We can all probably imagine what an off season training program looks and sounds like. It is probably something like this scenario:
You walk into your training facility and you are greeted with the familiar sound of weights clanging off of platforms and the ‘sweet’ smell of sweat in the air. You see someone in the corner desperately trying to catch their breath after setting a new personal best. All the while you can barely hear your own thoughts and the conversations of people talking around you because someone is blasting their favorite “pumped-up” Pandora station.
This scenario just comes with the territory of many off season training programs. Off season training programs are no secret to athletes and to sport coaches, but what about the benefits of in season training programs?
Today, we will reveal the 1st of 3 benefits of training while in season and why it is important to continue to train during this time.
A well-disciplined, dedicated athlete has already conditioned their body to be ready for the season. But it never ceases to amaze us coaches that once their season starts the athletes suddenly stop their training programs all-together. It is understandable as their schedules fill-up with games and practices.
But as their season progresses, they start to notice that their muscles become sorer with each game and they begin to lose the advances they made during the off-season. Why is it that?
With all the work that athletes’ put in during the off season, it is assumed that everything that they worked on should carry them through their season, right? Unfortunately, it does not work that way.
Why In Season Training?
During our in season programs we turn the intensity level down. An athlete should be able to devote at least two hours a week for in season training outside of their sport practices, just ask any Division 1 or professional athlete or coach. The answer to feeling and playing your best all season long, is to incorporate a strength and conditioning program!
With that in mind, let’s look at the first benefit of training while in- season.
Maintain off season gains
During the off season, athletes are building valuable strength and power to improve their performance. It wouldn’t make sense to work so hard on your speed, power, and strength development during the months leading up to your season and then completely stop doing those exercises that gave you the advances you needed.
That is why the goal of in season training is not to improve upon those adaptations, but rather to maintain them.
“Some strength, speed, and power abilities can decrease in as little as two to three weeks, so if you refrained from in-season training for months you will for sure fall behind your opponent later in the season.” – Trenton Clausen
Because of this, the length of sessions and exercise volume (number of repetitions performed) can be reduced. Perfect for the busy in-season athlete!
As athletes and as performance coaches, we understand that it is difficult to know the right training program, frequency, and duration to continue performing at your best with training in-season. I would recommend that you find a strength and conditioning professional that knows exactly what to do and has experience training high level athletes during the in-season.
Stay tuned in the next few weeks as we reveal the 2nd and 3rd benefit for training in season.
Written By, Performance Coaches:
Trenton Clausen – MA, CSCS, USAW-L2SP, Director of Sports Performance
Mike Servais – CSCS, USAW-L1, Performance Coach
Gus Thiel – BS, NASM-CPT, FMS-L1, Performance Coach
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