T Nation

Building Strength and Explosiveness While Also Doing Skill Based Training For Sports

I lift and train consistently throughout the years, however, during summer holiday, I ramp up to frequency of my skill training sessions for basketball, increasing it to around 12 hours a week. Over the years, I feel that I have very minimal gains in explosiveness and strength during these periods (although my conditioning improves drastically). Any tips on overcoming this problem would be much appreciated, and if I really need to decrease the frequency of my skill sessions, how many hours per week would you recommend me spend on it? Thanks in advance.

What’s your lifting training look like? Unless you’re at a very high level, improving strength at least a little bit shouldn’t be “hard” unless your program is bad, or your recovery is bad, or both.

Improving explosiveness can be harder…if we’re referring to the same thing. I played some sports in high school and had friends who I could squat and clean as much or more than, run a mile or two as fast or more than, but their vertical jump and 100m dash were way better than me. I think at a certain level, “average” people hit a peak pretty quickly with things like that. I’m not a very explosive guy.

I don’t know. Give more details.

Hi, thanks for replying.

I lift weights 5 times a week, using a full body split with extra focus on legs. (I spend one session on only plyometrics). This is usually done in the morning. I spend 2 hours a day, 5 days a week training for basketball, usually done in the afternoon. I spend around 20 minutes at night stretching and foam rolling, however, we have games once per week in our summer league so sometimes I would have to spend an additional hour playing a full basketball game at night instead. I have one day to do nothing and just recover.

That is more or less what my schedule looks like. Again, thanks for helping out.

What do these full body sessions look like?
Also how old are you?

Your strength and power training needs to abide by the ebb and flow of your skills training, the primary emphasis of your training.

I would strongly recommend trimming the fat of your in-gym training during your summers, to give you more money in the bank for recovery.

You probably don’t need to be training 5x a week to facilitate sports performance. Especially in times with heavy on-court training demands, 2-3x a week in the gym - with well-selected exercises - is more than enough.

Also, your time to improve strength and explosiveness probably isn’t going to be the same time it’s all-hands-on-deck on the basketball court, and it would likely be beneficial if you give yourself a true off season (if only for 10-12 weeks) where skills training steps back a bit and you can afford to drive useful adaptations in the gym.

Monday focuses on the posterior side, meaning that it consists mostly of hamstring and glute exercises, with the upper body focusing on the back and rear delts.
Tuesday, focuses on the anterior side, so quads, chest, shoulders are worked.
Thursday mostly focuses on plyometrics, it consists of many sprints and jumps, but a few sets of box squats are also included.
Friday is another total body day, working all muscles, but lighter loads on legs.
Saturday is another for only legs, performing multiple heavy lifts.

I’m 17, approaching the final basketball season I will have in high school so I want to ensure that I get everything out of this off-season.

Thanks for the reply, I will try to create a period where I cut back on skill focused training to focus on my athleticism, but I also want to produce as much athletic gains as possible while training on the court.

If you’re a 17 year old athlete, I would highly recommend this program:

It has (in my opinion) an emphasis on legs, it’s only 3 lifting days a week, leaving you plenty of time to recover if you’re smart, and 5/3/1 is a proven method of progression so you will get stronger.

You’re 17 - I totally understand wanting to improve, but you’re young. You won’t be as strong or explosive as you’d like in one summer. It takes time, but good job on wanting to put in the work to improve. Do you play for a good school? Any chance you’ll be playing in college?

3 Likes
1 Like

What does you strength and conditioning work look like right now? You can produce “athletic gains” without 5x a week

Thanks, the program looks great, and 3 days a week sounds much more manageable recovery-wise. I might look into adding some speed focused work for better adaptations to my sport though.

We do play for the Nationals cup in the UK but the universities I’m aiming for at the moment do not provide any real basketball programs. I might look into some competitive clubs but in terms of competing for a school/college I am 90% sure that the next season will be my last.

This is what I’m originally planning on running, probably would decrease the training frequency a bit allow better recovery. I’m just trying to figure out the optimal combination of integrating work in the weight room and work on the court to allow steady development in both athleticism and skill.

1 Like

Lifting 5 days a week (with emphasis on heavy lower body lifts) and adding 12 hours of dedicated sports training is a shit ton of work, you’d need to be eating a lot to get results out of that. I have to second the 5/3/1 recommendation above, and add that 3 days a week should be plenty for a young person that’s also spending a lot of time on sports training.

What does your diet look like and what do you weigh? Are you getting roughly 2.2 grams of protein for every kg of bodyweight each day?

Someone already linked in Westside Barbell for Skinny Bastards, which would be my number 1 recommendation.

Google “Westside Barbell for Skinny Bastards 3” to get the most recent version, directly from Joe DeFranco’s website

1 Like

I weigh roughly 71 kg and I do not have a specific diet per se, but I do eat as much as I can, having roughly fours meals and 2 snacks a day. I’m pretty sure that I ingest more than 2.2 grams of protein/ kg of body weight as I eat a lot of lean meat and drink a lot of protein.