While most athletes all agree that training in the off season is an important part of their sport, many find themselves doing the same workout all year round making minor changes and seeing small gains. Something that all athletes, whether single sport or multi sport, should do it periodize their year.Training should be organized and planned in advance of a competition or performance. It will also consider the athlete’s potential, his/her performance in tests or competition, and calendar of competition.
Periodization is the process of breaking your training down into smaller segments through the year with different goals. From endurance based workouts to power based workouts and everything in between these are scheduled out in advance and allow the athlete to progress in a safe and effective way through the year.This will also allow proper recovery time post season as well as build a strong foundation when the program is started either after recovery phase or when starting with a new athlete.
The thing that most athletes find in a properly designed program is the ability to train through the year and avoid over training. This is achieved through periodization of an athletes yearly program which includes proper rest and recovery.
At O.P.A. we like to think of our year in Macro-cycles We use 5 phases and find great results in our method.
Below is our format:
General Conditioning - In this phase we like to keep things general and moderate intensity. We like to average a rep range of 10-15 with high volume. We are really trying to form a great base of strength and conditioning to prepare us for the rest of our year.
Strength - In this phase we like to start and focus more on becoming a stronger athlete. We do this through bringing our rep range down to 8-10 and focus on keeping a high intensity and moderate volume. Doing so will help add on to the foundation we formed in Phase 1.
Power - In this phase we will start to really develop our power output through lessening our rep range some more to 3-5. This will start to develop power in short bursts. This is when athletes are at their strongest and neuromuscular factors that contribute to strength production are at there peak. This leads most athletes into their season.
Maintenance - In this phase we are at a moderate intensity level and our sets and reps are at a very manageable level for during competition. Our rep range will be in the 10-12 range and set will only consist of 1-2. This phase will help the athletes carry the strength and agility be maintained through competition. A common mistake athletes make is staying away from the gym during season. This leads to muscle weakening during the season and possible injury.
Active Recovery - In this phase we take the time to reflect on our year and the progress we made. During this time we focus on many body weight exercises and lighter weights to allow our body time to recover from the abuse of an athletic season. This time is important to help recover from injury as well as avoid over training.
This is something we at O.P.A. do for all of our athletes and would love to help you or your child develops in a safe and effective way. There are many other factors and details to each phase that this article does not have the time to get into. However athletes need to look at the year as a whole for their development and take advantage to the time available during the year.