T Nation

Athlete In-Season Help


#1

I am playing lacrosse at a high level in college and have put on 20 pounds of mass in the off-season from a poorly planned bodybuilding program (lot of isolation movements and no olympic lifts). This is the new plan i made for myself for during the season. What corrections should I make to this and what do you recommend?

Set and Rep Schemes will vary week to week.
Week 1: 3X10
Week 2: 5X5
Week 3: 4X8

Day 1: Squats, Bench Press, Push Press, Triceps, Shoulders
Day 2: Power Cleans, Deadlifts, Pullups, Rows, Biceps
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Squats, Incline Bench Press, Plyo-Pushups, Triceps, Shoulders
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Hang Cleans, Deadlifts, Pullups, Pulldowns, Box Jumps, Biceps
Day 7: Rest


#2

What position do you play mate?


#3

Also, when are your practices/games? Are you planning on doing 2-a-days?


#4

This info is key and it's what we really need to know before offering any other advice, because it's the focus of your entire plan.

The priority in-season is and should be on what you do on the field. The stuff in the gym is secondary.

Generally, in-season training should be lower volume (so your recovery isn't overly taxed) and moderate to higher intensity (to make the most of that lower volume).

I'm pretty sure Eric Cressey has talked about in-season work. Check either his articles on here or his blog.


#5

You should do what I do.
3 days of lifting:
day 1: squats or deadlifts
day 2: bench
day 3: back(if you did squats instead of deadlifts on day 1, if not then shoulders)
tweet tweet


#6

i play midfield, so it's running-intensive. we have practice or games 6 days per week in the afternoon. what do you think about a 3 day per week routine in the weight room? Also, i've been struggling to find a good set/rep scheme for in season. what are your thoughts?


#7

I like what Colucci said, training athletes is like an art and can be extremely tricky especially at a decent level. Your program is decent but I think theres many things you've failed to consider. I'll start with giving you my opinion on your program. Remember I'm just a guy not an expert and I'm just giving you my opinion because you've asked, if you don't care for it, I'm fine with that as well. I'm then going to give you my recommendations.

Your program is as follows.
Day 1: Squats, Bench Press, Push Press, Triceps, Shoulders
Day 2: Power Cleans, Deadlifts, Pullups, Rows, Biceps
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Squats, Incline Bench Press, Plyo-Pushups, Triceps, Shoulders
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Hang Cleans, Deadlifts, Pullups, Pulldowns, Box Jumps, Biceps
Day 7: Rest

I like that you've emphasized on a push/pull type of workouts. It's an extremely effective, simple and efficient way to organize a training program for athletes and functional hypertrophy IMO.

Day 1- I like the fact that you've emphasized pressing but feel this might be overkill, first off I would scrap the tricep work because you're doing a lot of pressing and depending on how you're training push press I wouldn't be to worried about throwing in shoulder work considering you have bench and an aggressive pressing exercise like push press on top of that.

Day 2 - Once again, I like that you've emphasized pulling but also feel this is overkill, also i wouldn't be overly concerned about throwing in O-Lifts for your purposes and considering you're in season. O-lifts are always a gamble for most athletes I see train because most athletes won't benefit from them with their poor technique and are extremely injury prone from performing them with god-awful technique.

When I train with my buddy who plays hockey during off-season I wanted to have him do O-Lifts but after a quick assessment of his technique, I realized we have about 2 months out of the year to get some serious training done with him and I don't want to spend 4/8 weeks teaching him how to perform them correctly and/or risking injury.

Like Colucci said, in season...gym is secondary and besides the last thing you or any athlete wants is an injury. Many athletes fail to consider that they train for THEIR SPORT , you go to the gym to perform better at YOUR SPORT. If you can't play do to injury from the gym you've really accomplished nothing and will feel extremely foolish.

Day 3- Off...Good call

Day 4- Again get rid of that tricep work and shoulder work on top of Incline? If that shoulder work involves any pressing I'd get rid of it.

Day 5- Off

Day 6- Personally hate hang cleans and pulldowns and pull ups? If you can do Pull-Ups, don't be caught dead doing pull downs, let alone on top of pull-ups

Day 7- Off...Good call

Now heres what I would recommend. I personally think that you would benefit from something along the lines of Joel Marion's "Stripped Down Hypertrophy" template. This is an extremely effective and simple template that's incorporates big enough movements so that you will gain some real functional hypertrophy without overkill on your CNS. The original template involves 5 days a week but I think sticking with your 4 days a week is fine, assuming that you're doing Lacrosse work on those off days anyways. His template is broken down as follows:

3 series of supersets

DAY 1
Superset 1 - Horizontal Push/Horizontal Pull - 5x5
Superset 2 - Vertical Push/Vertical Pull- 5x5
Superset 3 - Quad Dom/Hip Dom - 5x10

DAY 2
Superset 1 - Horizontal Push/Horizontal Pull - 5x10***
Superset 2 - Verticle Push/Verticle Pull- 5x10***
Superset 3 - Quad Dom/Hip Dom - 5x5***

DAY 3 OFF, DAY 4 - REPEAT DAY 1, DAY 5 - REPEAT DAY 2

I think this is a great template and would be a very realistic approach for in-season. However I like to run it as follows, placing emphasis on Push/Press days and Pull days.

