Dear Michael Wu,
In sport theory and methodology, originated in the URSS and in East Germany in the second half of the twentieth century, the training process was seen as a preparation for competitions through three main components: Physical, Technical-tactical and Psychological preparation (training).
Traditionally, Physical preparation training methodology was based on the concept of “athlete’s physical qualities”, in its turn deriving from the concept of “human motor abilities”.
According to this approach, any type of sport activities are characterized by the combination of different basic motor abilities, in other words by a specific connection among strength, endurance, flexibility and agility, called, in this case, athlete’s physical qualities.
Every combination of basic motor abilities would be characterized by:
- Emphasis on the main quality getting the competition exercise aim reached
- A definite combination of other secondary qualities, specific to every competition exercise and allowing a better expression of its main quality.
Physical preparation was seen as a part of the training process aimed at the training of basic physical qualities and at their changing into expressions, specific to every sport discipline.
Thus, this methodology foresaw two components:
- A General Physical Preparation, aimed at the differentiated development of physical qualities through means and methods, aimed at the development of each of them;
- A Special Physical Preparation, aimed at the integration of physical qualities, separately developed in a certain specific structure through specific exercises and the competition exercises execution.
Strength training (that includes prevalently the use of the overload exercises) was part of the training for the so-called speed strength sport events (weight lifting, throwing in track and field, etc), in which the importance of this physical quality was clear. In other sport disciplines these exercises were used only as a mean for General Physical Preparation.
Now, the methodological approach and the meaning of terminus are changing (you will read about it in the first part of the second edition of the “SST: Practical Manual for coach”). Special Strength Preparation (SSP) or Special Strength Training (SST) is a part of Special (Specific of Functional) Physical Preparation that regards the use of the overload exercises (or so called “strength exercises”) to improve the sport result in all kind of sport disciplines.