An off season for an athlete is a great time to use weight training as a form of training for a competition. But what kind of training?
The last thing you want is to gain muscle! Muscle will not help you become a better athlete! I would say the best approach is to take it in three stages – Stability, strength and power.
Now how would weight training help you in an athletic event? Well if you haven’t noticed, most events require power and a lot of it. The only way you can generate power is with strength and speed. Now lifting heavy weights will not be moved with speed. So how does strength and speed fit in with one another?
Well it’s the intention of lifting the load with speed. If for example you tried to lift a 200kg dead lifts as fast as you can, your lifting it fast relative to the load! So were does speed fit it?
Well speed comes with tempo and in order to power train, your intensity comes down and your tempo of the movement will increase. You would have to separate the both – start with strength training and then switch into power training.
Now we’ve covered those, the first thing is stability. You should start with a moderate intensity and increase it gradually over a period of time. Then once your intensity reaches about 90% 1RM then continue with that intensity and increase load on a weekly basis. There after, I would start power training around six weeks from a competition, do this for four of those weeks then the final two weeks, just practice on your own and stop all weight training.
Your off season up until competition time should look something like this:
Week 1- 50% 1RM 20reps slow tempo 30sec rest periods
Week 2- 55% 1RM 18reps slow tempo 40sec rest periods
Week 3- 60% 1RM 16reps slow tempo 50sec rest periods
Week 4- 65% 1RM 14reps slow tempo 1min rest periods
Week 5- 70% 1RM 12reps slow tempo 1.30min rest periods
Week 6- 75% 1RM 10reps slow tempo 1.30min rest periods
Week 7- 80% 1RM 8reps slow tempo 2min rest periods
Week 8- 85% 1RM 6reps slow tempo 2min rest periods
Week 9- 90% 1RM 4reps fast tempo 3min+ rest periods
Week 10- 90% 1RM 2reps fast tempo 3min+ rest periods
Week 11- 90% 1RM 2reps fast tempo 3min+ rest periods
Week 12- 90% 1RM 2reps fast tempo 3min+ rest periods
Week 13- 60% 1RM 16reps fast tempo 50sec rest periods
Week 14- 60% 1RM 16reps fast tempo 50sec rest periods
Week 15- 60% 1RM 16reps fast tempo 50sec rest periods
Week 16- 50% 1RM 16reps fast tempo 40sec rest periods
Week 18- event training
Week 19- event training
I would say select two compound movements and use them throughout!
For example: squats and barbell press or lunges and pull ups. Use exercises that will benefit your event. Also this is only for nineteen weeks of the year, with the rest of the year focusing on training your body back into an atomic position.
When doing any movement in repetition, you will create muscle imbalances which will suppress your performance and increase the risk of injury. I would highly recommend a range of motion assessment; this will show you areas that are tight and taught and areas that are week. Strengthen weak areas and stretch tight areas! A good stretch program and training program to bring your posture in atomically position would give huge benefits. If you follow all this I can almost guarantee you will perform at your absolute best.
Train hard and train smart!
Until next time