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Strength & Conditioning Program

Athlete Handbook

Austin Peay State University, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is an equal opportunity
employer committed to the education of a nonracially identifiable student body.
Foreword & Contents

This handbook is intended to guide the athletes at Austin Peay State University through the Strength
and Conditioning Program. It is a tool for maximizing results and living stronger, longer, healthier lives. Our goal
is to help you get the most from your efforts and help you to train efficiently and effectively. It is essential that
you understand and take to heart the idea that how you take care of and train your body has a direct impact on
your level of play. The Strength and Conditioning Program is an equally important part of your success as an
Within this handbook, you will find information on the six key components to being a stronger and more
effective athlete. You will also find information about the foundation of and core beliefs within the program.
Through this handbook, you will understand what the goals of the program are and what is expected of you, the
athlete. Believe in the program and it will work for you.

Lets Go Peay!


Mission Statement 1
Philosophy 2
Code of Conduct 3
Strength & Conditioning Timeline 4


Nutrition 5
Hydration 7
Warm-Up & Flexibility 8
Muscular Conditioning 11
Metabolic Conditioning 14
Rest & Recovery 15
Mission Statement

Our aim is to improve the quality of the athletic programs at Austin Peay State University through methodical,
scientifically sound program design and implementation, focusing on enhancing performance and prevention of
athletic injury.

It is our responsibility to provide an environment driven by purpose, direction and motivation through which
athletes will build character and leadership skills that will serve them well now and in years to come.

Our facility will operate in a way that reflects well on the University and the community around us and will, in
every way possible, maintain the highest standards and level of integrity within the field of strength and

An athletes success is the sum of his/her effort and the input of others; ours is measured solely by that
of our athletes. With that mindset, we approach strength and conditioning. We strive to inspire the greatest
efforts possible from our athletes and provide them with every opportunity to succeed. Our efforts are
dedicated to the wellbeing of our athletes, as well as their overall athletic performance.

Even a star player can be the weakest link of a team if he or she is sidelined with injury. Injuries can not
only end the season for an athlete; they can have lasting effects. For that reason, our No. 1 priority is to
minimize the incidents of injury through providing a safe environment and developing programs that target
injury prevention and overuse issues. We strive to be proactive and engage in pre-hab movements as part of
our conditioning.

Great athletes dont become hard workers; hard-working athletes become great. To facilitate greatness,
we design programs with intent and purpose, striving for repeated maximal efforts each and every time. Our
priority is on highlighting movements rather than individual muscle groups. We do so while concentrating on
exercises and drills that promote speed, power, agility, explosiveness and stability; these include:

olympic lifts (and variations thereof);

unilateral and contra-lateral movements;

plyometrics and directional change;

sport-similar movements;

eccentric contractions; and

core (to include hips, abs and low back).

Weight Room Code of Conduct

1. Come Prepared:
Must wear issued or approved workout attire (T-shirts must be plain or sports/school related;
no jeans, hats or sunglasses). Absolutely no sagging.
Must wear appropriate shoes (must be tied and have intact sole; no sandals, slip-ons, house
shoes, boots, etc.).
No jewelry (small, non-dangling earrings are the exception; navel rings are discouraged as
certain movements can snag; no rings, watches, bracelets, necklaces - unless tucked in shirt).
Bring your water bottle. It is important to continue hydration during and after training.
2. Be a Leader:
Do not participate in or encourage horseplay of any kind (shoving, wrestling, running, chasing,
dancing, etc.).
Help coach and spot other athletes where needed.
Always train like a winner. Maximal efforts are the only standard; half-hearted attempts are not
acceptable. Lead by example.
Keep socializing to a minimum; it is a distraction to athletes and staff. You are here to train so,
save gossip and conversations for outside the weight room.
No talking on cell phones in weight room. Leave it with your other belongings.
3. Safety is a MUST:
Use all safety equipment (collars, spot arms, weight belts, etc.) where appropriate.
Keep work area clear of all obstructions. Dont leave equipment on floor.
Always use a spotter where appropriate. Stay clear of others while they are lifting.
Do not use equipment other than how it was intended to be used.
Do not attempt a lift with a weight you are not familiar with or that is beyond your ability to lift
with proper technique.
Do not lift unsupervised. A coach or member of weight room staff should always be present
during training sessions.
4. Take Pride in YOUR Facility:
Do not bring personal belongings onto floor. Leave them on the shelves or floor by the front
door. Do not leave your personal belongings on the desk.
No food is allowed inside the weight room. No gum or smokeless tobacco.
Always, always, always return equipment back to where you found it and reset all stations
(everyone deserves a clean work area that is ready to go when they walk in).
If you make a mess, clean it (for spills or sweat, we have towels and cleaner beside the desk).
5. Show Everyone Courtesy:
Everyone deserves access to the facility. Be respectful of the scheduled time slots for each
team. Whichever team is scheduled has priority on equipment.
Do not detract from the workout of others. Do not be a distraction to others, especially during
lifting techniques.
Do not use offensive language or speak to others in a derogatory manner. RESPECT.
Strength & Conditioning Timeline

