Strength & Conditioning for Health

Ashleigh Bird

September 18, 2023

Strength and Conditioning (S&C) is the selection and development of exercises used to improve the way a person moves and functions. The aim of an S&C program is to improve strength and endurance, reduce the occurrence and severity of injuries, and to improve technique and overall function. S&C  has long been associated with athletes and professional sport, however, S&C is not just for athletes, everyone can benefit from an S&C program.

Strength and conditioning involves not only resistance training, but also flexibility, plyometric, power and aerobic training. It is a very holistic way to train, enabling many adaptations to occur, when prescribed correctly. A structured 8-12 week program has shown the best benefits when implementing an S&C program, as this allows for neuromuscular adaptations, as well as aerobic and strength adaptations to occur.

Not only do we feel great when we exercise, but it has been shown to be beneficial in the management of many chronic diseases including osteoarthritis (OA), diabetes, obesity, hypertension (HTN), cardiovascular disease (CVD) and high cholesterol. Strong evidence has shown benefits for joint and cardiorespiratory health through resistance training, as well as moderate evidence for increases in bone mineral density through weight bearing activities and reduction in abdominal obesity (ACSM, 2020). Evidence has also shown a correlation between exercise participation and a reduction in mental illnesses including depression and anxiety (ACSM, 2020). So in summary, not only is exercise good for our physical health, but our mental wellbeing as well!

With the various different ‘experts’ and ‘professionals’ that can now be found at the click of a button online and on social media, many people now believe that strength training is out of their reach, due to not having the time to commit 1-2 hours 3-4 days per week in the gym. This is not the case.

If we use the example of ‘Couch to 5km’, all beginner run programs see the participant starting off with a less complicated session, 2-3 times per week, to start exposing their body to the training stimulus, before manipulating the FITT principles to promote more training adaptations. The same approach is taken with strength training. We start with full body, compound movements, 2 days per week for 30-45 min. Starting with full body compound movements – such as squat, bench press, hinge variations, leg press – allows for a functional base to be developed, whilst engaging all the major muscle groups (quads, hamstrings, trunk, glutes, lats). 

This functional base then allows for prescription to become more tailored and specific over the course of the participants training cycle, moving into more unilateral, isometric and plyometric work to further target specific patient deficits.

What we can offer

At Grand Slam Physiotherapy, our brand new Torquay gym is equipped to help people get started, continue, or take their strength training to a new level. Our tertiary qualified coaches use the latest research and recommendations coupled with the goals and needs of their clients to develop and implement structured and tailored exercise programs that deliver results. Whether you have a patient who lacks confidence to attend the gym by themselves, is looking to hit a ParkRun PB, or be able to play with their children or grandchildren, we have the resources and equipment to help them hit their goals. One of the main benefits of our inhouse service is the ease of collaboration between our strength coaches and physiotherapists. Through this, we are also able to offer guided post-operative/conservative rehabilitation programs to patients, in which our coaches can aid in boosting their recovery and offering a welcoming and safe environment for them to rebuild their confidence and strength.

Interested? Get in touch today by calling our friendly staff and booking in for your initial assessment!


Ash is a passionate Accredited Exercise and Sports Scientist and is currently in her final year of study for her Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology. She has a passion for helping people get the best out of themselves and their bodies, especially in the areas of injury prevention, rehabilitation and tailored strength programs to increase performance and quality of life. Ash holds further qualifications in Strength & Conditioning (ASCA), Clinical Pilates and has 10 years experience as a sports trainer. She is also the current High Performance Manager for the Geelong Falcons Girls program.