The Importance of Off-Season Training

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Athletes should train in the off-season to strengthen and improve their physical condition to prepare themselves for the next season. Personal trainers work with athletes to keep them focused and accountable during the off-season.

What is sports recovery?

Chris Tuttle: Sports recovery is really diligently taking care of your body during time off from your respective sport or training. It is important to get your body to return to optimal performance or peak performance before you go train or play again. That includes maybe chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, physical therapy and infrared sauna. There’s a bunch of different things that you can do to take care of yourself and that includes the supplemented nutrition you’re putting in your body during your time outside of training. Now I think that’s what’s really unique about our training facility, Fast Twitch. We are partnered with Ferraro’s Spine and Rehabilitation right upstairs. So, any athlete that comes into our facility has access to all those things, the chiropractor, acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage therapy. So being able to offer that for athletes is really, really important for us because I don’t think enough athletes make a big deal enough or think it’s important enough – the recovery piece of it. Everyone thinks that they can just train and play every single day, multiple hours of the day without taking time to recover. Whereas the recovery piece – your body needs time to recover after you’re beating it down constantly.

Getting kids and athletes to buy into the recovery piece is huge. And being able to offer that, it’s very easy for us to teach and push the importance of it to them. So being able to recover is a huge piece of growing and getting to the next level of physical performance.

Why should an athlete train in the off season?

Chris Tuttle: I mean athletes should train in the off season because this is a time to take your body to the next level and prepare to achieve max performance for the next season. You can’t expect your body to grow or increase in performance while you’re playing in your actual competitive season. Your body is just under too much tension or too much stress throughout that year. During the off season, that is your time to focus on improving your body. And also there is only so much you can do. I mean think about a baseball player. He can’t take 3000 swings every day to improve his craft. But what else can he do? He can get to the gym. He can do some rotational core. He can develop some power. He can work on his forearm strength. There’s a lot of training that he can do in the off season in addition to his swings that is going to allow him to improve. It’s very important for them to increase their physical performance outside of the respective sport that will increase their play come the next season.

What are some training methods for off-season training?

Chris Tuttle: One example I like to talk about just probably because it’s the most common for young athletes is linear periodization. That’s the process of performing one type or style of exercise training for a specific set time to achieve certain results before changing the routine. So that is where say you set four, six, eight weeks cycles and you slowly progress from the beginning of week one, week two and each time you’re increasing or you’re progressing up till you get to the point. Once you get to that certain stage or weeks then you’ll switch the routine and kind of start fresh. Then you’ll build up again. So, the linear periodization is huge. And within that there is some contrast training, there’s hypertrophy, strength training, power training. There’s all types of training you can do but for young athletes the linear periodization is probably the most common method of training that you can use for these guys.

How can a trainer support an athlete off season?

Chris Tuttle: One of the big things that we discuss and preach at Fast Twitch is that as a coach you are much more than a strength conditioning coach. You spend a lot of time with these guys and these athletes so you are more of a life coach to them. You’re going to obviously train them to be the best physical athlete they can be, build some mental toughness. But you also need to be there for them for their support.

Especially even youth athletes; they’re young. They’re very impressionable. You need to be able to guide them into the right direction. Be there for them. They have a lot of stuff going on outside the gym. When they come in it should be a release. But if they want to talk about something or you need to help them through something you need to be there for them.

So being able to support them in all facets of life is extremely important for the off season. And again, I mean you’re spending a lot of time. Oftentimes, 10 hours a week if they come five days a week, multiple hours a day. You might be their outlet. So just being there for them and having good communication it’s extremely important for off season training. Again that will grow your bond so when you are in the gym he’s going to want to work a lot harder not only for himself but for you. Because he sees the time and the dedication and the commitment that you are putting towards him. What we ask from our athletes, we want to give right back to them. So that is extremely important for us in the off-season training for the athletes.

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