USA softball had a successful trip to Guadalajara, Mexico for the 2011 Pan Am games where we captured a gold medal. While in Guadalajara we played a total of nine games in seven days so in order to stay fresh, my time in the gym was limited.
I did, however, do a few 20-25 min. workouts on a spin bike to feel good mentally and to get a good sweat in. The wear and tear of nine games in a week is more than enough to make the body hurt so there was no need to kill myself in the gym.
We achieved our major goals this year and now the 2011 USA softball season is in the books. So the question is: What's next? The answer is: Back to work!
Making a Plan for Your Fitness
My goal is to improve my strength through weightlifting and build my general fitness through conditioning by the next time I play with USA softball. The next tryout for USA softball is in January so I have the months of November and December to achieve my fitness goals.
Two months would normally be a great length of time to get a lot of good work in, but with the holidays and all of the travel that I do this time of year, every day I can get a great workout in is precious.
Conditioning is easy to do anywhere because all I need is some space to run, but there is never any guarantee that I will have access to a good weight room when I'm traveling. That means that when I'm at home, my focus is to get the week's lifts done and then take care of conditioning.
Getting Down to Work
I took the first few days to rest and recoup from the trip but after that I got right back in the weight room. My first few workouts will be mostly high rep low weight (4 X 8, 50 percent to 70 percent of max.) lifts in order to get my base strength built back up.
My early conditioning workouts will be 150 to 200-yard shuttles (3 X 4, 1.5:1 rest), which will build my endurance up while helping me to build lean muscle. These types of workouts will make me very sore for the first couple of weeks so it will be important that I get a lot of protein in my diet to rebuild muscle in addition to getting plenty of sleep and allowing an adequate amount of recovery time in between lifts. (I will avoid lifting on back to back days and I will try to have a protein source in all of my meals and snacks.)
There is a lot of hard work to be done but I know it will pay off in helping me to achieve my goals in softball, so I drive onward. Good luck with your own workouts.
Stacey-May Johnson is a three-time all-Big Ten Conference honoree as well as a two-time National Pro Fastpitch MVP (2008,2010). She is currently an assistant coach at the University of Iowa and a member of USA Softball.
Courtesy of Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA)– the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States.