Periodization of training is essential to optimal output. For that reason, we break the competitive year
into cycles. Certain sports pose unique challenges, as they may have multiple in-season times during the same
scholastic year. This may limit the amount of time we spend in each cycle or phase. That being said, for the
purpose of strength and conditioning, we typically break the year down into the four seasons of sport play and
one recovery period.
Recovery begins at the end of the last game/tournament/competition and lasts to the first day of off-
season conditioning. The focus here is to simply recover mentally, physically and emotionally from the stresses
of the season and semester. There is no structured workout program in this phase. The goals for an athlete
during this time are as follows:
1. Rehab and receive medical care for any injuries/limitations.
2. Engage in recreational activities and/or light to moderate exercise.
3. Avoid gaining any weight/turn attention to losing any excess body fat.
4. Do not neglect your body or health.
Off-season is the start of organized/sport-specific workouts, and lasts till the start of pre-season
activities. This is the base for your entire season with respect to strength and conditioning. You should be fresh
and healthy and ready to hit it hard. The goals for an athlete during this time are as follows:
1. Muscle hypertrophy if appropriate.
2. Gains in strength.
3. Begin metabolic conditioning.
4. Total dedication to strength and conditioning program.
5. Develop fundamentally sound techniques.
Pre-season will begin as off-season comes to an end and lasts till the first
game/tournament/competition. In this period, we will be converting the strength and base developed during
the off-season to power, explosiveness and performance. Movements in program design will also shift toward
more sport-specific and injury prevention exercises. The goals for an athlete during this time are as follows:
1. Develop maximal power output.
2. Pre-hab to prevent sport-specific injuries and overuse issues.
3. Conversion to sport performance.
4. Maximize metabolic conditioning and incorporate skill drills.
In-season is the length of regular play to post-season tournament/championship play (if applicable) or
recovery. The volume will drop significantly in this phase, both in reps and number of days committed to the
weight room. The goals for an athlete during this time are as follows:
1. Maintain current strength and power.
2. Avoid injury and overtraining.
If there is a post-season, it will last from the end of regular season play to the recovery period. Its goals
are essentially the same as in-season, but we may try to incorporate a short rest, and then spike power output.

