Optimizing your training schedule can be a daunting task. In order to make the most out of every session—and give yourself time for rest—here are 5 helpful tips that will help optimize any workout schedule:
Don’t Neglect Sleep
Making time for sleep is one way you can optimize your training schedule. Getting enough sleep is crucial for cognitive function and muscle development. We know that sleep deprivation will not feed muscle growth. Athletes that manage good sleep patterns can get the most out of muscle recovery and growth.
When you get enough sleep, your body is able to recover from exercise better and grow new muscles more easily. With a good night’s rest comes the opportunity for maximum rejuvenation—which will only enhance your performance in all areas of life.
Diet and Hydration
Diet is the opposite side of the sleep coin. Without adhering to a good diet, you’re not getting the correct fuel to your muscles for repair—and optimal growth. What you eat before and post workouts can be what sets an athlete up for success or failure.
Eating the right foods will help with energy levels, focus, and stamina—all things that are beneficial when trying to maintain a successful training schedule.
Along with diet, hydration is also key in optimizing your training schedule. When you’re properly hydrated, your body can function at its highest level—which means better performance during workouts. Dehydration can lead to cramping, dizziness, and fatigue. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids—especially water—not only during but also leading up to your workouts.
Time management is an integral part of optimizing any training schedule. Having a solid foundation on how long we should train during our sets and how many reps it will take is an important focal point for any great schedule.
In order to keep your workouts consistent and effective, time your sets and reps before moving on to the next set. This will help you optimally focus on each muscle group and get the most out of every set.
Training shouldn’t last more than two hours, whether in the gym or during speed and agility training. Unfortunately, over-training is common among young athletes. In today’s society, youth athletes are being overtrained – where multiple aspects of training are being crammed into one session. This approach to overtraining can lead to the eventual breakdown of an athlete’s body and contribute to athlete burnout.
It is very important to listen to your body and know when to back off or take a day of rest. For example, if you are constantly sore, tired, or feel like you are getting sick, you may need to reduce your training load for a while – or take a temporary break from training altogether.
Deloading is where you reduce the volume and intensity of your training by 50%. This allows your body to completely recover from the previous weeks of training and prepare for the next phase of training.
Alternate Workout Days
Strength and speed training or compound movements, like deadlifts and squats, can be done on different days to optimize muscle growth and overall strength. Doing these types of lifts first in your workout also allows you to use the most weight and perform the lifts with the best form when you’re freshest.
Explosive starts or top-end speed training can also have a big impact on an athlete if paired correctly with compound movements, which is why it’s important to have a plan.
Managing burnout is a difficult thing for youth, high school, and even college athletes. Training too hard too often can actually cause a mental and physical burnout phase some athletes go through – especially with off-season training vs in-season training.
Some athletes have huge gains in the off-season when there are fewer on-field demands. Some players try to hit those high off-season gains during in-season play and it can be difficult to maintain the high-intensity workouts and in-game performance.
Pushing yourself to the max during every workout is not only unnecessary, but it can also be detrimental to your success as an athlete.
Managing a successful training schedule can be difficult, but if you adhere to the principles we’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to optimizing your training schedule—and seeing the results you want.