Best Summer Workout Program for Athletes!

Are you or your athlete wondering what the best training methods are in between sports seasons? For many athletes, this period of time called the “off-season” is often misused by either too much sedentary behavior or overtraining which could lead to injuries. Here are some training tips that can be helpful with optimizing the off-season

Define Sports Calendar

Every athlete that participates in one or more competitive sports understands that the athletic calendar for every season is split up into 3 periods. These periods consist of the preseason, in-season, and off-season. As a competitive athlete, the off-season may be their saving grace after grueling practices and games. It can also be their opportunity to drastically improve their mental and physical fitness and abilities. Most importantly, this is their opportunity to set new performance goals that will carry over to their respective sport(s). 

For the multi-sport athlete, identifying the athletes sports calendar becomes more complex. For example, a high school athlete that plays in the fall, winter and spring will have only the summer months for their off season. In between sports for an athlete like this, they typically have 4 weeks to recover and change gears. Not an ideal period of time to train at high intensities, increase strength with the goal to improve performance. Whereas a one-sport athlete should have ample time to set goals and achieve them in preparation for performance and peak during their season. 


Rest and Recovery

Let’s talk about what happens during the season. The average athlete has 1-2 hours of vigorous practice 3-4 times a week, along 1-2 games of intense competition. This is considered high volume exercise for anyone and it goes on for 16 weeks. Also consider that some contact sports such as football and hockey have a higher demand physically which leads to fatigue and the increased risk of injury.  

Following the end of the season the best thing the athlete can do is to take an active recovery period. The purpose of this period is to recuperate from the long season by staying active and lowering intensity of any planned exercises. The duration of this “post-season” is typically 2-4 weeks. Activities an athlete should consider; swimming, jogging, light resistance training and recreational sports. 


What’s the Plan?

Goals of this period of the offseason is to establish a base level of strength and conditioning, follow prescribed resistance training plan, improve nutritional habits and re-assess strength and conditioning levels prior to the pre-season.

Step 1

Establish Base Level of Strength and Conditioning

  • Conduct strength assessments with a spot for safety. Record anywhere from a 1-5RM (Max Load)
    • Bench press, back squat, power clean, etc.
  • Assess overall mobility. Identify limitations so that you can focus on improving symmetry 
    • Lying leg raise, overhead squat, etc.
  • Perform an aerobic test. This will provide a conditioning baseline that can be gradually progressed throughout the off season
    •   12 minute run, shuttle run, etc.
  • Agility tests are great as they assess quickness and reaction time. Both skills that directly carryover to sports
    •  T-test, vertical jump, etc.
  • Identity off-season body composition
    •  Weight, body fat %, skeletal muscle 

Step 2

Follow a Periodized Resistance Training Program 

  • Frequency -  aim to train 4x/ week 
    • Progress from total body routines to split routines
  • Progressive Overload - every 3-4 weeks follow the strength continuum by rotating through mesocycles’ point of emphasis
    •  Stability, hypertrophy, power etc.
  • Multi-Joint Exercise Selection
    • Progress from multi joint exercises (squat) to single joint exercises (standing calf raise)
  • Rehab & Injury Prevention 
    • Incorporate joint mobilization techniques prior to workouts along with myofascial release techniques (foam roller, lacrosse ball, etc)

Step 3

Improve Nutritional Habits

  • Increase daily meal frequency (3-4 meals a day)
  • Protein (20g minimum) + veggies at every meal
  • Consume half your bodyweight in oz of water
  • Get 7-8 hours of deep sleep


Step 4

Re-Test Assessments

  • Repeat assessments conducted at the beginning of the off-season
    • Make sure, assessments are conducted under the same conditions as the previous to ensure progression results

Request a free consultation today for you or your athlete, now is the time to take initiative and plan for the off-season!

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