Nutrition greatly affects performance and is why your body grows and develops. There is no secret or
magic pill. Make eating healthy part of your lifestyle. Whatever the demands of your sport, your No. 1 goal is
proper nutrition. If youre trying to lose weight, dont use crash or starvation diets. Those tactics are quick fixes
at best and, at worst, can have severe consequences. Likewise, if youre goal is to gain mass, you still need to
side with quality over quantity of food consumed. Below is a list of nutritional guidelines that will not only help
your athletic performance, they will serve you well on the path to a long, healthy life:
Eat breakfast EVERY day.
Eat every 2-4 hours (thats 4-6 times a day).
You can choose to eat 3 full meals and have 2-3 snacks or opt for 4-6 smaller meals.
Every meal/snack should include a source of lean protein (chicken, fish, low-fat dairy, lean meat, etc.).
Every meal/snack should include a vegetable and/or fruit serving.
Avoid supplementation whenever possible; eating real food is always best.
Choose whole foods. Fresh is best, then frozen and finally, canned. It should only be 1-2 steps away
from the source (i.e., an apple is one step, while canned peaches would be two and a fruit rollup 3-4).
Avoid sugars and highly processed/refined carbohydrates; choose whole grain wherever possible.
Drink only zero calorie drinks. Fruit juice may seem good, but it is loaded with sugar and missing much
of the fiber and other plusses that come with eating the fruit itself.
Eat a variety of different foods. When selecting produce, go with a variety of different colors.
Avoid fried foods at all costs! Nothing good can come from frying perfectly good food in lard or oil.
Consider nutrient density. Not all food is equal. If two items have the same calories, but one has more
fiber and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), it is the better choice.
Read food labels. Understand where your calories and nutrients are coming from.
Eat a nutritious snack/meal, low in fat, 2-3 hours before practice/workout/competition.
Eat within an hour of working out. You can work your schedule so that this is an actual meal or snack.

Calories & Weight Loss:

When building your meal plan, use the pointers above to guide your choices and use calories to limit
your intake. Everybodys metabolism is a little different. How active and at what level of intensity you train can
both play a part in what your daily intake should be. A rule of thumb for athletes is to multiply your body
weight, in pounds, by 15. That will give you an upper limit for your daily caloric intake.
Ex: 200-pound athlete 200 x 15 = 3000 daily caloric intake = 3000 calories
If you want to lose weight, you should not try to eat as little as possible. Instead, follow the nutrition
pointers and lower your caloric intake by no more than 500. If you consume 500 less calories a day for an entire
week, you should lose approximately one pound. That is because there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat.
Remember, we want to lose fat specifically, not just weight in general. Restricting your intake any more than
that can have a negative impact. Always think quality, not quantity. If you want to lose weight any faster, do so
through exercise, not starvation.
So where do calories come from? There are three sources found in the foods you eat: carbohydrates,
fats and proteins. These three are known as macronutrients. Fats offer 9 calories per gram while carbohydrates
and protein offer 4 per gram. Below is a better description of each and guidelines for their consumption:

For athletes, approximately 60% of your calories should come from carbohydrates. This is going to be
your main source of energy for most activities. When choosing sources of carbohydrates, produce is
first. After that, look at whole grain sources, as well as food high in fiber. When grain is highly
processed (like white bread), it is stripped of many of its nutrients. Remember, eat as close to the
source as possible.
Protein is not a very good source of energy. It is, however, necessary for muscle building and repair.
The body can only synthesize so much protein at any given time, so consuming a ton of protein all at
once does not benefit muscle growth any more than a moderate amount would. When choosing
sources of protein, think lean. Animal products are best. In the world of protein, the egg is king. Nuts
and legumes are good sources as well. For vegetarians, you have to consume as many sources of
protein as possible to ensure you are getting everything you need.
Fat has its place in good nutrition. Ideally, you want the majority of your fats to be unsaturated. Olive
oil and other seed and plant oils are examples of unsaturated sources and are much better for you than
animal fats. Limit your fats to 25% of your daily caloric consumption. Try to stay away from saturated
fats. Fried foods are a prime example of what not to eat. Just for clarification, a fat is solid at room
temperature, while oil is liquid. They both have the same calorie content.

Micronutrients are also an important consideration. While they carry no caloric value, they are essential
to a healthy body. Vitamins and minerals are included in this group. Eating a variety of foods gives you the best
chance of supplying your body with all it needs. Again, fresh food (as close to the source as possible), is the best
means of doing this. With proper nutrition, supplementation should not be necessary, unless some medical
condition exists. We live in a world where we are told we can get everything we need from a few small pills.
The truth is, you need to try to get it all from real food sources.

Hydration is absolutely essential to performance. If you are waiting till you are thirsty to hydrate, you
are already dehydrated. One way to tell if you are properly hydrated is by the color of your urine. Pail or light
yellow indicates good hydration, while a brighter yellow or darker color indicates dehydration. Odor of the urine
can also indicate dehydration; the stronger the odor, the more dehydrated you are. Treat hydration like
preventative medicine and plan ahead. Below are some hydration guidelines:
Drink 16 ounces of water within an hour of waking. Think about it, you havent had anything to drink
since you went to sleep. Youre starting your day dehydrated.
Drink 16 ounces of water approximately 2 hours before an intense practice or workout. If you arent
properly hydrated before you begin vigorous activity, you will be playing catch up.
Replenish water weight lost during practice/workout. You can monitor this by weighing before and
after. The weight lost is water weight. Consume approximately 16 ounces per pound lost.
Consume water during activity. The warmer and more humid the day, the more frequently athletes
should hydrate. A good rule of thumb is 6-8 ounces every 15-20 minutes.
Consume at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day (obviously more on days with practice and
Carry a reusable water bottle with you so you can ensure continuous hydration.
Many of the commercial bottled waters come in 16.9-ounce bottles (for reference).

Sport Drinks:
With so many sport/recovery drinks out there, it would seem like they would be a preferable choice to
water. Lets be clear, nothing surpasses water. Many of those drinks are loaded with sugar and/or caffeine.
They are also not intended to be consumed regularly as an anytime beverage. They were developed for use
during bouts of intense, sweat-filled activity. If your team uses one during practice and/or games, that is fine. A
suggestion would be to alternate between water and said beverage. They do not, however, need to be
consumed prior to practice/exercise or afterward during fluid replenishment.
The necessity for proper hydration cannot be over emphasized. The same goes for proper nutrition.
This is the only body you have. You wouldnt run your car without oil or with polluted fuel and expect it to last
very long. The human body is amazing, but even it will fail with enough neglect and abuse.
Warm-Up & Flexibility

Warm-up and flexibility training help to reduce the risk of injury, improve range of motion and various
motor functions, prepare the body for activity and maximize training. Warm-up should be attained through
dynamic motions and low/moderate intensity movements. Flexibility is attained through stretching an already
warm muscle. Stretching is not an appropriate warm-up.

A warm-ups purpose is to prepare the body for the stressors that lie ahead. Proper warm-up should be
performed before practice, strength and conditioning and game play. A quality warm-up will result in an
elevated body temperature, increased respiration and perspiration. Warming up gets blood flowing through the
muscles and extremities, loosening them up in preparation for activity. Some movements may even be specific
to the workout or drills you will be performing, though they should be saved for the end of the warm-up. Below
is a description of the minimum warm-up every athlete at Austin Peay should be undergoing before entering the
weight room (unless otherwise noted, perform each for 30 seconds):
Chest Flies: Swing arms open and closed.
Torso Twists: With arms extended to the sides, twist at the waist back and forth, as far as possible.
Allow the arms to swing across the body as well. Do not perform violently.
Arm Circles: Begin circling arms in one direction. As they circle, lift the shoulders up and allow them to
fall with the circling motion. Perform for 30 seconds before switching.
Windmills: With a shoulder width and a half stance, twist at the waist, lean over, and touch one foot
with opposing hand. Rise back up and repeat to the other side.
Knee Circles: Bring feet together, bend at the knees, place hands on knees and rotate. Perform in one
direction for the duration before switching and going the other direction.
Hip Circles: Spread feet out to hip-width, place hands on hips and make large, exaggerated circles by
rotating the hips around. Complete one side for 30 seconds before switching.
High-Knee (A) Skips: Perform by bringing one knee high to the front and the opposite hand up, in an
exaggerated running stance. Alternate back and forth.
Hip Abduction Steps: Bring a knee up, across the body, then as far out to the side as possible. Alternate
back and forth.
Hip Adduction Steps: This is performed in the opposite manner as above. Start wide and bring knee in.
Walking Lunge: Step forward, lowering the rear knee to the floor. Continue forward, alternating.
Carioca: Facing ahead, move laterally, left or right, by crossing the trailing foot in front, step to the side
with the lead foot, then crossing the trailing foot behind. Complete in one direction before switching.
Pulse Raiser: Depending on the workout, this would include 100 jumping jacks, several sprints, jogging a
lap or two around the Dunn, 50 mountain climbers, medicine ball slams, etc. When in doubt, the default
pulse raiser is jumping jacks.
Specific Warm-Up: If there are any specific warm-ups for the day, they should be performed last.

