Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Don’t stop training in-season

You’ve spent the entire off-season working hard at your Strength and Conditioning program. You’ve improved your Strength, Speed, Agility, and Athleticism. Your confidence level is high. Now it’s time for the competition, in-season period, including all the pre-season, regular-season, and post-season games. Most sports have long seasons, spanning 3-4 months or more. There are several good reasons to continue Strength training throughout the season:

Strength Maintenance

Research indicates that Strength training just one day per week is adequate for athletes to maintain off-season Strength gains. Additionally, two Strength training days per week can help athletes continue to build strength throughout the season. Although volume (sets) and frequency (days) should be reduced, it’s important to maintain the intensity level of your workout. If your off-season workout incorporated bench press sets of 150 lbs., reducing the weight during the season will not help you maintain the same level of strength. In-season Strength training not only keeps you strong, it helps you endure the “grind” of the season and avoid wearing down.

Injury Prevention

In-season Strength training – especially a program designed and supervised by a Strength and Conditioning professional – should be balanced. That means you should be performing both push and pull exercises (we refer to this as agonist-antagonist paired sets). This approach is both effective and efficient.

Use It or Lose It

Use it or lose it… that’s the nature of muscle. Season-long participation in practices and games will not keep you strong. Conversely, it will wear you down. In-season Strength training is necessary to maintain Strength, Speed, and Agility. Detraining also has the potential to increase body fat and weight and decrease VO2peak and metabolic rate, according to Ormsbee and Arciero (Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research).

Make Time

You can’t wait until you “have” time. You’ve got to make in-season Strength training a priority. One or two 30 minute workouts per week is all you need. Put the power, plyometric, and assistance exercises on the shelf until the off-season. Core, multi-joint Strength building exercises – like the squat, deadlift, Romanian deadlift, bench press, and row – should comprise most of your workout.


Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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