Shift in weight room exercises

For a team sport athlete (ie. soccer, basketball, lacrosse) the high intensity focus shifts during the transition from offseason to inseason. While an athlete who is using CF’s methods might use a high/low scheme in the offseason, focusing on maximum power/strength, during the season the work enters the anaerobic threshold area (intermediate speed zone) and hence speed is detrained.

So, if we accept that all high intensity elements must be trained year round with a different emphasis during different periods, then speed must be trained/maintained during the inseason.

So while an CF athlete might use sprints to build speed, and MaxS/repetition exercises to build strength/cross section in the offseason, he might shift to using olympic lifts to build/maintain speed, and only MaxS exercises to build/maintain strength/cross section.

Agree or disagree?

Agree, with the theory.
THe problem I always run into with athletes that I work with is how to allow for sport skill building, batting or playing basketball, running routes in football with a CF program. Allowing for rest , and esp. when the season starts.

I know this is not the direct question, but this is a topic I would like to hear what the other members think.

Why can’t all skill work be low intensity in the offseason? Like for football players catching passes from a jugs machine, basketball players doing low intensity drills, lacrosse players throwing and catching off a wall, etc. (I don’t know any low intensity work that could substitute hitting a baseball though).

To summarize what I meant in my first post:

Offseason: speed alactic work (95-100%), tempo runs (<75%), limit strength (85-100%), hypertrophy (repetiton methods),

Inseason: intermediate speed (75-95%), olympic lifts (85-100%), limit strength (85-100%)

If speed alactic work is more intense than intermediate speed work, but olympic lifts, training the same motor quality as speed alactic work, are less intense than speed alactic work, a balance between the high intensity elements would be established.


I’ve been struggling with this as well. The problem is that working on certain skills at less than 100% intensity is probably counter-productive, but there is only so much CNS energy to go around.

Even given that skill work in football will be less than 100% of top speed (rarely does a football player run in a straight line long enough to reach top speed!), the accelerations out of a cut and decelertions into a cut need to be full speed to work on timing for pass routes, for example.

There certainly are some skills that can be practiced with minimal CNS stress, but they are easy to fit in.

I generally find that during the season, I have to proritize the training that has high CNS impact. So, high stress CNS skill work comes first, then speed, then strength. This priority may be different for different positions…think about the difference between a DB vs OL. I’m not sure this is optimal but I haven’t come up with anything better. Thoughts?

just some thoughts here…
why would you have to move into intermediate speeds in-season? i don’t get it…

i don’t think that olympic lifts alon (without the actual running) will maintain the speed (hope i got this right), and

another reason why the above might not happen is because the intermediate speed in-season (if this is the case) would not allow easily speed maintenance anyway, even more so with lifts only


The name of the game is managing CNS intensive training parameters, no matter what the stimulus and no matter where one is in the yearly cycle.

I am currently developing a system of quantifying every conceivable CNS intensive stimuli encountered during training and competition for strength/power development sporting activities and assigning each stimuli a certain value relative to the highest imposed stressors. I am confident that this will prove to be a useful tool for athletes and coaches.

Those interested can look for this to possible appear in a manual sometime this year.

Nik -

During practice and games (in-season), most of the running is of pretty high intensity done in the presence of high amounts of lactic acid (hence intermediate speed zone).