Let’s start with a myth, “Strength and Conditioning is exclusively for top level athletes”. This is a phrase that is commonly thrown around outside of the fitness industry. Many people believe this purely because they don’t train themselves, they have heard other people say it, and they don’t have the personal experience to suggest otherwise. At the end of the day you don’t know what you don’t know. To this day my mum still tells me to be careful when I talk to her about Weightlifting

So before we discuss who S&C (Strength and Conditioning) is actually for, let’s have a look at what it actually entails. According to, S&C can be defined as “in it’s simplest form S&C is the practical application of sports science to enhance movement quality. It is grounded in evidence-based research and physiology of exercise and anatomy.”

Now as an athlete, this sounds great. We’ll take my friend Mark as an example. As a competitive CrossFitter, Mark needs to become strong enough to move heavy weights during workouts. He needs to be able to Snatch upwards of 100kg and Deadlift 200kg and above. The requirement for Mark to get strong for his sport is pretty obvious. What about conditioning? Mark needs to be able to complete gruelling metabolic conditioning workouts in as short a time as possible in order to beat the competition. The greater his level of conditioning, the faster he can complete the workout. So once again, the requirement for Mark to have a great level of conditioning is obvious. But what about my Grandma? Does Jean need Strength and Conditioning? 

As far as I’m aware my Grandma does not pass her time by Clean & Jerking in her livingroom, I could be wrong about this but I’m pretty confident. She also doesn’t perform hill sprints and does not compete in a high level sport. So we could put forward a argument that she doesn’t need S&C? But whilst she doesn’t compete in sport, she does perform day to day tasks like the general population. 

Several times a day, Jean will sit down on the sofa, and stand back up again. She will head into the kitchen and take things off a high shelf and then put them back up there again. She will climb up the stairs and go to the toilet, and then come back down them again. These ADLs (activities of daily life) ironically resemble movement patterns that we see in the gym. The Squat, the Shoulder To Overhead and the Lunge/Box Step Up. Is this a coincidence? Absolutely not. 

So now let’s ask, would Jean benefit from having a strong squat to assist her when standing from sitting? Would she benefit from being able to climb up the stairs safely by being stable in a unilateral movement? Would she benefit from greater bone density if she was to fall over? Finally, would my Grandma benefit as much, if not more than Mark from Strength and Conditioning? Without a shadow of a doubt. 

Strength and Conditioning is for everyone. From competitive athletes, to my grandma, and everybody in-between. The degree of S&C will differ, but on the whole it is not exclusive for athletes. Stronger, Fitter, Safer, Happier, I think we can agree that 99% of the population would sign on the dotted line for that. 

Happy training folks!

If you enjoyed this post, check out my next post “Brace Right, Lift More“.