Peaking in Training: A Guide for Throwing Athletes
WHAT DOES ATHLETIC PEAKING MEAN?
Peaking in training is exactly what it sounds like! When that time of the year comes around when you need to be in top shape for those big competitions, the appropriate preparation in training will get you there!
As discussed in previous articles, the majority of the heavy lifting and/or physical development work will be done in the long winter months. After this period, leading into competition season, you should look to taper your training down massively – focusing less on lifting heavy and more on explosive work to prime the athlete for optimal performance when it matters most!
Here is a general idea of what an athlete could do in their taper phase:
- Medicine ball work
- Speed (velocity) based barbell training
I HAVE A BIG ATHLETIC COMPETITION COMING UP... WHAT SHOULD I DO?
As a shot putter myself, I can speak from experience in saying that one month out from a big competition, a shot putter can look to put a lot of diligent work in!
Below is a similar template to what I have done in the past. You can tweak or vary any part of this to suit the specific athlete. That is a key part of programming your throwers, tailored to their strengths and weaknesses.
4 WEEKS OUT:
- 3-4x a week
- 4 sets of 5
- 1x Olympic lift variation (60-75%), 1x power lift variation (60-75%), 1-2x accessory work or plyometric/med ball exercises
- 2-3x a week: throw competition weight (15-20 full throws per session)
2 WEEKS OUT:
- 2-3x a week
- 4 sets of 3
- 1x Olympic lift variation, 1x power lift variation, 1x plyometric /med ball exercise
- 1-2x a week competition weight (12-16 throws per session)
1 WEEK OUT:
- 2x a week
- 1-2 sets of 3-4 reps
- ANY explosive exercise
- 1-2x a week with an underweight shot (6-12 throws per session at competition intensity)
One week out from the competition, I would typically do my second gym of the week session the day before the competition to get me firing and ready to perform. But, it all comes down to personal preference amongst your athletes and what helps them perform at their best. Trial and error is your best friend in this sport, so do not be afraid to discuss different things to try with your coach/athletes.
PREPARING YOURSELF FOR ATHLETIC COMPETITIONS
The time has nearly come to compete, and your athletes are messaging you frantically, asking questions on what training they need to do extra, change technically or otherwise.
You have done all that you can up until this point. Do not look to change anything or add anything new to your technique, diet etc. The day before: do your last gym session to get primed, make a nice meal, go for a walk, do some drills... anything like that is a net positive! Get yourself physically and mentally ready.
Whatever you need to do to relax, do it. But don’t overcomplicate things. Just chill.
Go out and compete the next day, give it your all and throw far!