What is Strength and Conditioning?


This is a topic that we’ve been meaning to discuss and get out in the open for some time now, but sometimes blogs are the last thing on your mind after a full day at work.

So, before we get to the meat and potatoes of what S&C is, we’d like to first discuss what it’s not.

  • S&C is not a mindless beasting or flogging of an individual in the hope that results and transfer of training will magically happen.
  • It is not a random selection of exercises thrown together to create a high energy expenditure, and a pool of sweat, resulting in mild annihilation.
  • It is not in any way dangerous.
  • S&C is not a program of constant maximal training loads, be it through resistance or speed.
  • It’s not a form of entertainment or circus trickery.
  • It is not a quick fix or fad that has entered the fitness industry to make a quick buck.
  • It is not something that can be administered without knowledge, and evidence based practice.
  • It is not the constant pursuit of hypertrophy and pure aesthetics.


Now that that we’ve cleared up what it’s not, it’s time to look at what it actually involves. We’ll start with a general look at S&C and then delve into the specifics as we go on.

Strength and Conditioning is the physical and physiological development of an individual, and the role of a good coach is to utilise appropriate exercises prescription to bring about the desired improvements in performance. It isn’t just about picking heavy stuff up and putting it down again, it involves a holistic approach and what is actually needed to improve the physical performance of the athlete or client. A worthy coach is responsible for bridging the gap between the theory of training and how training is applied, all being done with a long term plan in mind.

So, nailing S&C down we’ve listed some take home pointers which are a little more specific.

  • It is a well structured program underpinned by theory and application of effective training.
  • All areas(if needed) such as strength, power, speed, plyometrics, flexibility and mobility, aerobic conditioning could be considered when programming an individual.
  • If planning for a sport, this must be looked at in detail to obtain key performance indicators that the individual needs.
  • A Screening process is put in place to identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • S&C should complement the lifestyle of the individual.
  • An effective S&C program should bulletproof athletes from the chance of injury.
  • It is a method of preparation to perform at ones best.
  • It is a completely safe activity.
  • S&C uses consistent monitoring to ensure progress is being made effectively.


To sum up, the Strength and Conditioning we offer is not solely for athletes as we currently work with a huge variety of clientele.  That said, the above outlines how we approach and work with any individual with any aspiration. Ultimately, a good coach with the right tools and a systematic approach will ensure their client or athlete will progress safely and appropriately. CHP like to keep things simple, yet effective and use a minimum dose protocol to allow all their clientele sustainable progress.

If you are looking to take on a coach/trainer get in touch today. cornwallhighperformance@gmail.com

Thanks for reading, have a great day, team CHP.




Improve your movement, strength and power with this simple warm up routine!

Do you go in to the gym on your training days, bash out 10 minutes on the x trainer then follow that with some “rotator cuff” work and jump straight onto your working sets on the bench?
If so then you need to read on and discover how a proper warm up can revolutionise how you move, feel, but also how you’ll see further drastic improvements in your strength training programmes.
Here at CHP we like to use a RAMP warm up, not only is this warm up backed up by literature, but tons of athletes and clients alike feel, move and perform better by doing this type of warm up. Below we explain what’s involved in the RAMP warm up and chuck in a video to get you going tomorrow!
Raise Activate Mobilise Potentiate is what RAMP stands for, and it’s not uncommon for coaches to approach it in a sequenced approach. This is actually not necessary and we feel it’s far more productive to combine certainly the first three (RAM) into one solid movement series and bolt on the P at the end as a nice primer for the session ahead.
Why do we warm up?
The purpose of a warm up is to prepare the person mentally and physically for exercise. A well-structured warm up can increase muscle and core temperature as well as blood flow. The warm up should then have a positive effect on the following:
• reaction time
• strength and power
• muscle efficiency
• increased blood flow to active muscles
Now if the above isn’t a reason to drastically improve your first ten minutes in the gym then we don’t know what is! Multiply that by 2-3 per week, and add that up over a month and you’ve suddenly got over 2 hours of quality movement into your life….no brainer! Below we will outline a typical CHP RAMP warm up that you can utilise straight away…
• reach through x 8 es
• glute bridge with scapula slides x 8
• spider man with reach x 8es
• Banded SLDL x 10
• Inchworm ( with or without press up) x 6

• Flexion extension x 8
• Broad jump x 3 x 3
• KB swing x 6

Team CHP

Surfing in the UK…..Lifestyle or Performance?


