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  • Writer's pictureAthlete Performance

In-Season Training Benefits & Programming

Athlete Performance trains multiple different clubs and individuals during their respective seasons. A typical season runs roughly for 5-7 months. It is our job to ensure adequate and proper training programs are designed to fit all possible needs. Athlete Performance programs are built out making certain we are not only keeping fatigue levels down in athletic performance, but also maintaining strength throughout the season. Keeping athletes' strength levels consistent throughout the season or increasing slowly to achieve peak performance as critical games or matches approach.

Athletes are invited to start a month before practice/tournaments begin so we can run our “Return To Performance” phase. After our coaches get an understanding of where each athlete is at, they are placed on a program that best suits their needs to grow performance levels throughout the season. We monitor our athletes throughout the season by continuing to run MET assessments on them every 6-8 weeks. Re-assessments are important, not only to see improvements within athletes but also to monitor fatigue levels. If we notice the athletes metrics decreasing on their MET we quickly adjust the program accordingly. Thus ensuring we are only working on increasing performance, and reducing the risk of injury.

Sports in general place a large emphasis on explosive movements which require muscular strength and power to be successful during elite competitions.

“When athletes are in-season programs are designed to shift from an emphasis on force production or strength gain to rate of force development of velocity-based training. Therefore, in-season strength and conditioning programs are designed to maintain strength & power levels over the duration of competition season (Marques, 2008).”

“However, Hakkinen reported that if heavy resistance training was stopped for too long (5.5 weeks) while only working on explosive strength training then we would observe decrements in both strength and power.”

Athlete Performance takes this research seriously and we understand that we need to add a strength emphasis to in-season training. If strength decreases during competition, we might see an increase in injuries. There is a fine line to balance when placing a strength emphasis in an in-season program, but Athlete Performance strives to keep everything at an optimal level for everyone.

Curious as to how Athlete Performance designs its programs? The answer is in a circuit style fashion. Circuit training is a type of body conditioning that improves muscular endurance. Traditionally, our programs are composed of three to four different circuits divided into upper and lower body muscle groups. We also program a strength exercise and pair it with a power exercise to work both strength and power within the same workout. This is beneficial because most of our athletes are full time students, and the workouts at AP are designed to be the most time efficient. An example of a circuit you would see in the AP program is

· Squats (strength emphasis)

· Quick Box Hops (power emphasis)

· Hamstring Curls (posterior chain development)

In addition to time efficiency, there are many other benefits to circuit training. One benefit being that it is a full body workout. This is essential to the athletes’ of Athlete Performance because they sometimes cannot make it in more than 2x per week, so having two full body workouts will ensure that they work all muscle groups within the week. Also, endurance training is hugely beneficial when it transfers directly to sport competition. Circuit training increases muscular endurance which plays out when the athletes begin to fatigue towards the end of competition. Building up this endurance could be the most effective when trying to beat your opponent who has also begun to fatigue. Athlete Performance takes it all into consideration when building individualized circuit training programs for athletes.

Marques, M. C., Van Den Tillaar, R., Vescovi, J. D., & González-Badillo, J. J. (2008). Changes in strength and power performance in elite senior female professional volleyball players during the in-season: a case study. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 22(4), 1147-1155.

Newton, R. U., Rogers, R. A., Volek, J. S., Häkkinen, K., & Kraemer, W. J. (2006). Four weeks of optimal load ballistic resistance training at the end of season attenuates declining jump performance of women volleyball players. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 20(4), 955-961.

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