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In season training

When it gets to the in season, I always struggle to figure out where and how to fit everything in, since we have only so much time in the weight room due to practice and competition. How am I supposed to fit in speed, agility, plyos, strength work, core work and conditioning in the small amount of time that we have?

This is a great question! A lot of high school strength and conditioning coaches have trouble programming when the competitive season roles around.

There are a couple of things you need to consider when looking at your program as you prepare to enter the season:

1) What are the athletes doing in practice?

Chances are they are already doing conditioning, speed and agility during practice. If they are in a jumping sport, such as basketball or volleyball, they are already doing lots of jumping (plyometrics) in practice as well. So, you can back off of those components in your training program because they are already taken care of. You don't want to overload the athletes.

2) How much time do you have to devote to the weight room?

Practice and competition takes precedent over everything else when you are in season. I typically don't advocate lifting more than three times a week during the season, and in most cases twice is fine (note, this is for every day players. The guys who are back ups and not starters may have a more aggressive training program). You want to be efficient, get in and get out.

The main goal of the in season is to keep our athletes healthly (prevent injury) and keep them progressing (never maintain; always move forward). For the inseason, I prefer to use a concurrent training program over a linear program. The reason being is because a linear program has great benefit if you are trying to peak for one single event. However, athletes in most sports have to be on top of their game for an entire season (many events) and they need to develop several qualities (strength, power, and muscluar endurance). The concurrent training program that we use in season, focuses on these three qualities (also know as max effort, dynamic effort and repetitive effort) all in one day. Keep the workouts brief and make sure the athletes are recovering. I would arrange it like this:

1) Dynamic effort exercise (power)
2) max effort exercise (strength)
3) repetitive exercise (muscular endurance)
4) remedial work
5) core

Here is an example:

Day 1
Warm up
1) Power Clean and Jerk- 6x2, 4x4, 5x3, any of those variations
2) Bench press- 3x3, 3x5, work up to a 3RM, work up to a 5RM, etc. any of those choices
3a) 1-leg/2-arm DB RDL- 2-3x8-10
3b) one arm db row- 3x8-10
4) remedial shoulder work (YWA's, exteral rotations, etc.)
5) core work

Day 2
warm up
1) medicine ball chest pass- 3 sets x 8-12sec max reps
2) back squat- 3x3, 3x5, work up to a 3RM, work up to a 5RM, etc...any of those choices
3a) Db alternating incline press- 2-3x8-10
3b) seated cable row- 2-3x8-10
4) remedial shoulder work
5) core work

Day 3
warm up
1) DB snatch- 6x2, 4x4, 5x3, any of those variations
2) pull up variation- 3x3, 3x5, work up to a 3RM, work up to a 5RM, etc...any of those choices
3a) Lunges- 2-3x8-10
3b) push up variation (blas straps, push up w/rotation, alligator push ups)- 2-3 x whatever you can do
4) remedial shoulder work
5) core work

Hope that gives you some ideas to play with. Let me know how it works.