How to Create Your Own Off-Season Training Program

Learn how to customize your off-season workout to meet your training needs. Start building your off-season training program today.

Weight Room

Training your body in the off-season is important for maintaining athletic performance. But while many of us find it easy to work on the skills we need for our game, some of us struggle with how to start a strength and conditioning program.

So how do you build a successful off-season training program? A good guideline is to incorporate exercises from each of the following categories: total body or Olympic Lifts; Squats or squat-type lifts; pressing lifts; upper body pull lifts; and lower body pull lifts. When you start out your program, aim for five sets of the five lifts; and as you get stronger and move into different seasons, add explosive exercises to the five lifts.

It's important to know how much weight to use in your lifts. In a training cycle, athletes progress through four basic phases:

  1. Muscle-Building Phase, in which you use weights up to 70-percent of your one rep max (1RM), doing three to four sets of 8 to10 reps followed by two to three minutes of active rest
  2. Basic Strength Phase, in which you perform three to five sets of five reps with weights about 86 percent of your 1RM, followed immediately by up to four minutes of active rest.
  3. Strength and Power, in which you perform three to five sets of no more than three repetitions with weight at 92 percent of your 1RM, with up to four minutes of rest between sets.
  4. Peaking Power, in which you use weight between 93 and 100 percent of your 1RM, doing two to three sets of one to two reps. Unlike the first three phases, normally when you are in the peaking power phase, you only need to hit the weight room twice a week instead of three times a week.

Here is basic plan for off-season training, featuring exercises selected from each of the five categories, designed to get you ready for your season.

Monday

1. Total Body/Olympic Lift
Hang Cleans

2. Squat
Squat

3. Press
Bench Press

4. Upper body pull
Pull-Ups

5. Lower body pull
Glute and Hamstring Lowers

Wednesday

1. Total body/Olympic Lift
Power Clean OR Snatch

2. Squat
Lunges

3. Press
Shoulder Press

4. Upper body pull
Upright Row

5. Lower body pull
Romanian Deadlift

Friday

1. Total Body/Olympic Lift
Clean and Jerk OR Push Press

2. Squat
Front Squat

3. Press
Incline Press

4. Upper body pull
Bent Over Row

5. Lower body pull
Straight Leg Deadlift (SLDL)


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: OFF-SEASON TRAINING | POWER | CLEAN | PRESS | LIFTS | WEIGHTS