Shrinking Muscles (in-season power loss)

by admin on September 20, 2010

Elliott at 16 yrs old (high school)

When I played football in high school and college I was OBSESSED with getting bigger, stronger and more powerful in the off season.  I loved off season bodybuilding and power lifting so much that I made a career out of training athletes for sports performance!

But, I had a BIG PROBLEM when the season was in full swing.  You see, no matter how much food I ate or how much time I spent in the weight room I always seemed to lose around 10 pounds of muscle and experience a dramatic loss of strength and power.

The real problem was NOT that I was losing size and strength… it was that I was training my muscles and nervous system in the WRONG WAY.

This is what the  in-season weight training / conditioning that my coach had the team perform typically looked like…


Suicide Sprints / Gassers x 5 – 15 sets done daily after practice (except the day before a game)


Power Cleans 3 x 8 – 12

Squats 3 x 10

Bench Press 3 x 10

Chin Ups 3 x 10

Crunches 1 x 100


Push Press 3 x 8 – 12

Front Squats 3 x 10

Incline Bench Press 3 x 10

Seated Rows 3 x 10

Crunches 1 x 100

I’d say that this program is pretty basic, you may see this being done in high school weight rooms all across the nation as we speak!  This program covers all of the most important lifts and is designed well.

The only problem is that it DOES NOT WORK!

First of all there is far too much volume (reps and sets) for an in season training program.  Also, in my opinion there is too much conditioning and the fact is that as a young athlete 200 crunches per week will wreak havoc on your posture and ability to recover from exercise.

I know that there are about 9 other things about this in season training program that can be corrected and made to actually build strength and power for athletes DURRING the in season.  I’ve been using a very effective method for keeping the athletes that train at Strength Camp while in their sports season strong and powerful… in fact, several of our athletes ever get STRONGER and MORE POWERFUL while training for their frequent game days!

We fully intend to see many of our athletes exhibit extraordinary Post Season Power!

Let me help you:

1. In the comments area below post your current in-season training regime.

2. Let me know if it is working for you or your team right now.

3. If you have any ideas about how we may be able to make it better, please let me know.

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