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Off-Season Sports Workouts And Cardio: A 12 Week Program!

This article will teach you how to get the most out of the off-season through workouts and cardio with a 12-week program. Be warned though, because these programs are anything but easy. Read on to find out more and possibly try them out.

By: Paul Bourque

We all want to be the best at the sports we play. This article will teach you how to get the most out of the off-season through workouts and cardio with a 12-week program. Be warned though, because these programs are anything but easy. The weightlifting will leave you feeling like Gumby, and the cardio will make you wish you never had legs.

It will all pay off in the end though. I am going to break it down into four major sports, and lay out a program for each sport. In parentheses, I'll write down alternate sports that would also fit with that program. Here are the four sports:

Guidelines

General Guidelines

  • Be consistent. This is important; you will not succeed in anything if you are not consistent. Don't let outside things get in the way of your training and cardio.

  • Make sure that your diet is consistant, and that you're eating healthy. Not eating healthy will screw you up big time, it's important that your body is properly fueled throughout these programs, because they are intense.

  • If anything seems too easy for you, turn it up a notch. I don't know how each of your bodies is conditioned, so I can't right up a program that is exactly right for you. If you're already an excellent runner, start with a 2-3 mile run and build up to a 7-mile run. You must be pushing yourself during this program in order for you to reap all of the benefits from it.

General Training Guidelines

  • Take a one week break during each 12-week program. This is important; your body will need a week of rest after how hard you'll be taxing it. Once you're starting to feel run down, take a week and lift maybe twice in that week lightly, and do some light cardio for a couple days. After the week, you should be refreshed and pumped to hit the weights again.

  • Make sure your form is excellent on every lift. If a lift is new to you, take a week and practice form with just the bar for a few days. Have a partner make sure you're doing everything right.

  • Don't sacrifice form to add more weight, do not let ego get in the way.

  • Keep track of your workouts in a journal.

  • Go into each workout with goals set, and 100% intensity

  • Make sure you're properly warmed up.

  • Stay hydrated.

General Cardio Guidelines

  • Stay Hydrated. This is vitally important, and I cannot stress it enough. You must stay hydrated or bad things can happen (ex. death). Drink water all the time during your cardio sessions.

    You may drink more than a gallon, that's fine, I've done it. You need to keep your body hydrated because it gets easily dehydrated when you run.

  • Warm up. Start off with a 5-minute jog and stretch to get your body ready to run. You don't want a pulled muscle.

  • Don't wimp out. I'm not there to watch you, and it's easy to slack off when doing cardio. Why? Because it's hard. You have to have it in yourself.

Football Program

The football program is going to be more power/sprinting oriented. You'll need the power and strength for tackling. You will also need to be a fast sprinter to run your route and beat your man. You're going to need endurance also, so we aren't going to forget about that.

The Training

    For training, we're going to use a lot of Olympic lifts, compound lifts, and pressing lifts. You're going to need the explosiveness from Olympic lifts to drive yourself into your opponent, overall size to create more momentum and strong pressing for linemen mainly.

    What I'll do is first show you the program, and then I'll explain the techniques used. The first four weeks will be more of an Olympic program with compound lifts, focusing on power and strength.

    Weeks 1-4


Click To Enlarge.
Training: Explained

    I'll explain some of the techniques involved here, because some of you may not have heard of some of the things I'm telling you to do. I recommend you do a search on Bodybuilding.com if there are any exercises you have never done. Work on form with a bar first before trying to load on heavy weight, you don't want an injury.

    Now on the exercises that say to work up to a 1-3RM, you should do this slowly over multiple sets. Here is an example for a board press, with a 1RM of 185:

    • 45 pounds for 3 sets of 5 reps
    • 70 for 3 reps
    • 95 for 3 reps
    • 115 for 1 rep
    • 135 for 1 rep
    • 155 for 1 rep
    • 175 for 1 rep
    • 190 for 1 rep

    Box Squat

      Next I'll discuss box squats, since they aren't in BB.com's exercise database. What you will do is get a box, a chair, etc. that has you at parallel in the squatted position.


      Click To Enlarge.

      For the box squat, you'll start like a regular squat, and once you hit the box you'll actually sit on it and release your hips. Pause for about 1 second, and then explode back up. Make sure not to bounce off the box, and do not just touch and go.

    Speed Work

      Finally is the speed work. What you'll do is take a specified weight (explained below), and perform 2-3 explosive reps as fast as possible. All portions of the lift will be done as fast as possible.

