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Strength Training - Who Should Be Doing It?

Eric Goodman, ATC, Athletic Trainer, Dover High School

Who should be doing it?

The easy answer is EVERYONE!! Without a doubt, everyone should be participating in some form of strength training. The effects on the body from strength training will benefit all activity levels. Strength training can be done by itself or in conjunction with organized sports or recreational activities.

What is it?

First of all, it is not bodybuilding, an activity where the goal is to become as large in every muscle group as possible. It is not powerlifting, where the goal is to move heavy weights (however, the movements in powerlifting can be beneficial). The definition of strength training according to Merriam Webster dictionary is:

Strength Training as defined by Merriam Webster: a system of physical conditioning in which muscles are exercised by being worked against an opposing force (lifting weights) to increase strength.

There are many ways to get that 'opposing force' or resistance. Resistance can take many forms like the ones below.

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These forms of resistance can be used by themselves or in any combination the user would like. All can be modified and manipulated for varying levels of experience or physical limitations. They all will help you gain strength.

Why should someone be Strength Training?

Injury Prevention. As an Athletic Trainer, I deal on a day-to-day basis with athletes that are not strong enough to undertake the stresses that their sport inflicts on them. A Strength Training program that addresses the whole body is helpful for every person, regardless of what their current activity level is. The main ways it will help prevent injuries are below.

By helping the muscles become stronger in a balanced manner, you will cut down on strains and sprains. Muscle balance prevents one muscle from overpowering another and ensures that muscles are properly recruited during movement. By incorporating simple bodyweight exercises such as, squats, push-ups, planks, and pull-ups, you can avoid injuries that occur from running and jumping.


Being stronger improves performance. You will be able to run longer and faster. You will be able to jump higher and further. Hike, bike and paddle. Your back will bother you less, and your knees won't bother you as much. Having more size and tone in your muscles will allow you to be more coordinated and withstand the punishment of contact sports. Every age group, from senior citizens down to middle schoolers, can benefit from strength training exercise. All athletes, professional, college, high school, and recreational will see improvement. By not being injured, you can train more. If you get more repetitions, your opportunity for skill development increases.

Overall Health and Wellness

Being involved in a strength training program will allow you to improve your over health and wellness. Your confidence in your body to do the activities you want without fear of getting hurt is immeasurable. Improved performance on the athletic fields or your 5k time will lead to a more positive self-image. All of this will lead to a continued healthy lifestyle. So, get to it, find a strength program that fits you. Don't be apprehensive; the benefits will surprise you.

About Eric Goodman


Eric Goodman is a Certified Athletic Trainer through the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification. He graduated from Keene State College with BS in Physical Education and Sports Medicine. Throughout his career, he has worked with athletes ranging from professional soccer down to middle school athletes. Eric has been the Head Athletic Trainer at Dover High School for 21 years. In addition to being the Athletic Trainer for Dover High, he teaches athletic training and health education. One of Eric’s passions is running strength and conditioning programs for his high school athletes, helping them become stronger while eliminating injuries to keep them competing with their team.

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