Just a quick update to make sure you guys aren’t slacking with the training during the season. Too many times I’ve seen guys report to camp and test out with huge numbers only to lose (almost) all of it by the end of the season when it matters most.
What good is it to be strong in August if you’re pussy when playoff time comes around?
First things first: you WON’T be able to lift as heavy or as often as you did in the offseason, period. You’re body needs to be able to recover from practices and games and doesn’t have enough recovery “juice” in the tank to fuel 4 heavy lifts a week either. That said, you can’t be a b*tch when it comes to your in-season training.
I recommend 2 to 3 lifts per week depending on practice schedule and playing time (a scout team player who never sees the field on gameday will have a lot more in the tank than a guy who starts both ways). Since I don’t have time to write a novel right now, I’ll give you a basic plan should keep you on track and getting stronger throughout the season.
DAY 1 (the day after your game): Full body recovery/muscle maintenaince
The goal for this day is to maintain/improve muscle mass (one of the main reasons guys lose strength during the season is losing muscle mass) and get the blood flowing to stimulate recovery. Today shouldn’t be killer, and weights on upper body lifts should be kept below 80% of your max, and below 70% of your max on lower body lifts.
1: General warm up
2: Bulgarian split squats (one of my favorites) 2×10 each leg
3A: Bench press (barbell or dumbell) 3×10-12
3B: Pullups or fat man rows (pullups only for those that can crush 15+ in a single set) 3×10-12
4A: Curl variation 3×10-12
4B: Tricep extensions (band/machine) 3×15-20
5: High rep ab circuit: just your favorite ab exercises and crank out the reps in circuit fashion
Day 2 (tuesday or wednesday if your game is on friday): Heavy upper and dynamic effort lower
The goal today is work on your explosiveness and “prime” the nervous system for your game in 48-72 hours.
1: General Warm up
2: Box jumps 6×2-3 @ 80% of max jump (jump up, walk down)
3: Box Squats (with chains if available) 6×2-3 @ 45-55% of max
4A: Bench Press 4×5, work up to a “heavy” set of 5 (the heaviest set of 5 that you can “crush”, absolutely no forced reps)
4B: Rear delt work (band pull-aparts, rear delt dumbell flies, blast strap scarecrows, etc.) 4×15-20
5: Reverse hypers or back extensions 3×10
There ya have it–get stronger during the season with two workouts a week. Obviously, if you’re playing, shit happens, be smart. If you can’t bench heavy because you tweaked your shoulder in last weeks game, do what you can and get HEALTHY instead of worrying about breaking personal records.
Also, I know this isn’t the perfect in season program, there are simply too many variables that need to be accounted for on an individual basis to write a “perfect” generic program, but this should get you on the right path towards kicking ass during the season when it matters most.