Why You Shouldn't Treat the Off-Season Like a Vacation
Athletes usually consider the off-season as a period of rest, but this is the time to get strength and conditioning work done! During "downtime," sport-specific activity like practices and games are at their lowest level, so your training activity should increase.
Once an athlete has completed his or her sport season, a rest/recovery period of about one week is suggested. Since the demands of the sport season have decreased, strength and conditioning should be a priority. An athlete can now train with maximum frequency (number of days per week), intensity (amount of weight, loads) and volume (number of sets and repetitions).
Think of your off-season in phases. This promotes long-term training and performance improvements. Keep in mind, the key word here is performance; it doesn't benefit an athlete to improve in the weight room unless those improvements can be applied to his or her sport(s) of choice.
Very low to moderate intensity and very high to moderate volume; the goals for this phase are to increase lean body mass and develop muscular endurance in preparation for more intense training in later phases.
Exercises ideal for this phase are:
Basic Strength Phase
High intensity and moderate volume; this phase progresses to more complex, specialized, and sport-specific training.
In addition to previous exercises, add:
High intensity and low volume; this phase involves increased strength training intensity and power/explosive exercises.
In this phase add exercises like: