What Athletes Need To Know About In-Season Training

Stronger Longer

 

Three of the most common questions from athletes and parents regarding in-season training has to do with the rationale, frequency and placement of training. In other words: Why, How Often and When? Think of an athlete’s body as a high performance race car. Routine maintenance and frequent upkeep are vital to ensure optimized performance and longevity. The last thing you want is a break down on the last mile of a race.

Why?

 

The hours of work and buckets of sweat from your off-season training is paying off. You feel stronger and faster than you have ever felt. In order to maintain your off-season gains, in-season training is a MUST. Not only will you reduce potential injuries, but you will head into the next offseason ready to build on top of your previous gains. Athletes that stop training WILL lose strength, power and speed within 6 weeks of their season while increasing their chances for injury. In-season training is an integral part of elite athletics.

How often?

 

Optimally, every 2-3 hours of practice should be matched with at least 1 hour of time in the gym. I understand that for most athletes, the rigorous demands of their sport might not always allow for that. Especially for team sports where practices involves long bouts of skills, strategy and conditioning components. For most athletes 2-3 hours of Strength Training per week is sufficient. All coaches should strategically plan strength and conditioning into their respective practice schedules to ensure that their athletes are in a optimal state throughout the season.

When?

 

A proper In-season strength training regiment is focused upon stimulating the nervous system, while strengthen trouble areas and reducing fatigue. As such, Volume is quite low, but Intensity (Load) is high. Since training volume is reduced, in-season training bouts are rarely exhausting. Rather, they prepare the body for  competition while promoting balanced recovery. To put it simply, when executed properly, strength training can be integrated at any point of an athletic schedule.  There is even evidence to suggest that performing explosive lifts before competitions can help to improve athletic performance.

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