      Make sure you don't just drop the weight on the eccentric, and don't sacrifice form for more speed. What you'll do is take 50% of your 1RM for squats, and 55% of your 1RM for bench. Increase the weight about 5 pounds every week, keeping the same speed or faster each week.

      That does it for the training portion of the football program. The workouts aren't easy, but by the end of the program, you'll be a much faster and much stronger lifter, and that will give you a huge advantage on the field.

The Cardio

    Now it's time for some fun cardio. We'll be working on a combination of sprinting and endurance work. Cardio will be performed 3 days a week. Whichever days you choose is up to you, but I recommend you do it on non-lifting days. You want to be able to put in all of your effort into both lifting and cardio.

    Day 1

      Day 1 will be a little bit of sprinting mixed with some endurance work. We'll start off with not too much, but over the 12 weeks, it will build up. You're going to sprint for 50 meters, and then immediately jog for 150 meters.

      The sprinting portion will work on your sprinting ability, obviously, and the large distance will tax endurance. Once you're running more than a mile, take 5-15 minute breaks in between each mile if you need it. The distances will be as follows:

Weeks 1-4 Sets Weeks 5-8 Sets Weeks 9-12 Sets
50m sprint 50m sprint 50m sprint
150m jog x 8 150m jog x 12 150m jog x 16
Total distance : 1 mile Total distance: 1.5 miles Total distance: 2 miles

    Day 2

      If you are out of shape, day 1 will tax you enough, and you should be dreading day 2. Day 2 is where the fun is at, endurance day. The workouts will be simple, running will be a moderate pace, and you should be beating your previous times each week. Week by week distances are as follows:

      • Week 1 - 1 mile
      • Week 2 - 1 mile
      • Week 3 - 1.5 miles
      • Week 4 - 1.5 miles
      • Week 5 - 2 miles
      • Week 6 - 2 miles
      • Week 7 - 2 miles
      • Week 8 - 2.5 miles
      • Week 9 - 2.5 miles
      • Week 10 - 2.5 miles
      • Week 11 - 3 miles
      • Week 12 - 3 miles

    Day 3

      For Day 3, we're going to be doing something called plyometrics. Plyometrics are different jumps, hops and throws that will greatly develop lower and upper body speed, agility and power. You must be careful with plyometrics though, because the risk of injury is high if you don't do things right. Have someone experienced (ex. a coach) check your form and make sure you're doing everything right. First I'll show the exercises that will be used with the football plyometrics program.

      • Depth Jump - Stand with your toes on the end of a box that is roughly 35cm high, give or take 10cm. Drop down off the box (don't jump) and immediately squat down and explode up as high as you can.



      Click To Enlarge.

      • Ricochets - Mark a 2-foot wide square on the ground with tape or chalk. Jump from corner to corner as fast as you can, jumping to different corners every time.


        Click To Enlarge.

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      • Single Leg Hop - Stand balanced on 1 foot. Bend and hop up as high as you can, and land back on that foot. Right when you land on the ground, quickly explode back up again. Do the prescribed amount of reps with one leg, and then switch to the other leg.


        Click To Enlarge.

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      • Lateral Hurdle Jump - Low hurdles will be about 1 foot tall, and high hurdles will be 2-3 feet tall. You will jump back and forth over the hurdle as fast as you can. Back and forth is counted as 1 rep.

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      • Chest Pass - Find a partner and grab a medicine ball. Pass it by explosively pressing your hands out. Have your partner pass the ball back, and repeat.


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      • Side Throw - Stand side by side with a partner, with a moderate distance between you (10-20 feet). Grab a medicine ball, and hold your arms straight out in front of you. Swing your body to the right, and then swing to the left and throw the ball to your partner. Turn 180 degrees and then make the throw to the right. Each two throws counts as 1 rep.


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      Now that you know how to do all of the exercises, here's the 12-week plyometrics program:

Well that wraps up the football program, it's intense, but you will become a much better athlete when it's over. Lift heavy, and push yourself during the cardio.

Soccer Program

Soccer is a program dominated by leg strength and endurance. The lifting program will build powerful legs, while the cardio will give you the endurance of a marathon runner, and you'll need it. The training actually won't be complicated, and there won't be a whole lot, but that's only because you're going to be doing a lot of cardio.

The Training

The Cardio

    Cardio is where it's all at when you get to endurance sports like soccer, lacrosse, track, etc. We're going to use the same sprinting day as football has, but the other 2-3 days will be no picnic.

