These useful training tips will help you get the most from your workout.
1. Periodize your workouts during each phase of your athletic season: pre-season, in-season, off-season, summer. Periodize means to vary your sets, reps, and intensities within the phase you are training in.
Start with higher reps (10-12) and lower intensity (weight) and finish the phase with lower reps (3-5) and higher intensities (weight). In-season should focus on maintenance with medium reps and medium intensities. This will ensure proper progression and recovery within your athletic season.
2. Use multi-joint exercises for maximum strength and time efficiency. Squats, dead lifts, and lunges for lower body. Bench presses, shoulder presses, and rows for upper body. Don't waste valuable training time on single joint exercises like bicep curls, tricep pushdowns, calf raises etc. Although these are great exercises to do, they do little to help athletically.
3. Incorporate Olympic lifts to increase speed, power, and athleticism. Hang cleans, power cleans, jerks, and snatches are great exercises that simulate athletic movements. Bar speed and technique first, weight second.
4. Eat five to six meals throughout the day to allow for growth and recovery. Eating food every three or four hours enables the body to get a steady supply of vitamins, minerals, nutrients throughout the entire day. This helps prevent peaks and valleys in energy levels and helps the body recover from intense workouts or competitions.
Tory Stephens is associate head strength and conditioning coach and director sports nutrition at Texas Tech University, 6th & Red Raider Ave., Lubbock, TX 79409-3021. For more information, visit http://www.texastech.com.