The 4-Quarter Workout for Full-Game Performance | STACK

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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.


One set of 10 repetitions for these bonus moves.


- 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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