The warm-up should take between 5-10 minutes. Athletes should show up 15 minutes early to ensure
they have enough time to warm-up and be ready to workout on time. No athlete is to workout without
warming up first. It does not matter if you are working out with the team or on your own time; if you come to
the weight room, warm up before doing so.
Flexibility is the range of motion the body can obtain during a given movement. The more flexible an
individual is, the larger range of motion they can move through. Being flexible also improves speed and lowers
the risk of injury. Flexibility is obtained through stretching. There are essentially 4 types of stretching:
Static: This is your standard stretching techniques. It is a slow and continued hold with the end position
being held anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds. Static stretching can be assisted with the use of bands to
allow for leverage and a further range of motion. Care should be taken, however, not to be too forceful.
Ballistic: This is characterized by a bouncing motion. It can be very violent and does open the athlete
up to injury. Ballistic stretching is not recommended by this strength and conditioning program;
however, if it is used, ensure you are thoroughly warmed up first. Again, we urge you not to engage in
this type of stretching.
Dynamic: This would be similar to the movements seen during a proper warm-up. Generally, it refers
to sport-specific movements. An example would be a batter on deck taking practice swings before
stepping up to the plate. You will perform more dynamic stretching during practice and game play. You
may also use this just prior to a specific movement in the weight room where you mimic the intended
movement, either without resistance or at a lower intensity.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF): We often refer to this as partner-assisted stretching,
as it is typically requires a partner. This can be a very effective form of stretching if performed properly.
These techniques will be explained on a team-by-team basis and we strongly encourage implementing
after practice and games.

We reserve stretching for cooling down after the workout, as the muscles are already warm and it tends
to aid in reducing stiffness associated with strength training. Every athlete is expected to stretch out properly at
the end of every workout. Below is a list of the minimum stretching exercises expected (10-30 second hold for
Inverted Hurdler: Extend one leg, while tucking the other in with foot to the inside of extended thigh.
Reach toward foot with both hands and hold. Repeat with other side.
V-Reach: With both legs spread as far as possible, reach down the center and hold. You may pull on
your feet for a deeper stretch.
Sitting Side Stretch: With legs still spread, lean over to one side without turning the torso or facing the
foot toward which you are leaning. You may intertwine your fingers and extend for a deeper stretch.
Repeat with the other side.
Butterfly: Bring feet together with soles touching by bending at the knees. Pull feet as close to groin as
possible. Use elbows/forearms to press legs toward ground and hold.
Bowing Butterfly: From butterfly position, let feet out away from groin approximately 6-8 inches. Pull
face toward feet and hold.
Lying Quad Stretch: Lie on side. Stretch the side toward the ceiling by grabbing the foot and pulling it
toward your rear in knee flexion. You can intensify the stretch by extending said leg at the hip, taking it
further back as well. Repeat on other side.
Lying Hip/Low Back Stretch: Lie on back with hands extended perpendicular to body, palms down. Lift
one leg to ceiling then allow it to fall across body, twisting at the hips. Repeat with other side.
Hip Pull: Sit up with knees bent and feet on ground. Lift one leg and lay it across the knee of the other
(cross-legged). Reach hands around the leg that is still on the ground. Roll back and pull leg toward
chest. The leg that is propped up is the leg being stretched. Repeat with other side.
Lying Chest/Shoulder Stretch: Lying face down, extend one arm out, palm down, perpendicular to
body. With other hand, push body away from floor, over the extended arm. The shoulder should stay in
contact with the floor. Repeat with other side.
Seal Abs Stretch: While face down on floor, walk hand back toward hips, raising torso from floor.
Extend arms fully and, while keeping hips to the floor, look back and lean back as far as possible.
Rest/Shoulder Stretch: From seal position, pull hips back till sitting on heels. The hands should remain
in place. The goal is to pull head to knees and press underarms to the floor.

