The Preseason: Strength & Conditioning program is built to prepare your body for the upcoming rigors of the regular season. The weekly workouts build upon each other so its important to start in Week 1 and progress in-step with the program. If you miss a day, do not try to make it up, simply stay on track.
This 12-week progressive preseason workout program is made up of 3, 4-week blocks. Each block is a blend of strength endurance, power and mobility. It is broken into splits of lower body, full body and upper body with unique emphasis each day. The cardio in Block 1 is spread throughout the weekly workouts, in Block 2 and 3 the cardio will progress to be more focused and intense.
Active recovery is essential. This is a high intensity, hybrid workout so incorporating recovery days is crucial to your overall recovery each week.
How the workout is structured:
- Strength Exercises: Strength exercises should begin with 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps using light weight. Then advance to your heavier load of 5 sets, 5 reps with 2+ minutes rest between sets. Do not increase reps or sets, only load.
- Circuits: Many of the workouts will consist of a series of exercises in which you will perform one exercise after the other with little to no rest. The purpose of this is to elevate your heart rate to increase the caloric burn. The overall goal is to move through the circuit or circuits as quickly as possible with excellent form. Choose a weight that is challenging, but not so heavy as to prevent you from completing each circuit and maintaining a steady movement tempo.
- Eccentrics: Some of the exercises will be labeled “Eccentric”. Eccentrics are a focus on the lowering or returning of the weight. When you lower a curl down, that’s the eccentric. When you curl the weight up, that’s the concentric. Slow eccentrics increase the intensity of an exercise by recruiting more muscle fibers.
- Journal: Keep track of your load, reps and rest each week. Even though the workouts will vary week-to-week, several of the core strength exercises will stay the same and this is a great way to monitor your progress. In this first block, increasing your loads and decreasing your circuit rest periods are great indicators of progress. I would also encourage you to take progress pics, track your measurements and your food intake (amounts and type).
A few other notes to help you along the way:
- DB = Dumbbell, BB = Barbell, RDL = Romanian Dead Lift
- RPE = Rate of Perceived Exertion. For reference sake, a “1” would be stationary and a “10” would be all out.
- Core 6-20-10: 6 SETS / 20 seconds of work / 10 seconds rest. Perform exercise 1 for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. Perform exercise 2 for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat for 6 sets, then move to the next 2 exercises.
- Tabata: 8 Rounds, 20 seconds of high intensity work followed by 10 seconds of rest/light work = 1 round. Total work time for a tabata is 4 minutes.