of touches. A Tiger Wood put is more like caressing a feather. Yet Tiger Wood lifts weight. It never is a hindrance to his flexibility. Rather it increases his range during teeing off. The gymnasts, having the greatest flexibility also lifts weight.

Moral of the story? Everyone needs strength training for high performance.

© Cricket World 2020