Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Periodization Off-Season Conditioning

Now is the time of year that most programs are just now getting over the siege of the 2015 season.  Kids and coaches are on break and August 2016 is an eternity away.  Most program's approach strength and conditioning in January the same as they do in July.  This off-season, I would encourage you and your staff to sit down and assess how you wish to develop your athletes this off-season to have them primed for competition in game 1.

Below is a sample of a program we built a decade ago with this approach in mind. The goal was to reset our athletes to square one after the semester break.  While we use a maintenance lifting routine during the season , it is difficult to achieve gains during the season.  Therefore, we go back to the basics for core development as well as serving as a great teaching time for our incoming freshmen and underclassmen. 

When you look at the season from January until August, you have quite a bit of time to nurture athletes and work off a foundation of movements.  We structured our 32-week off-season conditioning as a 4 day week broken into 4 phases.  The goal here was to set aside enough time to lay a foundation of proper technique and foster team building in the weight room that would build the core of our team in the fall. During the early phases, we brought in outside instructors, spending a good portion of our time encouraging and involving underclassmen.  This program was built to be progressively challenging while being dynamic enough to change exercises from week to week.

BASE (4 weeks)- heavy emphasis on strict movements with very low resistance.  Focusing on the concentric and eccentric phases of each base movement, safety and correct form are stressed. Even if you're benching 405, we have you go back to weight training 101 and dedicate your body to recuperating and drilling proper form.  This is a great time to educate the kids on nutrition and associate the weight room with positive experiences.

DEVELOPMENT (5 weeks) - with the movement foundations set, we progress on true resistance training and teach the intensity to train correctly (set the tempo). The key here is to get kids paired in groups and always moving, either lifting or spotting.

PEAK (6 weeks) - Traditional pyramid building program where we expect to achieve our biggest gains. We ramp up the intensity and push the kids to add more resistance to achieve more.

CHAMPIONSHIP (8 weeks)- Geared toward challenging the body's limitations and improve stability of movement - more isolation movements.

This particular program was centered around the push-pull  combination to keep the body fresh for the type of movement  it follows.

After the Base phase, we featured one day a month of some type of physical competition, ensuring that the same type of kids didn't win every month.  Some competitions were focused on speed, while others strength, then others just agility. 

This particular routine is available for download here

Be sure to check out these other posts on Strength and Conditioning.

While we're on the subject of off-season planning and coordination, use this as a template to define your staff's short-term and long-term goals for your program's success.

Here are several other blogs you should bookmark and regularly tune into this off-season




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