Fitness Corner: In-season Strength Program

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Head strength conditioning coach Johnny Parker and assistant strength and conditioning coach Duane Carlisle check in for this latest "49ers Fitness Corner" column. The pair ran a very successful and well attended off-season strength and conditioning program this spring and summer, but with the season underway their focus has shifted. Find out about the 49ers in-season training in this "49ers Fitness Corner.** "

Strength and Conditioning coaches Duane Carlisle and Johnny Parker developed an extensive off-season training program for the players. But now that the season is underway, they've had to adjust the focus of their programs.
"In the off-season, physical improvement is the focal point, but in-season, improving technically in the games is the focal point," said Parker. "So weightlifting and conditioning and all those type of things take a backseat to what happens off the field."

The workload does not change however. Workouts are still just a rigorous so that the players' hard work in the off-season program does not go to waste.

"You have to continue to train at a high level otherwise you'll lose everything you gained in the off-season," said Parker.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle for Parker and Carlisle during the season is the reduced access to the players. Because of team meetings and constant game preparation, the time players are able to spend in the weight room is greatly reduced. While scheduling may be challenging to work around, Parker does not let that get in the way of his goals, or the goals of his players.

"You still try to improve and get physically stronger during the season," said Parker. "You just can't do the same volume of work. The intensity of the work will remain high, but the volume of work is reduced."

And with their limited clock time in the weight room, Parker has developed a routine for the players that will produce optimum results over the course of a long season.

"You go through the season in a wave-like fashion," said Parker. "You get heavier and heavier with the weights so guys are at their strongest at the end of the season which is what you want because that's hopefully when you play for championships."

Question for Coaches Parker and Carlisle:
Tony writes: How have you incorporated kettlebells into your training programs?

Carlisle's Answer: During the offseason, we incorporated kettlebells into various aspects of our program starting with our warmup routine, where we start with an exercise called "swings." It's a total body movement that helps increase core temperature and activate the nervous system and get muscles ready for more intense activity. And we incorporated kettlebells for upper body exercises which are geared toward improving strength, balance, and working on stabilizers (those little muscles that help support the bigger muscles).

Parker's Response: They're a very neat and effective changeup to free weights and dumbbells. The weight is distributed differently than a barbell or dumbbell. You can do almost any exercise with a kettlebell that you could with a dumbbell or barbell.

Paul writes: For the different positions, how do you portion high rep/lighter weight workouts vs low rep/lighter weight workouts?

Parker's Answer: For the skill positions (receivers and defensive backs) you are always looking for explosive qualities so that would mandate lower repetitions per set and moderate weight. For the bigger players, for the linemen let's say, you are always looking for more strength as well as more explosion. That would mandate heavier weight, medium number of repetitions (4-6 per set) for muscle size and also a lot of work in the lower repetition ranges for more strength and more explosive qualities.

To have your fitness related question considered, please email Carlisle and Parker atfitnesscorner@niners.nfl.com

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