Stretching exercises should also be performed after practice, games, or any other activity. Again, this
would also be a good time to implement PNF stretching with a partner. Properly stretching will decrease your
risk of injury and can help achieve more gains in the weight room. Flexibility may not be your strong point, but it
is necessary to the life of an athlete (or anybody else for that matter). Consider it another step in preventative
medicine for your body.
Muscular Conditioning (Strength Training)

Exercise is the how in the equation of muscular growth and development. This is what you will do
while in the weight room. This is an absolutely essential part of any athletic program. The purpose of a good
strength and conditioning program is to reduce injury and improve performance by strengthening the muscles
that support the body, stabilize the joints and facilitate movement. It is necessary to tax the muscles to the
point of fatigue and failure in order to improve the amount/duration of stress they can effectively tolerate and
improve their ability to recover quickly from said stress.
At this level of play, talent alone will only take you so far. The players that become great do so through
their hard work and dedication. What you do in the weight room is every bit as important as what you do in
practice. Take strength and conditioning lightly and you will be in for a rude awakening. If the only thing that
separates you from your opponent is the effort put in the weight room, who would come out on top?
Size, strength, endurance, explosiveness, speed, recovery and health all play a huge role in athletic
ability and your strength and conditioning program can impact all of those areas.

Rep Scheme:
Typically, we indicate the number of reps in conjunction with the percent of your max the reps should
be performed at and the number of sets required. The important thing to focus on is completing the number of
reps and sets assigned. Dont get so hung up on performing the movement with a given percentage that the
exercise become too difficult or ends up being entirely too easy.
It is also important to realize that the weight used will fluctuate from week-to-week. While what you lift
may not coincide exactly with the percentage suggested, it should fluctuate as scheduled to ensure we are
facilitating progressive overload and recovery phases. Perform every rep and every set.

Max Sets:
For some reason, people have a tendency to save a little for the last set. Every set should be
approached as a max set; leave nothing for the next. There is no other set than the one you are performing.
Whatever the assigned reps, the weight chosen should be so heavy that it is physically impossible to get even
one additional rep without assistance. There cannot be success in the weight room without reaching failure.

Sub-Maximal Effort:
If you are assigned 3 sets of 10 on a given movement and you perform each set at the same weight, you
have performed at sub-maximal effort. If the first set was heavy enough that it required a maximal effort to
execute 10 reps, it would have been impossible to execute two more sets at the same number of reps without
help. Basically, the resistance used is too light and only serves to fatigue the muscles.
Set 1: 100lbs x 10 reps
Set 2: 100lbs x 10 reps
Set 3: 100lbs x 10 reps
Likewise, if you are assigned the same rep scheme, and you go up in weight each set, you have
performed at sub-maximal effort. Essentially, all you have done is pre-fatigue your muscles with a weight that is
too light to facilitate the growth and change desired. More than likely, whatever weight you used on the last set
should have been the weight for the first set.
Set 1: 100lbs x 10 reps
Set 2: 120lbs x 10 reps
Set 3: 140lbs x 10 reps
Maximal Effort:
If the proper weight is chosen, the first set should be executed at the given number of reps, while
following sets would require assistance to execute the same number of reps. This would be a maximal effort.
Set 1: 100lbs x 10 reps
Set 2: 100lbs x 9 reps + 1 w/ help
Set 3: 100lbs x 7 reps + 3 w/ help

