Take two college athletes, one lifting weights year-round and the other taking six months off, who has the competitive advantage?
Obviously, the athlete who trains consistently will be in better shape. Knowing this, why do many sprint coaches refuse to train their athletes during the short academic breaks? Also, what types of exercises should athletes do alone, especially when there are no training facilities?
First off, we're not talking about summer training. Most sprint coaches give their athletes guidance on what to do during this extended break. My focus here is on longer periods of time when athletes are out of school during the school year. Do the math: spring break can steal up to 10 days of training, winter break can take up to a month, and there are usually several shorter holidays like Thanksgiving. Cumulatively over a four year sports career, these interruptions can add up to 4-6 months of inactivity.
While most athletes probably don't get carried away like Thor doesthe end of the gameIf they don't do resistance training during these intervals, they can lose strength, power, endurance, and even speed. The good news is that it doesn't take much for an athlete to at least maintain and maybe even increase their fitness during these off-program stretches.
The good news is that it's not too difficult for an athlete to at least maintain physical condition during these non-program stretches, says @GabrielMvumvure.click to tweet
A 2011 study found that "conducting a weekly strength maintenance session during the first 12 weeks of the season enabled professional soccer players to maintain the improved strength, sprinting, and jumping performances achieved during a 10-week preparation period." Another group in However, the study, who only exercised every two weeks, not only lost strength in her legs, but also saw an increase in her 40-meter sprint times.
Other studies have found that strength (and even aerobic capacity) can be maintained for three months as long as the intensity is high, reducing exercise volume by two-thirds. Applied to a practical example, it is possible that just 30 minutes of training during spring break is enough for an athlete to pick up where he left off. However, with careful and creative planning, athletes can be in better shape than when they started.
During the school year, I give my athletes detailed strength-training programs designed to improve sprint performance, including cleans, deadlifts, squats, and push-ups. I can also work with the athletic training department and our strength coaches to provide corrective exercise to address muscle imbalances that can increase the risk of injury.
If an athlete has flat feet (i.e., valgus), which can cause injuries such as shin splints, they can be given corrective exercises that apply lateral pressure to the foot to reshape the arch of the foot. If an athlete has a history of hamstring strains, we can offer specific exercises for the hamstrings, glutes, and subumbilical abdomen (i.e., below the navel) to address the muscle imbalances that may be the underlying cause of this injury. But when an athlete is on vacation and doesn't have a world-class gym and support team like Brown's, he or she faces the dilemma of ideal training versus reality.
When an athlete is on recess and doesn't have a world-class gym or support staff, they are faced with ideal training and reality, says @GabrielMvumvure.click to tweet
When an athlete is off duty, it is often difficult for them to find a gym that has electric platforms and racks that allow them to continue the workouts they did in school. However, even the dullest commercial gyms have free weights. Also, some athletes have these dumbbells at home or are willing to buy them.
The solution for home training
Please understand that what I'm saying isn't just theory: I did these training programs while fighting for LSU, and I gave my sprinters these types of workouts to use at intervals. Before I give examples, I want to share with you the following five practical guidelines for training at home:
- Get a workout!Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, "If you don't plan, plan to fail." Don't let your athletes download a copy of Richard SimmonsSweat the old manso they can do like Chubby Checker and "shoot again like they did last summer". Athletes should discuss with their coaches what equipment, if any, they will have available during the break so their coaches can plan a workout accordingly.
- Consider the training environment.A large family room or garage are obvious places to exercise at home, but consider an outdoor workout in a backyard or park to get some fresh air and get your natural vitamin D supply. Also note that the college weight rooms are temperature controlled. When an athlete in Deadhorse, Alaska, is on winter break, they might be training in a garage at 10 p.m. M. in shorts and t-shirt is not a good idea.
- When athletes need to train in a cooler environment, they should spend more time warming up so they can train harder and avoid injury. On the other hand, if you're exercising in an extremely hot environment, dress lightly and keep plenty of fluids nearby to stay properly hydrated.
- Plan the training sessions.Athletes must set a specific time for training, just as they would arrive at a specific time on the track or in the weight room to train with their coaches. Early morning is best as there will likely be fewer distractions. Also, your athletes need to be considerate of others. Do "pump your stomach!" Trainer Mvumvure Exercising in the living room while a family member is trying to watch their favorite show on TV is impolite.
- Find ways to stay motivated.Athletes who go to college don't spend much time with their families during their breaks, so why not bring in a family member to motivate the athlete to train harder? Playing upbeat music also improves the training environment. Many commercial gyms, especially hardcore gyms, play a lot of hard rock, which can often be more irritating than inspiring. If your athletes like country music at home, they can play country music. And if they like Justine Bieber, well...they can play country music! You can also watch some inspirational sports videos on their laptops to inspire them and remind them why they work so hard!
