Queensland Academy of Sport

Strength and Conditioning

Understanding the terminology


Although we use the phrase, “strength and conditioning,” for our coaches, strength does not explain all the programming they do! In fact, strength is only one outcome of a resistance training program. Other targeted outcomes of a resistance training program may include movement competencies, muscular endurance, muscular hypertrophy, and muscular power.


Conditioning Conditioning typically evokes a level of cardiovascular and metabolic stress that can be achieved during different durations and modes of activity (e.g., swimming, rowing, running, cycling) in order to ensure the athlete is sufficiently conditioned to handle the demands of their sport-specific training and competition.

An effective strength and conditioning program

Strength and conditioning programs should enhance athletes’ execution of fundamental movement patterns through challenging and refining their body control and technique. Furthermore, these programs should  be designed to develop the relevant strength and power capacities of the athlete to enhance competitive performance in their sport.

Prescription should be based on the following factors:

  • Training age
  • Motor skill competency
  • Technical proficiency
  • Existing strength levels
  • Biological age
  • Psychosocial maturity

As a talented athlete becomes more committed on a singular sporting journey and has achieved key fundamental movement competencies, these programs may be tailored more closely to their sport of choice.

Hear more from one of our S&C Coaches, Leanne Magalong in the video below!

What are the differences between a Strength and Conditioning (S&C) coach and a Personal Trainer (PT)?


Strength & Conditioning Coach Personal Trainer
Aim of profession Work with athletes to improve athletic performance through safe and effective design, implementation and monitoring of strength and conditioning programs. Work with the general population, providing personalised health and fitness guidance to individuals with varying fitness levels.
Accrediting body Australian Strength & Conditioning Association (ASCA). Fitness Australia, Australian Fitness Network
Level of education

ASCA accreditation course (Lvl 1-3).

 S&C coaches typically have a university Bachelor’s degree, and in some cases a Postgraduate degree.

~2-5 yr of study at university.

Certificate IV in Fitness or above.

1 yr at TAFE.

The primary benefit of engaging an accredited S&C coach is that they will have experience in the prescription of evidence based periodisation training models designed to optimise athletic performance and reduce the risk of injury in elite athletes.

For more information about the accrediting body for Strength and Conditioning Coaches in Australia, visit the ASCA Website.

Mastering basic movement patterns

There are seven key movements that are the foundation of any strength and conditioning program: 1. hinge, 2. squat, 3. lunge, 4. push, 5. pull, 6. rotation and 7. brace. These movement patterns can be further challenged by the addition of range, stability, weight, and direction.

Remember! To be an elite athlete does not just mean to be competent, but to be a master of movement. If you start working on these early, it will lay a great foundation for your athletic development.

Let’s do a quick check! Have you mastered the following?

  • Hip-hinge
  • Squat
  • Lunge
  • Push-up
  • Incline pull
  • Dead bug
  • Prone hold


Watch the videos below to help you master these movements.




Push up

Incline pull



Injury prevention

Resistance training has been shown to be an effective form of exercise for improving athletic performance and overall quality of life. It is also known to play an important role in the preparation of athletes for the specific demands of their sports whilst reducing injury risk.

Youth and resistance training – is it safe?

Resistance training is both safe and effective for children and adolescents when appropriately designed and coached by qualified professionals that meet the needs (goals and abilities) of each individual!

So, what are you waiting for?

Should young females participate in resistance training?

We want talent.
We want passion.
We want commitment.

If this sounds like you, we want to hear from you.