Lifting on Game day

What is everyone's opinion on lifting on game day?  When I was playing college all non pitchers lifted if it was a regular game day and it was more of a maintenance lift. In high school I've had a lot of push back from people when I tell them team will lift on game day.  We will lift at 2:00 for about 30 min. then have them drink water eat and be at the field at 5:00 for a 7:00 game.  If they are J.V. then they would have a normal lift day.  If they could pitch then they would not lift that day but would make it up the day after.

Original Post

Son's HS coach only had them in the weight room to lift/work out in the off season.   No lifting during the season.

And back when I played HS football it was the same.   We only hit the weight room in the off season.  Didn't have time to lift during the season.

If you're not lifting during the season then you are wasting most of your time in the offseason working out.  For high school if you are waiting to lift after a game then your kid won't get home until about 10 or 11 at night.  If you make it a routine and do it consistently it will not hurt anything.  It sounds like you have the right plan in place so stick with it.  They will stop pushing back as you become more consistent and they see there are no negative side effects to it.

Agree with parts of some responses. Absolutely should continue to lift in-season! It is all about decreasing frequency/volume and maintaining intensity. One of the biggest mistakes I see made with in-season programs is that coaches go with lighter maybe 3 sets of squats x 8 reps @ 50% (or lower) of max. That makes no sense. Sure, they are still moving around in the weightroom but they are in a detraining mode which will have a negative effect on performance. IMO...go with fewer training sessions, fewer exercises, fewer sets/reps, and keep the intensity up. Going back to squat exercise, instead of 3 x 8, go 3 x 3 or 3 x 2 (after properly warmed up) @ 90-95% of 1RM. There will be less fatigue (24 reps v 6-9 reps in the example provided). Your players will stay strong and in some cases get stronger!

Sorry...back to the original question. I am not a big fan of lifting that close to game time. I get that they are high school kids and recover quickly but finishing up 2 1/2 hours before being back on the field is not...IMO...the best way to approach in-season training. If they were coming in before school for a short session followed by an opportunity to fuel up shortly after...definitely doable IMO. 

Have to be careful with the...when I was in school we lifted on game days. There is a lot that has changed in regards to performance training in just a short period of time.

Last up on Eric Cressey's recommendations. Great resource.

That is one of my concerns is how much time is needed between lift and game.  I like the idea of lifting before school. We start classes at 8:25 so coming in at 7 lifting for 30 min then going to eat would be a good option.  Thank you for the suggestion.

fhobbs013 posted:

That is one of my concerns is how much time is needed between lift and game.  I like the idea of lifting before school. We start classes at 8:25 so coming in at 7 lifting for 30 min then going to eat would be a good option.  Thank you for the suggestion.

Kids don't get enough sleep as it is.  Natural growth hormone is released during sleep.  Compelling kids to get even less sleep to come in and lift will potentially backfire from desired results 

Ask the kids if they think minor league professional players lift weights.


OK, right. Now, about how many days off do minor league pro players have? Anyone know? Excluding the break it's probably around 20 total days off. Tell them that. Then ask: "When do you think minor league pro players lift weights?"

Should answer that question pretty succinctly. Minor league players lift before their games because they have to. Some might be able to lift after at home, but it's usually 10:30 or later by that time.

Ideally you'd lift after the games and on non-game days. But sometimes you don't have a choice.

Athletes don't lift enough weights. I don't have it handy, but there's actually some research out there that has demonstrated it being BENEFICIAL to lift before a game. The important thing is to remember that the number on the bar isn't as important as the performance on the field. We see injuries in the weight room when kids try to put as much weight on there as they can get...

Definitely lift in season, or you will lose muscle mass.  You don't really need weight progression or big volume,  just do a little bit. Twice a week for half an hour already will get you most of the way. When it comes to gaining you need more effort but maintaining only takes a tiny bit of effort. 

You might still lose a tiny bit but most will be maintained, but if you don't lift at all you can easily lose like 20 % of your strength.

You don't need to max out or kill yourself but at least do something.

Love all the responses. Everyone bringing up really good points. I went and looked at our schedule closer and if we lift twice a week on Monday and Thursday then we will lift on about 3 days we have games. I’m going to track result and compare them to years past as far as errors and hitting. I’ll be interested to see how much of a difference it makes. 

I think in season less can be more. You won't be able to gain strength unless you are  like 16 and very weak (any kind of workout will make you stronger if your max deadlift is 180) so it is really about not losing too much. Any elite player will lose some strength in season. It is about minimizing that loss.

With 2 times a week lifting a good athlete might drop his deadlift from 350 maybe from 350 to 315 and with 5 times he only drops to 340. I think that kind of extra gain is nota worth the losing of regeneration. But if you don't lift at all you might drop to 250 which is bad.

As always in life showing up and giving 20% effort gives you 80% of the results, the last 20% is hard.

Usually the last 20% is important but when it comes to lifting I prefer giving 100% effort in the off-season to get stronger and then take the 80%  result and get better regeneration.

 If it is a long season you can maybe add one hard block in the middle to further reduce the loss.

"In season" for modern high school Baseball players, depending on location is February or March through July.  Longer if they play Fall Ball.  

Not wise to just have moderate strength training for 6+ months of the year.  You are an athlete, get after it!

Speaks to why so many have said that high school athletes are pathetically weak.

I don't think a player who does 6 months of really hard lifting followed by 6 months of maintenance lifting will be "pathetically weak". 

Problem is more that now many have a 9 month season so they don't have time to get seriously after it in the off season.


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