With summer fast approaching, many Huskies teams are entering their off-season. The off-season doesn’t mean that they completely stop training though, and instead, teams focus on building up strength while also making time for rest.
Jason Weber, the co-ordinator of the Human Performance Centre in the College of Kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan, works on training with these teams and notes the most crucial part of the summer months.
“The most important part of the off-season is to ensure [teams] take the appropriate amount of time off after the season to rest and recover, both physically and mentally. They all play long, gruelling seasons and are dealing with extremely busy schedules — with school, team and individual practices, games, travel and part-time jobs,” Weber said.
To make sure that the athletes get enough rest but still stay in shape, teams usually use April as a month of training, concentrating on heavy lifting, longer aerobic cardio and focusing on building a strong base during finals season — before they head home or begin summer jobs. Over the summer months, athletes are encouraged to stay active and often follow a program set by the team’s trainer.
Mackenzie Pek, a fourthyear biology student and a member of the women’s volleyball team, explains what the volleyball team usually does in the off-season.
“Our team trainer, [Weber], makes us do three workouts per week. It’s best to go with a teammate, as our focus during the summer is lifting heavy and pushing each other. If our jobs allow us to, a group usually goes in the morning at 7 or 8 a.m. If some members of the team have jobs that start early, a group usually gets together after work at 5 p.m. to get our workout in,” Pek said.
Pek explains that Weber designs workouts that focus on building strength for the first couple of months, and then they turn to cardio to get ready for the pre-season, which starts in August.
“For me, personally, my main focus is on lifting heavy while still having good cardio. I’m recently obsessed with spin classes and try to go at least once a week — if I’m not too sore from Weber’s workouts,” she said.
According to Weber, the workouts over the summer aim to increase athletes’ performance and also to prepare them for the upcoming season.
“[It’s] designed to build strength, endurance, and then transition to power and explosive [training] prior to the season. [Students] will be given programs to follow in the weight room, for cardio and [for] track, and all programs are designed to focus on their sport performance,” Weber said.
Although not everyone can train like a Huskie in the off-season, Weber offered some advice for students who are looking to get in shape and stay fit over the summer months.
“The biggest key to success for anyone looking to stay in shape or increase their level of activity is to be consistent and try [to] go as regularly as possible. It doesn’t work if you go hard for a few days, then take a few days off — unfortunately, that doesn’t help with longterm gains. Try to add variety and do things that push you, but that you enjoy,” Weber said.
Pek agrees, noting the importance of finding exercise that you enjoy, in order to make it worthwhile and sustainable.
“For some people, it may be walking; for others, it may be completing marathons. Everybody has a different fitness journey, but finding something that you love to do will make it fun and fulfilling.”
Naomi Zurevinski / Editor-in-Chief
Graphic: Jeremy Britz / Photo Editor