Maximizing Efficiency of In-Season Training

During the season, I try to find ways of maintaining qualities developed during the pre-season without producing excessive fatigue or soreness. To do this, frequency of dosing and volume and intensity of loading are the most critical points. But another point to consider is looking for modes of training stimulus which crossover in to multiple physical domains. Think of it as looking to kill two (or three) birds with one stone. Here are a couple areas that I attempt to do this:

  • Resisted sprints touch on strength and speed qualities and when followed by unresisted speed work can essentially be a form of neuromuscular complex training that creates a great potentiation effect.
  • General endurance and metabolic circuits where you mix running (and other locomotive skills) with exercises (typically bodyweight) can provide a huge metabolic stimulus that bleeds in to aerobic and anaerobic qualities as well as develops muscular strength endurance.
  • Carefully scripted and selected bodyweight strength exercises during a warmup can be used to maintain some strength (and reduce the likelihood of soreness) without going to the gym as well as rehearse appropriate firing orders (I’d say ‘activation’ but I hate the way most use it) and set up more efficient movement while reducing the likelihood of injury.
  • Small doses of appropriately selected plyometric training can maintain strength and power values at times when athletes are spending minimal time in the weight room. Also, they have very little chance of inducing soreness when used in appropriate volumes which makes them a perfect fit for times when you’re minimizing weight training to keep players fresh for games but don’t want to lose strength qualities.
  • Certain yoga poses can maintain or develop both strength and flexibility and because they tend to be slow moving or isometric stabilization there’s little likelihood for soreness.
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Mike Young

Director of Performance at Athletic Lab
Mike is the Head Fitness Coach for the North Carolina Courage and North Carolina FC. He is also the owner and Director of Performance at Athletic Lab sports performance training center. He previously served as the fitness coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps and Carolina Railhawks. He has a PhD in Biomechanics, an MS in Coaching Science, and a BSS in Exercise Physiology and has coached Olympic and professional athletes in Skeleton, Track & Field, MLS and NASL Soccer, PGA Golf, NFL Football, MLB Baseball and Olympic Weightlifting. He has lectured around the world and authored 2 books and dozens of research and coaching articles.