Strength & Conditioning: Tips from the trenches
During the early phase of offseason preparation, the strength training program usually takes priority. The emphasis on training frequency, workout duration, total sets, rep combinations and overall volume tends to be on the high end.
When other activities are introduced — speed training, agility work, general conditioning — the strength program most likely needs adjusting. Coaches must understand that the human system can only recover and adapt to imposed stresses if it’s allowed adequate time for rest and recovery.Regarding the outside-of-weight-room (OWR) activities mentioned, an intervention of sorts in the strength training area eventually needs to take place.
Here are a few suggestions for doing so.
- Decrease each session’s volume by either reducing the total number of exercises or work sets.
- Reduce training frequency depending on the frequency and volume of OWR sessions.
- Split the strength workouts so that lower-body training does not take place on OWR days.
- Designate specific total rest days, allowing for complete mental and physical rest and recovery from any type of training. Obvious off-days should include the weekend whenever possible, and the inclusion of a midweek off-day can do wonders for rejuvenation and renewed energy purposes.
— Ken Mannie is the head strength/conditioning coach at Michigan State University. To contact him about this topic or anything else you’ve read in Powerline, send him an email at [email protected].