Majority of athletes cut out strength training during their competitive seasons. This is a mistake. All athletes need to train during their competitive season to keep their bodies strong and healthy. The only difference between OFF season and IN season training is VOLUME or amount of work to be done in the weight room.
If during the OFF season an athlete trains 4-6 days per week with weights, IN season it needs to be cut down to 2-3 days per week or down by at least 50%. Cutting the amount of training volume down accounts for the increased competitive days of games. Maintaining the training INTENSITY is the key to staying strong and healthy IN season. Keeping volume low prevents overtraining.
During the OFF season, athletes will begin with a few accumulation phases training with weights using high rep sets (ex. 8-15 reps per set). Further into the OFF season, as athletes get closer to IN season the reps per set needs to lower – volume down, intensity up. Less reps, more weight. Athletes should be peaking toward their season by lifting heavy weight for 1-6 reps and light weight fast for 1-6 reps.
As athletes get toward IN season they should be feeling strong, fast and explosive. If they’ve been consistently training mobility, flexibility and stability to go along with the strength and conditioning, they’ll move with grace.
The best way to maintain the progress made during OFF season training is to continue IN season. Just remember to keep the volume lower than 50% and the intensity the same. Meaning less work in the weight room but still meaningful, explosive and beneficial work. Even 1 day per week weight training will go a long way for any athlete, especially vs nothing. Something is always better than nothing and never forget to TRAIN EXPLOSIVE.