Weight Room Efficiency

TAGS: weight room, todaro, time, ncaa, college, trianing, conditioning, athlete, strength training

We all know that you can spend all day lifting, conditioning, and running agility drills. There just isn't enough time in the day whether we’re talking about a student athlete who has NCAA regulations on time spent strength training and conditioning or maybe even a professional athlete who has a hectic travel schedule mixed in with a personal life and family.

It is vital to the success of the athlete that he or she is getting the most out of every second in the weight room and in practice. There are a few things that a strength and conditioning coach or an athlete can do to maximize the valuable time spent in the weight room and become an efficient, athletic machine.

  1. Be on time and ready. Nobody likes waiting for anyone. This is the ultimate waste of time for both the strength and conditioning coach and the athlete. When a training session begins at 1:00 p.m., it doesn’t mean 1:03 p.m. or 1:05 p.m. It means that at 1:00 p.m. the coach should be there and have the weight room ready for the athletes, and the athletes should be present and mentally and physically prepared to train. Physically prepared means being properly dressed, having your shoes tied, and getting any taping or bracing on and ready to go prior to entering the weight room. By being mentally prepared, I mean that a few minutes before entering the weight room, each athlete should use visualization and other techniques of sport psychology to be prepared to get through a mentally and physically taxing working. If all this is done, everyone involved can ensure that the workout can start on time and move along smoothly.
  1. Believe in the strength and conditioning coach and the program. When a strength and conditioning coach writes a program, they didn’t just dust off an old workout that was used for the last ten years. Hopefully, they took their time, education, professional experience, and personal philosophy to create a sport-specific and individualized program and each workout within it. The coach firmly intended that each exercise be done on that particular day. It’s of no benefit if the athlete doesn’t get all the way through the workout on most days and cuts the last exercise out of the program because of lack of time. Each day, every exercise in the workout should be completed. There should be no cutting out of reps, sets, or complete exercises. Although some exercises have a greater priority in reaching a particular training effect, all exercises chosen by the strength and conditioning coach are necessary for a complete and well-rounded program.
  1. Keep conversation limited to the task at hand. One characteristic that separates human beings from lower forms of life is our ability to freely communicate with each other. So while lifting, it is inevitable that the exchange of words and conversation will take place. It’s OK to talk to those you’re lifting with and others in the weight room as long as they are words of encouragement or motivation. It isn’t OK to discuss personal issues, weekend plans, or debate the latest sports topic. Unnecessary and impertinent talking not only takes away from those who are talking, it also distracts others by drawing them to chime in on the conversation rather than do what they should be doing and concentrate on what they should be concentrating on, which is getting the work done. So the next time you’re thinking about asking your training partner about who he thinks is going to win the playoff game, just tell him that he’s doing a great job, and if he isn’t, tell him to squat a little lower.

4.            Be strict with timed rest periods. While writing a resistance training program, rest periods often take a backseat to other acute program variables such as exercise selection, volume, and intensity due to trying to get a significant amount of work done to achieve a training response in a relatively limited amount of time. Although they aren’t always called attention to or followed, strict adherence to rest periods is vital to the success of the program by allowing for necessary force production in each set and/or endurance adaptations that it aims to achieve. Some athletes won’t take enough time in between sets, and on the other hand, slackers will slack. Neither one is good for the program. Have rest periods timed either by a common clock for the entire weight room or even something as simple as a wristwatch. Toward the end of the rest period, the athlete should assume the starting position for the next set so that when the rest period ends, the athlete can begin the next set immediately with no wasted time. Many times the athlete doesn’t even begin to think about the next set until the rest period has expired and then wastes the next five or ten seconds grabbing the dumbbells or positioning themselves under the bar. Ten seconds wasted each set over forty or fifty sets of exercises is six or seven minutes that could have been used to do those final abdominal exercises that get neglected day after day.

Although a weight room may seem like an active and bustling environment where a lot of work seems to be getting done and everyone is getting stronger, bigger, and faster, it can also be a social environment punctuated with the occasional slacker who is dragging everyone down with them and where a lot more could be getting done if only everyone would be conscious of the limited time that they have and the great amount of work that needs to get done in order to improve. By following these few tips, this limited amount of time won't seam so limited, and this may even lead to some extra time for stretching or some foam rolling each day.

So the next time you see seconds and minutes wasting away, remember that it was once written that “the great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words—I did not have time.”

Elite Fitness Systems strives to be a recognized leader in the strength training industry by providing the highest quality strength training products and services while providing the highest level of customer service in the industry. For the best training equipment, information, and accessories, visit us at www.EliteFTS.com.

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