Spring is a great time to add volume to your players' programs and improve their strength levels. The Time Under Tension Workout accomplishes both of these goals.
Remember to keep the weight considerably light the first week, since the additional overall volume of the lift will be enough to make your players sore.
For the majority of your players during the season, lifting sessions consisted of 30-40 minutes two to three times a week. The main goal was to stay strong and promote recovery, with an overall focus on peak performance down the stretch of the season. After the season, you basically turn their lifting routines upside down, adding new exercises, new stimuli, new expectations and a ton of energy.
Workouts in the spring should last 60-75 minutes and be done four or five times a week. With the Time Under Tension Workout+Volume Lift, I decided to work the guys five days a week with the goal of getting them ready for summer workouts.
Monday - Chest
Tuesday - Aux. Legs
Wednesday - Back
Thursday - Off
Friday - Legs
Saturday - Shoulders and Arms
Sunday - Off
Breakdown of Time Under Tension + Volume
This workout is a three-week linear strength and hypertrophy workout, in which you slowly increase the weight from week to week on your 2-second rep exercises and increase the weight on your volume exercises.
Your goal should be to increase the weight 10-15 pounds per set of your 2-second rep exercises and 5-10 pounds per set of your volume exercises as the weeks unfold.
The 2-second pause increases time under tension of the muscle, improving strength, and the volume sets promote hypertrophy of the muscle.
Doing away with the old comment "all show, no go," this is the "show and go" workout!
You start each day with a series of Movement Prep (MP) exercises that warm up and activate the specific area(s) you will be training that day. Each day focuses on a specific muscle group.
You have a 2-second pause exercise paired with a high volume exercise.
For example, on Day 1, you pair the Incline Barbell Bench with the Incline Dumbbell Bench, with a stretch (e.g., Doorway Stretch) done between exercises. You go from a 2-second pause scheme on the incline barbell, pausing at the bottom of the lift (not letting it rest on your chest, actually engaging your chest to hold the bar in place). Then you perform 20 reps of Incline Dumbbell. After you stretch, you return to Incline Barbell, continuing the pattern until all sets are finished. At the end of each lift you have core work.
Do you train your core during lifting sessions? Yes, especially on leg days. Is it beneficial to train the core at the end of each lift for a couple sets? Yes, as long as it varies from day to day. Doing weighted volume or 500 reps of crunches in every core session is not beneficial in my opinion. Give your body variety.
For core workouts you will have:
- 3-minute continuous Plank
- Weighted volume with medicine ball core exercises: Russian Twists, Toe Touches, Figure 8's and Reverse Crunches
- Weighted Hanging Leg Raises (HLR)
- Knee-Ups, Toe-Ups with ankle band, and Body Tucks hanging from the pull-up bar
- Reverse Hypers holding a dumbbell behind your neck.
On their two days off, I encourage my players to get outside, go for a hike, go to the beach, stay away from the weight room. This helps to keep the weight room a place of enthusiasm and positive energy. The lifts after a day away from the weight room are usually the best lifts, with your players bouncing off the walls with energy!
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock