It’s spring time, which means most athletes are busy competing in spring sports. Unfortunately, for a lot of athletes this means their training gets put on hold until summer. Learning to balance strength training with practices and games can be difficult for athletes of all levels. However, eliminating your strength training all together is a mistake many athletes make.
After spending the off-season improving strength, power, speed and agility, to not continue with in-season strength training is a fast track to losing all the progress that has been made. The key to in-season training is to change your goal from building strength to maintaining strength. Here are a few tips to getting the most out of your in-season training:
1. Lower your frequency of lifting to 2 times per week.
2. Focus on total body strengthening and do not spend more than 1-2 sets on each movement pattern.
3. Many athletes routinely lighten the load when lifting, but continue to do 3-4 sets of 10 repetitions, which can cause the total volume of what is being lifted to be too high increasing the likelihood for fatigue or injury. Instead, try lifting a heavier weight for 3-6 repetitions for 3 sets. Now the volume is really being managed and we are doing a better job at maintaining strength.
4. Focus on recovery. Recovery needs to start taking place the moment your workout is over. Hop on a foam roller and eat within 30 minutes of your workout ending to jump-start the recovery process. Make a plan so you will have access to food throughout the day in order to fuel your body properly and avoid fatigue.
Happy spring everyone and I am looking forward to working with you in your training process here at Matrix Sports Medicine!
-Matthew Schultz, ATC, PES