In-Season Training: Are You Doing Too Much?

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The chart posted below was put together by the late Canadian Sprint Coach Charlie Francis. This chart shows different movements and their varying degree of CNS (Central Nervous System) demand.

What does this chart mean for YOU?

You only have so much energy you can expend. When you’re in-season you want most of that energy used on the field playing your sport. This chart is a great self check for you guys to see the varying demand each movement places on your CNS.

For example, if you’re playing three to four games per week, it’s safe to say you’re sprinting at maximal intensity, throwing a baseball as hard as possible, and swinging a bat near maximal intensity in each game. You NEED to account for this CNS stress especially due to the fact that all of those movements are highly taxing on your nervous system.

To account for this CNS stress and to maximize on-field outputs I believe your in-season training should refrain from any sprinting or explosive power movements. Looking back on my early playing career, I can’t believe all the sprinting, jumping, and heavy squats I was doing in-season. If only I knew then, what I know now regarding CNS demand of various movements, my on-field play would have been much better.

Exercises that you should avoid in-season due to high CNS stress

  1. Sprinting (Outside of playing in games)
  2. Vertical and Horizontal Jumping
  3. High Volume Medicine Ball Throws
  4. Heavy Squats
  5. Heavy Deadlifts
  6. High Volume/Intensive Plyos
  7. Cleans, Snatches, Clean and Jerk

Exercises that you should include in your in-season training due to their low demand on the CNS

  1. Supplementary Pull (Chest Supported Rows, 1-Arm DB Row etc.)
  2. Supplementary Push (Push-Up Variations, Landmine Press Variations)
  3. Sled Drags/Sled Pushes
  4. Step Up Variations
  5. Upper Back Work (BPA’S, Banded Face Pulls, Y,T,W etc.)
  6. Low Intensity Core Stability Variations (Pallof Variations etc.)

I hope this post was able to help you guys! If you have any questions regarding in-season exercise selection,or how you should structure your in-season training etc. drop them in the comments below!

-Alex

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