    Day 1

      Day 1 will be an endurance day tracked by distance. The distance you run will increase over the weeks. The weeks that maintain the same distance, you should be timing yourself, and you will beat your time every week. Here's a week-by-week breakdown:

      • Week 1 - 1 mile
      • Week 2 - 1 mile
      • Week 3 - 2 miles
      • Week 4 - 2 miles
      • Week 5 - 2 miles
      • Week 6 - 3 miles
      • Week 7 - 3 miles
      • Week 8 - 4 miles
      • Week 9 - 4 miles
      • Week 10 - 3 miles
      • Week 11 - 3 miles
      • Week 12 - 3 miles

    Day 2

      Day 2 is all about improving your sprinting speed. Distances will be kept the same; it's the time that you will be trying to increase. Have a partner or friend time how long each distance takes, and beat that time every week, whether it is by .5s or .05s.

      Take enough time in between sprints to catch your breath and have full energy for the next sprint. Here's what day 2 looks like:

      • 100m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 80m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 60m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 50m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 50m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 40m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 40m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 40m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 40m - Beat time from previous week.

    Day 3

      Day 3 is another endurance day, more fun. This time we'll be going by time, as opposed to distance on day 1. Don't just walk or lightly jog for the time, you should be at a fast jog/run for the time. You should be beating your total distance covered each time you repeat the same time ran. Here's a week by week time list:

      • Week 1 - 30 minutes
      • Week 2 - 30 minutes
      • Week 3 - 35 minutes
      • Week 4 - 35 minutes
      • Week 5 - 35 minutes
      • Week 6 - 40 minutes
      • Week 7 - 40 minutes
      • Week 8 - 40 minutes
      • Week 9 - 40 minutes
      • Week 10 - 45 minutes
      • Week 11 - 45 minutes
      • Week 12 - 45 minutes

    Day 4

      Day 4 will be introduced Week 7, and will be very simple. You get the first 6 weeks to get into better shape if you haven't already. What you'll do is just run 2 miles, and you will beat your time each week. By Week 7, two miles should be a piece of cake, so don't complain.

That is the soccer program. Once completed, you should be able to burn your entire team on a mile run if your coach makes you run one. You will also start because you will be one of the only ones who can hustle full speed the entire game.


Basketball Program

For the basketball program, we'll focus more on leg strength, speed/agility and your vertical leap. Basketball also requires a high level of conditioning, so we'll do plenty of endurance work as well.

Training

The Cardio

    With cardio, we're going to focus on increasing your speed, endurance and vertical leap. The workouts aren't too frequent because you're going to be doing plyometrics for legs also. Let's get straight into it:

    Day 1

      For Day 1, we're going to be doing something called plyometrics. Plyometrics are different jumps and hops that will greatly develop lower body speed, agility and power.

      You must be careful with plyometrics though, because the risk of injury is high if you don't do things right. Have someone experienced (ex. a coach) check your form and make sure you're doing everything right. First I'll show the exercises that will be used.

      • Tuck Jump - stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Jump up explosively and bring your knees in toward your chest. As you start to descend, straighten your knees back to the starting position. As soon as your feet touch the ground, explode back up into another jump.


      Click To Enlarge.

      • Depth Jump - Stand with your toes on the end of a box that is roughly 35cm high, give or take 10cm. Drop down off the box (don't jump) and immediately squat down and explode up as high as you can.

      • Ricochets - Mark a 2-foot wide square on the ground with tape or chalk. Jump from corner to corner as fast as you can, jumping to different corners every time.

      • Lateral Hurdle Jump - Low hurdles will be about 1 foot tall, and high hurdles will be 2-3 feet tall. You will jump back and forth over the hurdle as fast as you can. Back and forth is counted as 1 rep.

      • Forward Hurdle Jump - The same hurdles will be used as listed above. You will set up a line of them, and complete the line as fast as you can. Each jump is counted as 1 rep.



        Click To Enlarge.

