Week 1 Back to Work

The beginning of the semester is always busy.  First, I'm lucky enough to be coming off of 5 weeks off.  It's always tough going from 0 to 100 miles an hour.  Getting re-acclimated to waking up at 4am after spending most of the break going to bed at 1-2am takes a few weeks for me.  It's incredibly childish that that is how I choose to live my life, but such is life.

The other adjustment is the new schedule.  We just spent 4 1/2 months on the Fall schedule.  I know it by heart.  The new semester brings a new schedule.  Doesn't sound like a huge deal, but getting it down takes a little while.

This always leads, for me at least, to some lackluster training sessions.  Figuring out what time, on which days, I'll be able to get in a good chunk of time where I can just think about my own training takes a little while.

With this particular semester comes a few new things when it comes to training the athletes.  I'm sticking with the basics of what we did last semester.  We had pretty good success.  I made a few tweaks.

Football is in the off-season.  I need to get them up to speed and make sure the guys that did nothing over the break are in good enough shape to handle the training loads.

For the in-season teams (Baseball and Softball) it's the same.  I know most of those kids did what they needed to do over the break.  Now the trick is, doing AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE to get the results we're looking for.

That is actually the goal all the time.  Do as little as possible to get the most return.

How I'm going about this is as follows:

Football (off-season)

  1. The Main Lift (9 weeks) and Supplemental Lifts (6 weeks) will be consistent.  Main Lifts will not change.  Supplemental lifts will be run for 3 weeks.  The lift will change, but the movement will remain the same.
  2. Circuits will be a part of every training session.  For the first 3 weeks (GPP) we're doing 2, 3 exercise circuit for 3 rounds each.  The goal is to move and get the body back up to speed.  For the remaining 6 weeks we'll do 1, 3 exercise circuit for 5 rounds.
  3. I don't have the circuits written down.  I just have the rules written on the workout.  Each day I'll make up the circuits as I go.  This will most likely create some variety in the assistance work.  The other reason is to keep me fully engaged.  When I write everything down I tend to get into the rut and just do what's written.  This way, I have to force myself to be mentally ready for each workout.
  4. Progression: I'm using an idea I ran with Baseball last Fall.  Normally, I don't get above 90% in training.  Last semester I tried a plan where we worked from 70% up to 100% (their Training Max - which is about 90% of their actual max).  It worked really well.
  5. PR Sets: normally I do these every 3 weeks.  This winter we'll PR on our 3's Week (1st week of cycle) and the heaviest week (3rd week of cycle).  These won't be true PR Sets.  Instead, I'm giving them a chance to take advantage of how they feel that day.  The coaching point is, take it for a ride.  It's not a test.  It's just a chance to put some extra work in without going to failure.

Baseball and Softball (in-season)

  1. For these teams I'm doing a Main and Supplemental Lift during the 4 week pre-season.  Once the season begins we'll drop the Supplemental Lift.
  2. We'll continue with the circuits to fill in the blanks on basic strength development followed by Shoulder Health and all the nonsense that comes with trying to keep shoulders and arms feeling good.
  3. I'll continue with the idea of letting them take PR Sets on the 1st and 3rd weeks if they feel good.  Now, if they come in and just look beat up, I won't give them the option of doing a PR Set.  It will be based on their travel schedule (the previous week and the upcoming week).  But, I want to foster the idea that we can still get after it in the weight room during the season.  If we PR Set that day I'll cut the circuit to 3 rounds to account for the added strain of hitting a Main Lift for reps.
  4. An amendment to this is that if they happen to PR Set in their first lift of the week, I probably won't let them PR in the other one.  I'll give them the option the following week.  So, it's a very fluid program.  Again, this is going to force me to be on top of my game every day.

I'm really liking the idea.  If it does not play out as I foresee, I have my back up plan already in place.  We'll make the move if things start to look like it's too much.

The great thing for me is that I have 3-4 kids on each team that I can trust when it comes to asking how the team is feeling.  They'll tell me the truth and I'll be able to adjust on the fly, if needed.

I'm very excited about what I have ahead of me this semester.  We'll find out how well I did my research over the break.

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