Why do we lift higher reps, sets during the off-season?

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devfrost
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Why do we lift higher reps, sets during the off-season?

Post by devfrost » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:23 am

I feel like my question can be easily answered but I really can't figure out why. To start, i'm 18, 5'11, 155lbs, a 400m/800m runner, and have been paying attention to weightlifting for about 11 months. Since last July, I have been trying to find a general strength program for my off-season and also in-season. Since July, i've been following this program given to me:
Workout A:
Squat 3-5 sets of 5 reps
Bench 3-5 sets of 5 reps
RDL or Hamstring Curl 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps
DB Row 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps

Workout B:
Deadlift 3-5 sets of 5 reps
Overhead Press 3-5 sets of 5 reps
Leg Press 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps
Pullups 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps

Rotate on a M/W/F plan.

As far as a long term plan:

XC season: 3 days a week, 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps. Vary the exercises to some degree. Example: Do the back squat twice a week and the front squat on the third day. Do a flat bench on Monday, incline on Wednesday, decline on Friday. Lookup Deadlift variations.
Winter: Workout A/Workout B rotation as depicted above.
Spring/Track: Lift only twice a week but incorporate plyometics. Do plyometrics first, then your primary exercises. Do secondary exercises only if you have time.
Now, the question just occurred to me recently - why am I lifting higher reps during the off-season? Shouldn't I be lifting for strength all the time if I'm a 400m/800m runner? Is it a peaking issue?

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Ironman
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Re: Why do we lift higher reps, sets during the off-season?

Post by Ironman » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:31 am

It is for increasing endurance which is needed for your sport. You don't need what you think of as endurance, which is for long distance running, and that only comes from running for the most part. You need the more short term endurance, done mostly anarobic. So high rep weight training fits the bill for that along with the plyometrics.

robertscott
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Re: Why do we lift higher reps, sets during the off-season?

Post by robertscott » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:15 am

you also don't want the strain on the CNS the heavy lifting will cause during the season

hoosegow
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Re: Why do we lift higher reps, sets during the off-season?

Post by hoosegow » Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:03 pm

Who gave you the program - out of curiosity?

Can you clarify the question? You seem to be doing lower reps in the off season. You are doing 3X5s versus 3X10s during XC season and 3X5s (no aux work) during track. Consequently I'm confused.
Thanks TimD.

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Re: Why do we lift higher reps, sets during the off-season?

Post by NightFaLL » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:18 am

Weight lifting during the season is for maintenance in almost every sport ever conceived.

No intelligent coach will have their athletes trying to improve strength/build muscle during the season, because the season is where performance matters and performance is hindered if you're still recovering.

The reason the weight is heavier during the season is to MAINTAIN - the best way to maintain strength/muscle is to still lift heavy, while reducing volume.

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