DAY 1
Horizontal Push - 5x5***
Horizontal Pull - 5x10***

Vertical Push - 5x5***
Vertical Pull- 5x10***

Quad Dom - 5x5***
Hip Dom - 5x10***

DAY 2
Horizontal PULL*** - 5x5***
Horizontal PUSH - 5x10

Vertical PULL*** - 5x5***
Vertical PUSH***- 5x10***

HIP*** Dom - 5x5***
QUAD*** Dom - 5x10***

Day 3= off, Day 4 repeat day 1, Day 5 repeat day 2, day 6 =off and day 7 is repeat or off depending on your schedule.

The modifications made here allow you to emphasize heavy press/push on day 1 and heavy pull on day 2. This method will allow you to train movements fairly frequently without being burnt out or overly sore. As with every program it's really the method of progression that's going to make it effective. Week 1 all reps should be smooth, and comfertable, week 2 add an increment of weight to all exercises.

Take that addition of weight and use that as a steady method of progression for as many weeks as you can. Once you reach a weight that you're pretty maxed out on for those sets/reps, drop the set/rep scheme to 6x4 and 6x8, this will keep your total volume/pounds lifted higher than what you've previously done, now you go into an alternating phase and do 6x4/6x8 then the next week do 5x5 with 5x10 again with that same weight, this will again increase total volume/pounds lifted.

***Not that I know anything about Lacrosse and you say you play college? Don't you have trainers?


#8

As much as I do appreciate EF's advice, a 30-set workout like he's describing would be much more appropriate in the offseason. For in-season work, it's super-overkill.

Like I said before, when you're in-season, low total volume is the name of the game to maximize recovery. Like, 10 sets per workout would be the high end, working mostly in the traditional "power/strength rep range", 1-5 for most sets. You want to "save" all your recovery for your games/running.

I have some of my paintball guys do something like this:

Monday
Front squat 3x2-4
Close-grip flat bench press 3x2-4
Reverse-grip pulldown 3x4-6

Thursday
Power clean and push press 3x1-3
Step-up 2x4-6
One-arm dumbbell row 3x6-8
Face pull with static 5-count hold 2x5

Saturday
One-arm dumbbell high pull 3x2-4
Low incline dumbbell bench press 3x6-8
Dumbbell reverse lunge 2x6-8

That's it. Each workout will take you maybe a half-hour from start to finish. Remember that your training in the gym is just to keep things "in order" and maintain while your priority is the lacrosse.

On the days you have to do both, try to keep a few hours between lifting and practice. And make sure you're having a good protein-carb drink like Surge Recovery or Anaconda during the lifting workouts, which will further help to improve recovery and reduce soreness.

Another thing is your overall daily nutrition. With all the training and the constant stresses of practice, you've got to provide enough quality fuel and not "get by" on junk just because you're active six days a week.

This is a solid article with some good guidelines:
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_nutrition/the_athlete_diet
But keep in mind that it was written before Surge Workout Fuel was available, which would be an ideal supplement to have during your practices and games.


#9

Like I said before, when you're in-season, low total volume is the name of the game to maximize recovery. Like, 10 sets per workout would be the high end, working mostly in the traditional "power/strength rep range", 1-5 for most sets. You want to "save" all your recovery for your games/running.

Agreed, I never realized the amount of work until you put it into context. The last thing you want is hindered performance. Like I said I'm not a Lacrosse player so I couldn't really give a good input as far as volume and it's effects in-season. Depending on how much you play I'd most deff try and keep volume low but at the same time I don't think total volumes going to be the issue here, more so the way you break it up. That's just IMO though. Like I said I'm just a guy though, you'll notice that Colucci says this is what he has "his" guys do, so I'm assuming he has some experience in working with athletes and now that I see you have practice or games 6 days a week...THAT IS A SHITLOAD so I think something like a 3 day a week routine would be best maybe just focusing on primarily Bench/Squat/Deadlift, picking 1 for each of the 3 days and maybe an additional exercise or 2.


#10

Thanks for the advice guys. I do realize now that I was going overkill on total sets per workout and a lot of it was getting repetitive. I agree with both of you that simplicity is a must during this portion of my year. Unfortunately the NCAA has strict regulations on number of coaches allowed per team and days in the year that we aren't even allowed to meet with coaches. If we has a strength coach, we would have to lose one of our lacrosse-specific assistant coaches and on top of that, being coached in the gym would count as a practice.


#11

As a D1 athlete i will say you really need to focus on what your coaches and strength coaches want you to do during season, if you overwork and injure yourself working out in season your coaches will be less than pleased.