The 4-Quarter Workout for Full-Game Performance

July 6, 2012

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For traditional athletes, the off-season is a time to develop multi-dimensional speed, strength, power and endurance in ways that prepare both the body and the mind for the upcoming season. Hence, effective off-season workouts are dynamic, creative and challenging without breaking down the body before the competitive season even begins.

One question I find myself answering on a regular basis is, "What can I do during the off-season, other than just Bench or Squats?" Certainly, an athlete can and should do a lot more than a few power lifts.

Below is an off-season workout that most athletes would benefit from. I call this protocol "Four Quarters." The four quarters represent sequential and progressive hard work. The workout can be done individually or in a group, with goal completion time being 45 minutes. Take minimal rest between exercises, but do rest between quarters, as indicated. Also, stay hydrated on a regular basis; make safety a top priority; and consume a moderate amount of a carbohydrate/protein source for energy replenishment and recovery within 10 to 30 minutes after completing the workout.

Off-season workouts should train for endurance, speed, strength and power. Here, you'll find all of these elements in one training session. Are you ready to begin developing a fourth-quarter state of body and mind?

Dynamic Warm-Up and Flexibility (10 minutes)

1st Quarter: "Endurance"

Run for six minutes. Monitor your distance and work to increase it each session. Follow this up with a two-minute break, making sure to hydrate.

2nd Quarter: "Pre-Habilitation"

One set of 10 repetitions per exercise.

Allow yourself a two-minute break and rehydrate.

3rd Quarter: "Power" (repeat the cycle three times)

Drink up during a two-minute break.

4th Quarter: "Strength" (Again repeat the cycle three times)

One set of eight repetitions per exercise.

Rest for another two minutes and consume fluids.

Overtime

One set of 10 repetitions for these bonus moves.

Photo: alkavadlo.com

- John Mikula, MA, CTRS, CSCS, HFS, TRX, is an exercise physiologist working for the U.S. Department of Defense, overseeing fitness testing, strength & conditioning, and...
- John Mikula, MA, CTRS, CSCS, HFS, TRX, is an exercise physiologist working for the U.S. Department of Defense, overseeing fitness testing, strength & conditioning, and...
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