      The exercises will be changed up a few times over the course of the 12 weeks. Let's get to it:

      Weeks 1-3

      Tuck Jump - 4x10
      Ricochets - 3x20
      Low Lateral Hurdle Jump - 3x10
      High Forward Hurdle Jump - 3x10

      Click Here For A Printable Log Of The Weeks 1-3 Plyometrics Workout

      Weeks 4-6

      Tuck Jump - 3x12
      Depth Jump - 2x10
      High Lateral Hurdle Jump - 3x10
      Low Forward Hurdle Jump - 3x10

      Click Here For A Printable Log Of The Weeks 4-6 Plyometrics Workout

      Weeks 7-9

      Depth Jump - 3x8
      Ricochets - 3x15
      Low Lateral Hurdle Jump - 4x8
      High Forward Hurdle Jump - 4x8

      Click Here For A Printable Log Of The Weeks 7-9 Plyometrics Workout

      Weeks 10-12

      Tuck Jump - 4x8
      Depth Jump - 3x10
      High Lateral Hurdle Jump - 3x15
      Low Forward Hurdle Jump - 3x15

      Click Here For A Printable Log Of The Weeks 10-12 Plyometrics Workout

    Day 2

      Day 2 is going to be endurance day. You'll run for a certain amount of time, not distance. You'll need plenty of stamina to keep strong up and down the court the whole game.

      Keep a moderate-to-fast pace; you should be going hard the entire time. Try to run a farther distance every time. If you feel like you can run longer than the given time limits, push yourself and run longer.

      It's hard for me to prescribe an exact program when I don't know your conditioning. Here's the layout:

      • Week 1 - 30 minutes
      • Week 2 - 30 minutes
      • Week 3 - 35 minutes
      • Week 4 - 35 minutes
      • Week 5 - 35 minutes
      • Week 6 - 40 minutes
      • Week 7 - 40 minutes
      • Week 8 - 40 minutes
      • Week 9 - 40 minutes
      • Week 10 - 45 minutes
      • Week 11 - 45 minutes
      • Week 12 - 45 minutes

    Day 3

      Day 3 is all about improving your sprinting speed. Distances will be kept the same; it's the time that you will be trying to increase. Have a partner or friend time how long each distance takes, and beat that time every week, whether it is by .5s or .05s.

      Take enough time in between sprints to catch your breath and have full energy for the next sprint. Here's what day 3 looks like:

      • 100m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 80m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 60m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 60m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 50m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 50m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 40m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 40m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 40m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 40m - Beat time from previous week.

There's the basketball program. You should add a lot of height to your vertical leap, as well as develop quick feet and excellent endurance. Now find a hoop and practice shooting.


Baseball Program

Baseball, the All-American sport, requires fast sprinting and hard throwing. We're not going to work a lot on endurance, because you don't need a lot of it. Rest assured though that this program isn't much easier than the others, if you go hard. You should be a better player once this program is finished.

Training

The Cardio

You're not going to need much endurance for cardio, so we'll mainly be working on your sprinting speed, since that's what you'll need to run the bases or run to catch a ball quickly.

    Day 1

      For Day 1, we'll use something called HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). You'll sprint and jog and time intervals. We'll increase your time running over the course of the 12 weeks, but the time sprinting and time jogging will be kept the same. You'll sprint for 20 seconds (go as hard as you can), and then jog at a medium pace for 40 seconds. Repeat this cycle for the following periods of time:

      • Week 1 - 15 minutes
      • Week 2 - 15 minutes
      • Week 3 - 15 minutes
      • Week 4 - 20 minutes
      • Week 5 - 20 minutes
      • Week 6 - 20 minutes
      • Week 7 - 25 minutes
      • Week 8 - 25 minutes
      • Week 9 - 25 minutes
      • Week 10 - 30 minutes
      • Week 11 - 30 minutes
      • Week 12 - 30 minutes

    Day 2

      Day 2 is all about improving your sprinting speed. Distances will be kept the same; it's the time that you will try to increase. Have a partner or friend time how long each distance takes, and beat that time every week, whether it is by .5s or .05s.

      Take enough time in between sprints to catch your breath and have full energy for the next sprint. Here's what day 3 looks like:

      • 100m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 100m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 100m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 80m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 60m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 60m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 50m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 50m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 40m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 40m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 40m - Beat time from previous week.
      • 40m - Beat time from previous week.

    Day 3

      Day 3 is a light and simple day. It's just a quick 1-mile run. Don't take things too easily though, you should run hard, and you will decrease your mile time every week. You should be able to cut a good few minutes off your mile time.

    Well that's the end of the baseball program; you should be much stronger and much faster when this program is over.

The End Is Here

This concludes the 4 sports programs. I hope you go hard every workout and cardio session, and that you become a much better athlete after the 12 weeks.

Off-Season Sports Workouts And Cardio: A 12 Week Program!
SliipperyPete@aol.com

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started this workout this week (for baseball part). def love the layout. i mostly love how it can fit my schedule "length wise". ill give more feedback after a few weeks =D

Nov 14, 2013 7:00pm | report
 
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