Jul 7, 2017
Summer Check In
Patrick McHenry

In the last article, we looked at building your summer strength and conditioning program. Now we are about halfway finished with the summer and it is time to assess where your athletes’ current training status is, where you want your athletes to be, how are you going to evaluate their current training status at the end of the summer, and where you want them to be before the season starts.

In this new meso-cycle four-week program, it should be designed to maximize power for volleyball, football, and those sports that require power; work on power / metabolic training for soccer; and building endurance for the cross country team. The goal of a periodized program is to develop strength the athlete can use. To accomplish this, the coach needs to change the sets, repetitions, and exercises to maximize the athletes’ time in the weight room.

To increase an athlete’s power, the coach needs to design a program that “increases the rate of force development” or “how fast they can move”. Lifting heavy weights slow will not transfer to a fast powerful athlete. In fact, it can even make the athlete slower and will interfere with the athletes’ performance.

Research shows that to develop multi-effort power (i.e., 3 to 5 repetitions) the athlete should use 75-85% of their one repetition maximum for 3-5 sets of 3-5 repetitions (1). The athlete is working on speed-strength, which means the bar is moving fast, about 1 — 1.3 m/s or roughly 1 repetition per second in a bench or 1 repetition per 1.3 sec in a squat. Dr. Bryan Mann (2) has written about velocity based training in this blog. Remember, your athlete will not have a one time all out maximum effort during a play. Most of the time it will be two or three hits, pushes, or jumps during the play so our training needs to utilize the same energy system and speed strength patterns.

The lifting program is set. Next, the coach will want to look at the athlete’s conditioning level. By developing a conditioning program, the coach will ensure that athlete the is not over-trained or undertrained, yet will be able to meet the demands of the sport.

It is important to know which energy system is being utilized during the game play. An average play in American high school football lasts from 5 to 7 seconds with about 40 seconds of rest between them. Why have athletes running for 40 and 50 yard sprints when the play does not last that long? In volleyball the average rally last about 4-6 seconds with about 11 to 16 seconds rest. In soccer there is a change of play about every 5-6 seconds. This means that the coach wants to train the first two energy systems or the APT- PT and the Lactic Acid system which runs for approximately .6 seconds to 2 minutes.

To work the ATP- PC system or the Lactic Acid system the coach will write out how far to run for and how long the athlete needs to rest. The work to rest ratio is critical. Some coaches feel that if the athlete is not continuously moving it is a waste of time and practice. This is far from the truth. The rest period is critical for development. The body grows when it is sleeping and recovery can help relieve the stress.

Here is an example of work to rest progression for different sports:

FOOTBALL conditioning

WEEKS 1-2: 30 yards 4×4:30 seconds between reps, 1:10 between sets

(run 30 yds, rest :30 run 30yds, rest ; 30, run 30yds, rest :30, run 30yds REST 1:10 Repeat for 3 more times)

WEEKS 3-4: 20 yards 4×4:30 seconds between reps, 1:00 between sets

(run 20 yds, rest :30 run 20yds, rest ; 30, run 20yds, rest :30, run 20yds REST 1:10 Repeat for 3 more times)

WEEKS 5: 15 yards 4×4:25 seconds between reps, 1:00 between sets

(Repeat for 3 more times)

SOCCER conditioning

3 laps around track run straights jog the curve

5 laps around track run straights jog the curve

7 laps around track run straights jog the curve


shuffle 10 yds x 5 then run up and backpedal 10 yards 5 times

1) Essentials of Strength and Conditioning second edition p414

2) Bryan Mann Talks Velocity Based Training https://www.elitefts.com/news/bryan-mann-talks-velocity-based-training/

This article was provided by Elite Sports University (ESU). ESU is an online university that offers the latest scientific courses on strength and conditioning, speed agility, nutrition, and specialty classes for tactical coaches, LTAD, and personal trainers. ESU classes can be taken to fulfill CEU requirements, college credits, or to improve your knowledge base. More information is at: elitesportsuniversity.com.

Patrick McHenry, CSCS*D, is the Director of Strength & Conditioning at Castle View (Colo.) High School. He has presented to sport coaches, strength coaches, and physical education teachers at state, national, and international conferences. He is the former Colorado state director for the NSCA, was the chairman for the NSCA High School Special Interest Group, and is currently on the NSCA Board of Directors and Coaching Performance Committee.

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