Bert Abbott is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach and USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach at the RenFitness Gym in Seattle, Washington. She’s interested in helping ultimate teams build strong cultures - literally and metaphorically!
Why Does Strength Training Matter?
If you want to get better at ultimate while also avoiding injury, then strength training can really matter!
Countless studies have shown that strength training has beneficial effects on bone, connective tissue, and muscles that help enhance performance and reduce risk of injury.
Training as a team (or even in pods of 3-4 players at a time) allows you the opportunity to push yourself and each other outside of practice or tournaments. And fall is the perfect time to begin building a culture of strength training on your team. The fall semester allows you to spend more time together, bonding as teammates and striving for a shared goal.
If you live an area where you can’t practice much during the winter, strength training may offer more chances for team bonding that continue to work towards your goals for the spring season! Strength training together also gives different players a chance to highlight their skills and take on leadership roles on the team.
How to get started
Ideally, you should get everyone on your team routinely strength training on the same program.
That way when you lift together you’re all doing the same exercises - which is way more fun than being spread out doing different things! Committing to a specific program means you’ll get a purposeful progression of skills as you increase your strength and understanding of the movement patterns.
There is a plethora of beginning lifting program recommendations out there for people hitting the weight room for the first time, but only a few programs target the important movement patterns intrinsic to ultimate.
1. Sign everyone up for an ultimate subscription
These are comprehensive programs that require multiple days a week dedicated to lifting and are a good option for highly motivated individuals and people with some lifting experience.
While these are not the right option for everyone, they are high quality and specific to ultimate which makes them better for your team than most of the more generic programs out there.
2. Sign up for a team package at the RenFitness Virtual Gym
The RenFitness Virtual Gym is a subscription service for ultimate players that offers weekly workouts, viritual access to the RenFitness coaches, and monthly workshops on things like nutrition, k-taping, soft tissue self-care, throwing, warm-up and cooldown and other important topics for ultimate players.
The Workout of the Week is a weekly PDF sent to all members, along with an accompanying video to the explain proper form for one of the moves.
Click here to download the Workout of the Week from the first week of August this year. Below you'll find the accompanying video that we posted for subscribers.
While memberships are still paid by individual players, captains can sign up for a team package that a discounts each player’s membership.
3. Create a customized strength training routine for your team.
Some schools offer club sports teams access to Strength and Conditioning coaches, and other varsity support staff. If this option is available to you, you should jump on it!
If your school doesn't allow club sports access to these professionals, you may want to consider a custom team lifting plan with the RenFitness Gym. We work with teams to set goals and get set up with customized monthly team lifting (and running!) programming according to your goals, schedule, and available equipment.
This option is available for teams around the world - you don't have to be in Seattle!
How to find space to train
Depending on your college’s gym situation and your club’s status, there are a few different ways you can get people together to lift.
1. Book time for the whole team at your school facility
Set up team lifts in your school’s gym or at a team sports strength and conditioning facility. Some schools provide clubs with access to a space big enough for a whole team to work together without worrying about other peeps taking the squat racks, and others don’t.
Ask your club sports coordinator at your school about what’s available to your team!
2. Book time at a local gym
Gyms are often open to groups booking time in off-peak hours when they aren’t running classes, so see what’s available! Book time at a Crossfit gym or other private strength and conditioning facility for your whole team to lift.
Dont forget to ask the gym about sponsorship packages to help reduce the cost of this option.
3. Break out into smaller pods
Set up lifting pods at different times in your school gym. Lifting in smaller groups will reduce the strain of equipment and schedule limitations, and gives more leadership opportunities for team members!
If people can make more than one per week, that’s even better, since it’s best to lift multiple times a week to get the most out of your program.
Whatever path you take with your strength training program, make sure it fits your team’s overall goals, needs, and culture! Be realistic about what kind of plan you can get everyone committed to and stick to it!
Strength training as a team offers great benefits in health and performance, and is a wonderful opportunity to use the fall and winter to build a solid team culture together.
Interested in RenFitness? You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a consult, and establish a program that will work for you and your team.
Good luck, and happy lifting!