By Crystal Wright
It’s a common belief that once you participate in preseason training, you are set for the season and see no reason to maintain your strength gains. For example, our ski fitness, an 8-week program in the fall, is sold out every year. However, many believe that once the 8-week commitment is over their time at the gym is done.
Why would you work so hard and then not maintain that strength?
Maintaining a strength routine throughout the ski season can help prevent injury and stay healthy. It seems like the logical next stop is to continue training at the gym throughout the winter season. But can be significantly more challenging to continue training once you feel like you’ve already achieved your goal of getting in shape before the season started.
Many people find it hard to feel like they are training for the sake of training. But instead of thinking of it in this light, consider evolving your goals in the gym as the season progresses. Pre-season you are training to get strong for the upcoming season. Once the season starts, your goals shift to maintaining the strength you gained in the fall.
Why does in-season training matter?
According the AFSC (Athletes Fuel Strength and Conditioning) if a person does not participate in 30 plus minutes of strength training it can only take 5 days to see a small decline in strength. After a month numbers decrease in sport and there is noticeable difference in performance. Strength leads to improved force production, which makes you more explosive and produce more force!
Playing only one sport, or a series of sports that use similar muscle groups, allows for muscle imbalances to develop in the body. Sports such as skiing, snowboarding and hockey engage the big muscles; the primary movers like your glutes, hamstrings and quads, but the deeper, smaller muscles, the stabilizers are not engaged or trained in the same way.
Maintenance does not require a serious time commitment. It’s low volume and less intense. I would recommend 2x a week during the season. This would include certain strength, work capacity and stamina sessions.
Maintenance training at Wright Training goes hand in hand with the sports that are in season. We program and focus on the muscles that become inhibited during your sports; like the Gluteus Medias, which is an important stabilizer in the hip complex and alleviates low back and knee pain. Maintaining leg and core strength through single leg exercises or front squatting helps to maintain.