Training in Season

If you train at GHP, you know that we train a lot of athletes. While that is oftentimes the most desired clientele for a strength and conditioning coach, it certainly comes with a few drawbacks. One of those drawbacks is that our work is often believed to be “off-season” work. While it is true that the most strength gains can be seen in the off-season, that does not mean that strength training should be confined to the summer months. Here’s a quick rundown on the science of annual strength training. 

Any meaningful strength training program should run in a somewhat cyclical manner with dedicated phases for different outcomes. When athletes are concerned, these phases and cycles align with the competition schedule. The total volume of sport stuff (“skill training”) will increase / decrease depending on the time of year, and strength training is *generally* inversely related. 

Traditionally, folks believe the following timeline to be true:

Sport off season:

  • Volume of skill training typically decrease
  • Volume of strength training increases

Sport pre-season:

  • Volume of “conditioning” increases
  • Volume of strength training increases 
  • Volume of skill training increases 

Sport regular season:

  • Volume of skill training maintains even
  • Volume of competition increases 
  • Volume of strength training = none 

Sport post-season:

  • Volume of skill training decreases
  • Volume of competition decreases (but becomes more important
  • Volume of strength training = none 

And I am here to tell you that the items in the red are WRONG. Will Smith says it best, “if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.” I’m not here to tell you that you have to be firing on all cylinders all year, but you can certainly put yourself in a better position to prepare for the specific needs at hand by maintaining a more regular strength training program. 

Why should I devote time to strength & conditioning out of season?

A properly designed program will force you to adapt to new stimuli and become a faster, stronger, more resilient athlete. When only training sport skills, an athlete can become really good at those skills and nothing else. Being skilled doesn’t help you to handle increased training loads, combat sport burnout, or recover well. Being a well-trained athlete who has included (& continues to include) strength training can help you in those areas. 

Why should I devote time to strength & conditioning in-season?

Strength training in season allows athletes to expose their bodies to movements and stimuli that they DO NOT see in their sport. Sport is highly repetitive and strength training provides ways for the athlete to load their body in new ways. This helps to build new tissue, muscle, and increase the ways that an athlete can respond “in the moment”. These in-season sessions mitigate some of the normal wear and tear of sport by still allowing the athlete to train while not repeating the same movements over and over and over again. Oftentimes, people fail to realize how much force sport puts through an athlete’s body. In something like running, athletes are constantly putting at least 7x their body weight through their legs (don’t get me started on more explosive events such as triple jump). If one is constantly putting THAT MUCH FORCE through their legs, isn't it logical that they should train their body to handle heavy loads (lifting weights)? Absolutely. Moving additional loads will increase the likelihood that the body can accept that force many times over without facing injury. 

In short, strength training should have its place in your training regimen throughout the ENTIRE year. Our staff is here to help you manage the load when needed, but the benefits are undeniable. We know how to increase your volume in the off-season and decrease as the season progresses. We understand the demands of skill training and want to provide you with ways to keep your system robust & resilient. 

If you have more questions about the science behind this, let us know! We are more than happy to talk about muscular & neurological adaptations to training, but we’ll save the science for later 😎

Global Human Performance
Global Human Performance

Life Changing Fitness

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