Why You NEED To Train In-Season
One of my biggest pet peeves is when an athlete trains with me for 3-4 months killing themselves in the gym making tremendous progress and then they decide to take 3 months off because their season starts. It’s inevitable that when they come back, they are so much weaker. It then takes them an entire month or longer to just get back to their strength before the season.
Listen, I understand that it may be tough to commit to 3-4 days a week in the gym during the season. You're tired, sore, and have a limited social life. But I really hate when an athlete sits in my office telling me they are willing to do whatever it takes to reach their goals and poof they are gone during the season.
I am not asking for the same time commitment, I know that is not realistic. Any athlete can carve out 1-2 45 minute workouts in a week. It’s not easy, but it is necessary in order to maximize your potential.
It’s important for two major reasons.
Injury prevention & preserve qualities
You hear it all the time, “the best ability is availability.” We all get that. Training in season is crucial for injury prevention. Almost all of my in-season workouts have a large dose of recovery work.
It could be foam rolling, lacrosse ball, or massages. It’s all important to loosen up any tighter areas that get a lot of use. Baseball players may need to target the lats while soccer players may need to target the quads. Each sport has specific demands on the body that put a toll on you. It’s important you address it.
This is usually a given, but if I had a dollar for every athlete that lied to me about doing their stretching at home, I would own planet earth. Similar to the aforementioned soft tissue work, an athlete needs to address the areas that get beat up the most.
Sauna, acupuncture, chiropractor, and there are plenty others. You need to find what works best for you.
As I said in the beginning, many athletes who don't keep up with their workouts end up losing strength when they come back. It is frustrating, but can be completely avoided with an in season program.
Luckily it does not take much to preserve strength and power.
I usually keep the volume fairly low and the intensity moderate to high. This way they should not experience too much soreness or neural fatigue. I always want the athlete to leave feeling good, not crawling out of here dead tired.
Below is an example of what an in-season day may look like for an athlete.
Foam Roll x 5 minutes
Mobility x 5 minutes
Bike x 2 minutes
Box Jump 3 x 3
Sled High Pull 3 x 3
Box Squat 3 x 3
Bench 3 x 3
Accessory Lifts 3 x 6
This should not take any longer than 45-60 minutes. I am always okay modifying on the fly with in-season lifts due to the unpredictability of how the athlete feels.
I hope if you are an athlete reading this you will now make sure you workout in season. Again, I am not suggesting that you destroy your body. Have an educated plan to preserve the qualities and recover properly.
If you have any questions, drop them below!