Yet far too often when the competitive season gets under way many coaches and athletes fail to continue to train for power at a time when they want their performance to peak.
Not only does this have a negative affect on performance during the season it will also have a negative effect on the results of your next off-season training. It is equivalent to taking three steps forward and then two steps back, so you are often making up ground that you have already covered.
The amount and level of training that you do in-season will depend on how much and how well you trained in the off and pre-seasons. However, I will give you some ideas and methods to train by during the competitive season.
I am assuming that you already have some knowledge of the exercises mentioned and that you have trained for power in prior training periods.
What To Do
When planning a training program for the in-season I will pick my power exercises form three different categories.
These are mainly plyometric exercises that do not involve any additional weight added to the body. They are plyometric exercises that emphasize power more than speed. They are also relatively simple exercises that are easy to perform correctly and do take very long to learn. The following exercises are some examples of the exercises mentioned.
- Box Jumps
- Lunge Jumps
- Cone Hops
- Single Leg Box Jumps
- Step Up Jumps
- Shuffle Box Jumps
These are exercises done with weights, but are lifted with speed. The Olympic lifts and variations of them are the most common exercises performed in the weight room for power. The following are some of the exercises we use in our in-season training:
- Hang Cleans
- Hang Snatch
- Block Cleans
- Block Snatch
- Squat Push Press
- One arm DB Snatch
These are exercises using medicine balls as throwing implements. A great amount of power can be developed by training with medicine balls. The following is a list of some of the exercises we use for the competitive season:
- Overhead Step Throws
- Overhead Scoop Toss
- Kneeling Scoop Toss
- Kneeling Chest Pass
- Wood Chopper Throws
- Shovel Throws
How Often To Do It
In-season power training should be done at least two times per week and if the competition schedule will allow, it should be done three times per week. The training sessions should be conducted prior to sport practice. Training early enough in the day to leave a 2-hour break between the end of the workout and the start of sport practice if at all possible.
Because the training sessions are not long and the volume of training is low compared to the off and pre-seasons there will be no negative affect on practice if the athlete has a base of training.
Because of the physical, mental and time demands during the competitive season you should cut back your volume in the workouts by 50%. This means if you performed a total of ten sets and 36 repetitions in a week during the off-season you should do 18 reps spread out over about 6-to-8 sets during the in-season.
The average amount of weight lifted would be between 70 and 80 percent of your one rep max. The 50% rule for weight lifting also applies to the plyometric and throwing exercises.
This is an example of the power exercises that can be used during In-Season training:
Cleans: 40% x 6 55% x 4 70% x 3/2 80% x 2
Wood Chopper Throws: 4 kg med ball x 12
Single Leg Box Jumps: BW x 6/3
Block Snatches: 50% x 4 60% x 4 70% x 3/3
Overhead Step Throws: 4 kg x 6 (each leg)
Box Jumps: BW x 5/2
Continued power training during the competitive season does not take a great deal of time, it does however require a organized plan and dedication to the task. If you are willing to put forth the effort in the off season to train hard and improve your physical power, then the time and effort to keep it during the competitive season would be a small price to pay.