The weather is warming up, the snow is beginning to melt, and spring is just around the corner. For athletes this means a new season of sports to look forward too. Hopefully these athletes have spent the last few months strengthening and conditioning themselves to propel their performance during the heat of competition. With all the excitement of a new season, it is important to remember that training should still be done, in-season training to be exact. The goal is not necessarily to get stronger, but instead to maintain strength and muscle mass throughout the season.
During a sport season, athletes will undergo a multitude of sport specific movements and conditioning with every practice and every game. It becomes less pertinent to maintain this style of training outside of practices and competitions. In-season training should consist of corrective exercises and resistance training. Keep in mind that in-season training should look a lot different than the strength and conditioning you did during pre-season. Pre-season training is all about getting stronger, so it isn’t uncommon to see high volumes of low repetition/heavy weight sets. This type of training can lead to soreness, fatigue and potentially injury. Sport seasons already do this enough as it is, so instead we will modify workouts for in-season training.
In-season training should consist of more maintenance work. Give yourself time before and after workouts for mobility work utilizing foam rollers, stretch straps and corrective exercises to keep the body healthy, happy, and feeling good. Resistance training should be kept around or below 85% of your max weight; this allows you to focus more on moderate repetitions and technique.
Remember to plan your training sessions around your competitions and to keep your resistance training to 2-3 days a week maximum to allow the body time to recover properly. In-season training is not about beating yourself up. Try to get around 8 hours of sleep per night, eat healthy, drink lots of water, train smart, and be the best athlete you can be.