Maximal effort can also be achieved without assistance. This would actually be done by lowering the
weight each set. Again, if the weight chosen for the first set is heavy enough to require a maximal effort, it
would not be possible to execute the same number of reps with said weight again.
Set 1: 100lbs x 10 reps
Set 2: 90lbs x 10 reps
Set 3: 80lbs x 10 reps

The only exceptions to this strategy may be olympic lifts and plyometrics, where the focus is on speed,
power and explosiveness. These movements require so much technique, muscular coordination and focus that
it is not advisable to perform either while fatigued or to total muscular failure for safety reasons. This does not
mean the lifts should not be challenging. The key is to choose a weight that you can execute only the number of
reps assigned while maintaining PROPER technique. Could you do more, yes, but not without sacrificing
technique and risking injury.

Reps w/ Intent:
View each and every rep as necessary. Think of each one as cumulative to the next. The set would fail if
even one rep did not have the focus and intent to be the best rep possible. Think of this as quality control. But,
what makes a rep quality and what should be the intent? Below are key points that every rep should possess:
Complete control of the weight on the way down. This is known as the eccentric contraction. This is
where the muscle is lengthening, but is still contracting and under tension. This is an absolutely vital
part of muscle growth and injury prevention.
No bouncing or sudden movements to change directions (obviously, olympic lifts and plyometrics are
the exception). You never want to cheat or make a rep easier on the body. You want to work for every
inch. At the bottom of the movement, just before transferring from eccentric to concentric contraction,
there should be a slight pause.
Contract with force. Your intent should be to move the weight as quickly and forcefully as possible
during the concentric phase. This is where the muscle is shortening during contraction.
After completion of push or pull, immediately engage in next rep. Again, not a sudden movement, but
we do not want to allow the muscle time to rest during a set. Rest is reserved for the end of a set.
Never use a weight you cannot maintain good form with. Form is first.
Always keep good posture/form through a movement. When reaching failure, there may be an urge to
contort the body to aid in finishing the rep; resist this. During bench, people will pick their feet up, lift
the rear off the bench and/or twist the shoulders attempting to raise the bar. Another example of this
would be letting the heels lose contact with the ground while squatting. Stay focused on every rep so
that your form is proper. This helps prevent injury and maximizes the effort you are putting forward.

Proper Spotting:
A good spotter is an essential resource in training. A good spotter should always be alert and attentive.
He or she should have a pretty good idea of your strength and limits. When assisting with a lift, a spotter should
always spot the weight, not the individual. The spotter should also be an extra set of eyes when critiquing
technique. If you see your partner is doing something incorrectly, you have a responsibility to inform them. We
are our brothers/sisters keeper when in the weight room.
The actual act of spotting is sometime misunderstood. Just because the person you are spotting is
unable to complete the rep, it in no way means they are done. A good spotter is only going to lift what you
cant. Do not simply take the weight from the lifter, rather, assist them in lifting it. Begin applying pressure to
the resistance until it begins moving in a positive direction again. That is all the assistance you want to give,
even if it takes the lifter a little time to complete the rep.

Every workout you perform should be well documented and kept in the weight room for future
reference. This helps track progression and removes the burden of remembering what you lifted. There is no
way to track success without knowing where you came from. Below is the format every athlete should use to
document his/her workout:
weight used/reps completed + reps completed with assistance
Example: 225lbs/6+2 or 225/6+2

This should be done for every exercise and every set. Other valuable information to note on your
workout sheet might include: Adjustable settings (seat height), rest between sets, a 1-10 rating of difficulty, the
piece of equipment used and possibly even your feelings on the workout.
Metabolic Conditioning

The body requires energy to perform even the smallest task. There are several pathways the body can
use to deliver energy to the muscles. Each one of these pathways has its own purpose or range of effectiveness.
Subsequently, each sport has an energy system/s it puts higher demands on. The body can actually be trained
to store more energy in certain pathways, use and transition between pathways more efficiently, and recover
quicker after depletion of a specific pathway. With this knowledge, you can structure conditioning drills that
mimic the demands of a sport. There are three energy systems within the body:
Phosphagen System: anaerobic
Glycolysis: two types; fast and slow
Oxidative: aerobic, requires oxygen