- Set and communicate goals.Athletes should set a specific goal for each workout, e.g. B. complete all repetitions with a certain weight or do certain exercises faster. In addition, athletes should check with their coaches about the progress of their training. I take my athletes one step further and go green! by sending their workouts straight to their personal phones, complete with drawings of each exercise along with recommended weights, reps, and sets. By using high tech in this way, I can also make instant changes to their training if needed.
Athletes should have a specific time to train, just as they would get on the court or in the weight room to train with their coaches at a specific time, says @GabrielMvumvure.click to tweet
home exercise equipment
When it comes to exercise selection, there are many ways to challenge your muscles without weights. For example, consider pull-ups and push-ups; If they're too easy, there are more challenging variations (like wide-grip pull-ups and one-arm push-ups). Many movements can also be performed isometrically (hey, remember Charles Atlas' classic Dynamic Tension course?). Figure 1 shows some examples of different home workout modes.
Unless the athlete has access to a commercial gym, the only available training modes are likely to be bodyweight, isometric, and possibly bands and some light weights. In terms of dumbbells, the athlete can save a lot of money by purchasing adjustable dumbbells that allow for a variety of weight choices. Kettlebells are fine, but remember that these are usually fixed weights and buying multiple capsules can be very expensive; In addition, almost every exercise that you can do with a kettlebell can also be done with a dumbbell. Yes, swings are more comfortable with a kettlebell, but you can certainly swing with a dumbbell.
exercises with meaning
After reviewing some of the tools available to an athlete during school vacations, I propose two types of training.
First, many athletes leave high school with a history of chronic injury. During team training, the focus is often on exercises that directly improve performance (eg, exercises involving explosive movements like cleans or power moves like deadlifts). This approach leaves little time for healing exercises aimed at preventing the recurrence of past injuries or for pre-training work that targets muscle groups at high risk of injury (eg, hamstrings in sprinters). The school holidays are an ideal time to focus on these practices; Of course, athletes should consult their school's physical and strength coaches regarding these exercises.
At LSU I had the opportunity to meet with sports medicine guru Dr. Michael Ripley as an athlete and later as a coach. It worked wonders to keep me healthy so I could train hard and eventually compete at international level. Figure 2 shows one type of prequalification training that Dr. Ripley recommends it for athletes with sacroiliac joint problems that are common in hurdlers.
The second type of training is designed to improve performance and address an athlete's weaknesses. Let me give you an example of one of these exercises I would give my sprinters. It was prepared in Excel by dragging and dropping the exercises into a spreadsheet, which was converted to a PDF file. The focus of the training was on core and leg strength, the only equipment required was weights.
This workout can be done stationary (one exercise at a time) or in a circuit to buy time (and increase muscular endurance). Two to three sets of each exercise are required. Although not shown here, I do give each athlete suggestions on what weights to use (I usually just give the starting weight and then let the athlete choose their own). Also, do not rely on drawings or videos to ensure exercises are performed correctly; Have the athlete perform the exercise at least once before resting. With this in mind, we are working on a video workout bank that athletes can access to assess optimal training performance.
The next workout (Figure 4) is designed to help athletes struggling with knee injuries from overuse or knee stability that can affect running efficiency and cause hamstring injuries. Since there are several factors associated with these diseases, the training includes exercises for the buttocks, calves and abdomen.
This final workout (Figure 5) is designed to improve muscle strength and endurance and requires the investment in at least one medicine ball. Muscular endurance is often important for new or post-injury athletes, and strength is critical for athletes who need to work on their explosiveness.
Don't get hung up on the exact exercises shown—trainers should use the exercises (or other loading parameters) that they believe will best help each athlete achieve their goals. And for the sake of simplicity, the trainer should have several pre-made trainers, each with a different center of gravity and strength level. For my athletes, I start by doing a men's (heavier starting weights) and women's (lighter starting weights) version of each workout.
For convenience, the trainer should have several pre-designed workout templates, each with a different focus and strength level, says @GabrielMvumvure.click to tweet
The 2019-2020 indoor season was Brown University's first. Despite being hampered by the coronavirus, my sprinters set 32 personal bests overall, had 12 top 10 performances in school history, and broke two school records, including a 29-year-old record in the women's relay. 4x400m. I think part of that success was addressing all the variables that can contribute to performance. One of those variables is a consistent, year-round strength-training program that keeps my athletes strong from season start to season end!
This article was edited for publication by Kim Goss, a former strength coach at the US Air Force Academy who has a master's degree in human movement.
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Hickson, R.C., et al. "Effects of Reduced Exercise Duration on Aerobic Strength, Endurance, and Cardiac Growth."Journal of Applied Physiology, 53:225-229. one thousand nine hundred eighty two
Ronnstad, BR, et al. "Effects of in-season strength maintenance training frequency in professional soccer players".Journal of Strength and Conditioning ResearchOctober 2011; 25(10):2653-60
Graves, J.E., et al. Effect of a reduced training frequency on muscle strength. Int J Sports Med. 1988 October; 9(5):316-9.