OFF SEASON RESISTANCE TRAINING PART I
By Sebastian Rebollo
Master in physical Activity
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Off season or preparatory period its the starting point in our segmented training plan. This period occurs when there are no competitions and technical, tactical, or sport specific work is limited. The central goal during this period of training is to develop a base level of conditioning in order to increase the athletes ability to tolerate more intense training. The conditioning activities during this period would begin with relatively low intensities and high volumes: long, slow distance running or swimming; low intensity plyometrics; and high repetitions resistance training with light to moderate weights.
This phase is important for our motocross and cycling athletes, as we need to develop the necessary muscle strength and stamina to, in the case of our motocross athletes help to counter all the forces that will be exposed during the races, and for the cyclist, build the foundations for power development.
Traditionally, the prep period is subdivided into general and specific phases. The General preparatory phase typically occurs during the early part of the time frame and often targets the development of a general physical base.This early part of the preparatory period includes high training volumes, low training intensities and larger variety of training means that are structured to develop general motor abilities and skills. The specific preparatory phase occurs after the completion of the general preparatory phase and involves a shift in training focus. From the training base that has been established, this phase expands the athletes training base through an increased emphasis on sport specific training activities that prepare the athlete for the competitions to come.
During the preparatory period, resistance training phases can be created in order to depict more refined differences in training intensities and volume. In order, these are the size / strength, endurance and basic strength phases.
After this short explanation, let’s get started in our subjects. How are you going to develop strength thru resistance training in your lower body? First we need to considerer what we want to accomplish and ask some simple questions; Do I need to increase muscle size? Do I need strength? Or do I need both?, Bodyweight is a key factor in both motocross and cycling, and we need to maintain a good body weight for efficiency purposes.
The next table summarize the basics to divide our resistance training in to phases.
MUSCLE MASS / STRENGTH ENDURANCE
LOW TO MODERATE
50 - 75 % OF 1RM
80 - 95 % OF 1RM
MODERATE TO HIGH
3 - 6 SETS
2 - 6 SETS
8 - 20 REPS
2 - 6 REPS
How many weeks should this phase last? Well first, we need to see how many weeks we have before our season starts. Ideally, a minimum of 8 to 12 weeks s a good start to build strength and muscle mass.
In part II of this article we are going to plan a resistance training for this phase and we are going to include all the exercises that we can do and how to plan our weekly training.
Disclaimer: No training program can or will protect you from injury. All athletic sports carry with them an element of danger. In the case of a fall, collision or other accident, you may be injured or killed, regardless of the type of athletic training you may have participated in. A training program itself could even result in an injury in certain situations. The only way to certainly avoid being injured while training or participating in a sporting activity, is to not participate in any sports or training activity.