Interval Training:
As stated earlier, most sports rely primarily on one or a combination of these pathways. For that
reason, it would not make sense to focus the majority of your conditioning within a pathway your body depends
on very little during play. For example, there would not be any purpose to running a volleyball player five miles
a day. Even if weight management was a concern, we would limit the amount of long-duration activity
performed, relying on proper nutrition and various forms of interval training. Below is a chart showing system
manipulation through interval training:

% of Max Power Primary System Exercise Duration Distance
90-100 Phosphagen 5-10 sec 0-100 yds 1:12 to 1:20
75-90 Fast Glycolysis 10-60 sec 100-400 yds 1:3 to 1:5
Glycolysis &
30-75 1-3 min 400-800 yds 1:3 to 1:4
20-35 Oxidative >3 min >800 yds 1:1 to 1:3

When implementing interval training, it is recommended to start with longer rest durations in the
beginning. From there, gradually work down to a work-to-rest ratio that closely mirrors that of your sport. This
is not to say you should totally abandon training through other pathways, just understand where your focus
should be.

Aerobic Training:
Aerobic exercise is performed at a low to moderate intensity and performed for at least 15 minutes.
During the bout of exercise, the goal is to keep your heart rate within a certain range. There are various heart
rate monitors and other items that can track this for you. A simple method is to first establish your maximum
heart rate, then identify upper and lower limits of 70-85%. A simple formula to use is listed below:
Max Heart Rate (MHR) = 220 age Example: 220 20 = 200
MHR x .70 = lower limit 200 x .70 = 140
MHR x .85 = upper limit 200 x .85 = 170

The target heart rate range in the example above would be 140-170 beats per minute (bpm). Dropping
below the effective range will have little benefits, while going above can be unsafe for long durations.
Rest & Recovery

If nutrition is the why and exercise the how in growth and development, then rest is the when. It
is not simply about how much you do in the weight room. If that were the case, everyone would work out seven
days a week. Too much training can actually cause you to take steps back in your strength and conditioning
program. That is why quality is stressed over quantity. Make every workout count, and then rest/recover
accordingly. Without proper rest and recovery, you will not see the gains you hope for. For the purpose of our
program, we are going to differentiate between rest and recovery.

Rest is actually the time you take off from training. This is where you quite literally do nothing. This is
when the body gets to heal and build/repair muscle. There are essentially two ways to acquire rest: sleep and
breaks within the training schedule.

When talking about rest, sleep is the primary means in which we get rest. This is when the body is least
active and can heal and rebuild as needed. Not enough can be said for getting adequate sleep. We all know
how much sleep we, ideally, need to get. Reality does not always play along so well. Regardless, it is your
responsibility as an athlete to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prioritize accordingly, and getting enough sleep
should be at the top of those priorities.

A break is like a total lapse in training. There may be a week off here and there in your strength and
conditioning program allotted for rest. If not, there will still be time at the end of regular/post season for you to
rest. Now that does not mean abandon fitness or a healthy lifestyle all together. Especially during long breaks,
engage in some sort of physical activity. The longer the break is, the more it transitions from rest to recovery, as
your activity level will begin to pick up (albeit, nowhere near your normal intensity).

Recovery periods are worked into your workout routines. This is not an actual break in your program,
just a lowering of the intensity. The goal is to keep the body moving and active, but under less stress than
normal. There are several ways recovery gets incorporated into a program: it can usually be seen weekly,
periodization within a phase and as an active rest (usually part of the break period previously mentioned).

Regardless of how many days in a week you workout, the weekly exercises will be broken down into
heavy, medium and light days. This does not necessarily refer to the weight; it is a reflection of the intensity of
the day as a whole.

Within a Phase:
There will typically be a week set aside where the resistance for the entire week is lowered. This is
called a recovery week. There may be an urge to lift more than required on these weeks, but do not. The
gains on the other side will be much greater if you recover properly. Do not take rest or recovery for granted.