As a fitness professional working with youth, middle, high school and collegiate athletes for over a decade, I have seen the impact of in-season strength training firsthand. Many athletes are under the impression that strength training only occurs during the off-season, but the reality is that continuing to train in-season can have significant benefits for performance and injury prevention.
One of the primary reasons that in-season strength training is so important is that it allows athletes to continue to build strength and resiliency throughout the competitive season. Many athletes spend the off-season working hard to build strength, only to lose much of that progress as the season progresses. Continuing to strength train throughout the season, athletes can maintain the strength gains they made in the off-season and continue to get stronger throughout the year.
In addition to strength gains, in-season strength training can also help to build what is often referred to as “body armor”. This refers to the development of strong connective tissue and supportive musculature that can help protect athletes from bumps and bruises. As athletes compete and train throughout the season, they are subject to a variety of stresses and strains on their bodies. Building body armor can help improve the athletes overall resiliency.
When it comes to incorporating in-season strength training into an athlete’s routine, it is important to be mindful of timing, volume, and intensity. Workouts can be as short as 30 minutes and take place 1-2 times per week. These sessions can focus on some variation of big rock exercises; sprinting, jumping, throwing, benching, squatting, deadlifting, and pull-ups.
It is important to understand that in-season training should be approached with caution. With stress and demands already being high, we are trying to stimulate, not annihilate our athletes.
In conclusion, in-season strength training is a valuable tool for athletes at all levels of competition. By continuing to train during the course of the season, athletes can maintain and even improve their overall strength, build body armor and improve their overall resiliency.
Owner – CM1 Performance