It’s no secret that the top WSL guys are surfing at an exceedingly high level, consistently and with that, taking the sport from ‘lifestyle’ to ‘high performance’.

Surfing has gradually changed over the last decade with the introduction of land based training methods that are science based and delivered in some cases by accredited Strength and Conditioning Coaches. You only have to look at the Hurley High Performance Centre in Australia to see that the Ozzies are destined to produce more World Champions.

However, whether the aim is to produce Champions or not, this sport and it’s athletes should be provided with Strength and Conditioning support from an early age, and not just in Australia.

Cornwall High Performance are an independent and Accredited Strength and Conditioning outfit based in South West England. They work with a big range of clientele, and have a driving passion to provide the UK’S up and coming Surfing talent with S&C. Approximately 8 months ago the CHP team hooked up with Surf Solutions, another independent company in the South West run by Joel Gray, that looks after the technical side of the sport for the young groms.

Fast forward to January 2016 and the first of many S&C weekend workshops was delivered to 2 different sets of groms, aged 10-15 , who surf very well, but up until now haven’t had the opportunity to experience the ‘training’ side of becoming a high performance surfer. After all, at these tender ages, all you want to do is surf right?

The first workshop kicked off with a detailed look at the physical attributes needed for this sport, a must if effective gym based sessions are going to be successful, and at this age, these kids are already performing manoeuvres above the lip, indicating (in Dr. Jeremy Sheppard’s ,Hurley HPC, own words) that surfing is now a ‘jumping and landing’ sport. Now, if that isn’t a big enough rationale that this sport needs a tonne of strength, flexibility and power, we don’t know what is.

Of course, there are many other qualities that this sport needs, and that’s what we delved into over the next 4 hrs over the weekend with the groms from Surf Solutions. We looked into flexibility and mobility and the ‘shapes’ the body needs to create whilst performing various moves. Power was talked about, and types that were needed. The importance of using a warm up specific to the session plan(gym) and the session(surf). Energy system demands were discussed and how the athlete can expose themselves to improvements when they are not surfing. Agility training methods were discussed and why we need to use these modalities to improve reaction times.

All the above had a huge practical element of course, and it allowed these talented young athletes to learn through discussion but also apply what they had learnt.

All sessions started with a RAMP warm up, leading into agility games as a ‘primer’ for the first practical element of the workshops, which was agility itself. Surfing is a fast paced reactive sport, like many, and so this principle has to be trained to improve the athlete’s ability to act on external stimuli.

As mentioned earlier, surfing is a jumping and landing sport, and alongside this the body has to be able to produce and absorb force through flexion and extension patterns. Via the use of an altitude drop, the group’s ability to absorb force was analysed, as this needs to be checked to ensure mechanics are spot on before jumping progressions were used. Some plyometric, and explosive practical work was done too, and we looked at the rationale behind this so the groms could understand the mechanisms within the body that go to work when they are nailing that all important bottom turn top turn combo! To finish the workshops off, a light strength circuit was thrown at them to show them some typical movement patterns we need to get strong for surfing, which of course underpins everything from paddling out to gouging a round house cutty.

There is no question that performance in the water can be enhanced by appropriate training on land, and staying injury free is just as important. Effective programming is paramount for these young surfers and Cornwall High Performance are providing them with a platform to take their surfing and the sport in this country up to a level where it belongs.