Strength Training Guidelines
Warm-up -Every strength-training workout should be proceeded by a warm-up and stretching session (see warm-up section of this manual). The warm-up should take a minimum of 5 minutes and the athlete should break a sweat. Follow the full stretching program given in this manual.
Frequency/ Duration- Post season 3 x week, off season 3-4 x week, pre season 3 x week, in season 2x week on non-consecutive days. The second strength-training workout should be at least 48 hours pre competition. Workout length during the off season should not exceed 1 hour, in-season training may only last 30 minutes. Each major body part should be trained 2-3 x week on non consecutive days, 8-12 exercises per day, 1-3 work sets per exercise, 10-20 total work sets per workout.
Full range exercise- Every rep of every exercise should be performed through a full range of motion (all the way up, all the way down). This will strengthen the whole length of the muscle as well as adding functional flexibility.
Use strict exercise form on all exercises- Make the muscles do the work. Eliminate all bouncing, arching and throwing the weight. If you have to cheat to perform a rep then the weight is momentarily too heavy. Do not count cheated reps.
Emphasize the lowering of the weight- It should take you twice as long to lower a weight as it did to raise it. The same muscle that lifts a weight also lowers it. You can lower approximately 40% more than you can raise so do not waste this part of the exercise.
Record all workouts- In order for you to get stronger you must attempt to do more repetitions with a given weight or increase the weight. This must be done on a regular basis for you to achieve results. Recording workouts allows you to challenge yourself and keep progress of your gains, otherwise your training will be haphazard and unproductive.
How many reps? Any repetition range from 5-20 will work well as long as you are consistent in your form and effort. Avoid changing rep ranges too frequently, as this will not allow your body to adapt to a specific stimulus. On the other hand a change in reps may be all you need to break out of a strength plateau.
How much weight? As much weight as possible. The weight used should be heavy enough to make the set very hard but not too heavy where you are unable to reach the goal number without assistance or cheating on a rep.
How many sets? The number of work sets can vary from 1-6. This does not include warm-up sets. We use a wide variety of sets and reps to achieve variety and different adaptations. The key ingredient in each is perfect form and intensity.
How much time between sets and exercises? Rest 1:00-2:00 minutes between sets of the same exercise. Rest between exercises should be minimal but allow enough time to mentally prepare for a maximum effort. Do not waste time chatting or socializing during a workout. This reduces intensity and negates the conditioning effect.
How many workouts per week? Superior results can be obtained from strength training every other day. You may split your workouts into lower and upper body but no more than 4 strength training sessions per week are necessary. Train each part of the body 2 x week. Remember that strength training is only one part of developing the total athlete.
What exercises and in what order should they be performed? Perform exercises for the entire body, done in a balanced fashion. An exercise where you "push" should be complimented with one where you "pull". In general, you should exercise larger muscle groups before small ones. Perform exercises for the hips, thighs, back, chest and shoulders before working the calves, arms, forearms and grip.
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