How Much Strength Training Should I Be Doing In-Season?

Heres the conundrum, you’ve had an amazing off/pre-season.

You’ve build up a decent amount of body armour (lean mass), you’re moving well, you feel good and are playing well.

You’re fast, strong and powerful.

Pre-season rolls around and your coach flogs the shit out of you with conditioning, probably too much from all the stories I’ve heard.

He might be in the old school mentality of running the team into the ground to get them fit.

People are breaking left, right and centre but you manage to get through it.

Its basically survival of the fittest (who won’t break). You’re so sore from the sudden increase in training (field, court) volume that you think to yourself “how can I reduce this”? Well gym training makes you sore so you need to take days off right?

Wrong.

This situation is a catch 22, usually when someone cuts their strength training back other issues arise.

During the sessions they are actually training they back off the intensity not the volume.

You need to MAINTAIN INTESNITY and CUT BACK TRAINING VOLUME, usually its done the other way around.

Once you back off intensity and slowly get weaker as the months go on, you’re more susceptible to injury.

You get slower, weaker and soreness increases.

What I mean about intensity…

Intensity is referring to the % lifted during a set.

Example

Option 1: 5x3 squat @80% 1RM is a relatively high intensity

Option 2: 5x10 @50% 1RM is a relatively low intensity

For examples sake lets say their 1RM is 100kg

5x3x80 = 1900kg total volume

5x10x50= 2500kg total volume

A 600kg difference between squatting loading schemes

The physiological difference at training at higher intensity: - Targeting type 2 muscle fibres which have shown to be important for sports performance (power, strength outputs)
- Increased motor unit recruitment and activation

As a general rule of thumb, I would cut training volume of a session by 50% in-season compared with off season

How I would do this is by reducing: sets, reps and potentially training days.

If you we’re training 4x a week, I would cut it back to 2 and reduce sets and reps whilst maintaining a high intensi

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