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    Why you shouldn’t treat the off-season like a vacation

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    Athletes usually consider the off-season as a period of rest, but this is the time to get strength and conditioning work done! During “downtime,” sport-specific activity like practices and games are at their lowest level, so your training activity should increase.

    Once an athlete has completed his or her sport season, a rest/recovery period of about one week is suggested. Since the demands of the sport season have decreased, strength and conditioning should be a priority. An athlete can now train with maximum frequency (number of days per week), intensity (amount of weight, loads) and volume (number of sets and repetitions).

    Think of your off-season in phases. This promotes long-term training and performance improvements. Keep in mind, the key word here is performance; it doesn’t benefit an athlete to improve in the weight room unless those improvements can be applied to his or her sport(s) of choice.

    Hypertrophy/Endurance Phase

    Very low to moderate intensity and very high to moderate volume; the goals for this phase are to increase lean body mass and develop muscular endurance in preparation for more intense training in later phases.

    Exercises ideal for this phase are:

    • Squat
    • Deadlift
    • Romanian Deadlift
    • Bench Press

    Basic Strength Phase

    High intensity and moderate volume; this phase progresses to more complex, specialized, and sport-specific training.

    In addition to previous exercises, add:

    • Lunge
    • Step-Up
    • Push Press
    • Lat Pulldown

    Strength/Power Phase

    High intensity and low volume; this phase involves increased strength training intensity and power/explosive exercises.

    In this phase add exercises like:

    • Hang Clean
    • Push Press
    • Medicine Ball Throws
    • Plyometrics

    Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.
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