PLD Opportunity

Strength & Conditioning and Clinical Practice: A Two-Way Street Webinar



Wednesday, 17 April 2024 2:00pm – 3:30pm AEST

The presentation, “Strength & Conditioning and Clinical Practice: a two way street,” offers essential insights into how exercise practitioners can incorporate principles of strength and conditioning into clinical rehabilitation settings and vice versa. This presentation will highlight the utility of strength and conditioning approaches in many clinical capacities including when dealing with chronic pain, neurological conditions, and more. Further, the presentation will then explore how the biopsychosocial model, which is becoming ubiquitous in clinical settings, can strengthen our approaches to strength and conditioning.  

Dr Mitchell Gibbs starts by defining the underlying principles of strength and conditioning, such as specificity, the interplay between volume and intensity, and the overarching importance of the dose of exercise. This emphasizes the need for exercise prescriptions to be tailored to an individual’s needs and capabilities, whilst still maintaining an appropriate dose to elicit desired adaptations.

Addressing chronic pain, Dr Mitch discusses the role of graded exposure and strength training (Gibbs et al., 2022 Musculoskeletal Care). They illustrate how these methods can improve pain and disability without affecting the magnitude of improvement in pain compared to ‘traditional’ approaches (Gibbs et al., 2022 Clin Rehab), which challenging traditional views that suggest rest and avoidance of activity. Real-life case studies are presented to support these points, demonstrating successful application of strength and conditioning principles in pain management. Dr Mitch then continues with examples of how strength and conditioning principles are able to be applied in a range of clinical settings from neurological to cardiometabolic and more. 

Pivoting, Dr Mitch then applies the same logic to strength and conditioning and the lessons that can be learned from the clinical context. Beginning with the profound similarities between pain and fatigue as experiences not entirely explained by physiological markers, Dr Mitch takes the audience on a thought experiment of how a biopsychosocial lens can enhance our understanding of strength and conditioning in athletic settings. Drawing on key work questioning the historical/traditional approaches to periodisation and performance, Dr Mitch aims to leave the audience with a critical mindset toward ‘following the rules’ in strength and conditioning, moving toward ‘questioning the rules’ toward innovation. 

Presented by Dr Mitchell Gibbs, AES