Power athletes in sports such as American football, rugby, track and field, and baseball commonly train with weights. We assume that strength gained from weight training transfers to the playing field. Surprisingly, few long term studies observe the relationship between strength
gains and skill in power athletes.
Australian researchers studied strength and power gains from training in elite and sub-elite rugby players. Elite players were older, stronger and more powerful than non-elite players. However, sub-elite players made the greatest gains in strength during the experiment. This study showed that elite players were closer to their strength potential than non-elite players, but that both groups could improve power and strength through weight training.
Developing adequate strength is necessary for sub-elite players to move to elite levels.