I’m going to start this post by pointing out that I do not have any certifications in fitness or nutrition. Everything that I know about this subject is based on a lot of research, personal experiences, and trial and error. Something I’ve also learned from talking to a number of individuals in the beach volleyball community is that everyone does something different to stay in shape and different things work for different people. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can explain what works best for me. Without getting into extreme granular detail on this subject, below are five things to strive for during the off season to keep your physical conditioning at a level where you can maximize your playing potential:
Kill it during the week
Without going into any specific workout or diet plans, a good strategy to take is simply doing everything in your power during the week to move towards your goal of increasing your fitness and physical health. Everyone has a different schedule and there is no cookie cutter solution, but by giving yourself a specific five day window of clean eating and dedicated nutrition you can set a simple five day meal plan and if your schedule allows it you can prepare all of these meals on Sunday and free up some time during the week days for other things. Below is a simple schedule for a typical day with a workout and detailed nutrition that has worked for me. On the good days you can find some time to fit in a training session later in the day.
5:00AM – Wake up
5:15AM – 1 serving of oatmeal, 1 serving of almond butter
5:30AM – 1 serving pre-workout supplement
5:45AM – 1hr 15min workout
7:00AM – 1 serving protein shake
7:30AM – 1 banana, 1 serving gluten free granola
9:00AM – Quinoa Salad (quinoa, black beans, pinto beans, tomato, onion, corn), 1 apple
11:00AM – 2 servings of baked potatoes, 6oz chicken, 6oz celery, 6oz carrots
12:00PM – 1 Pear, 1.5 servings of almonds
6:00PM – Aim for 600-700 calories with a majority of vegetables adding rice or potatoes and 6oz of fish
*This may not be the answer for everyone, but is something that is working for me right now and can be used as some sort of template for adjusting various aspects for certain preferences.
Enjoy your weekends
Enjoy the weekends and if you want to eat something that doesn’t qualify as “healthy” go ahead and do it. The key here is not over doing anything that can really set you back from all of the progress you’ve made during the week. Also do some physical activity that you really enjoy. For some people this enjoyment can come from going to the gym and getting an intense workout completed or maybe even finding time for a beach volleyball training session at an indoor beach volleyball facility.
Keep in touch with the beach volleyball world
All of the winter weather and early sunsets in the off season can easily get you into a funk. One way to combat this and keep your eye on the prize is continue to read some beach volleyball articles, look up some ways other athletes are training, or even start to plan out your next beach volleyball season’s travels. It’s important to keep this in the front of your mind and continue to be reminded as to why you are doing all of these workouts and clean eating. For the lucky few, there are numerous indoor beach volleyball facilities popping up around different cities to keep in touch with the game and stay motivated.
Enjoy your workout routine
Different people enjoy different workouts. One of the most important things you can do is find a routine that you love and that you continue to look forward to all day long. Everyone is always going to tell you how great their workout routine is and how it’s the best thing out there. For that particular person this could be a great plan for them, but that doesn’t mean it’s a silver bullet for everyone else trying to keep in shape, build explosiveness, or increase endurance. If you can find a workout routine that you thoroughly enjoy you will notice that you’re putting much more effort into your workouts which will result in much greater gains in your conditioning.
Try something new
This is something I try to keep in mind every time I tell myself that I’ve found the best workout routine/schedule possible. There is always going to be something out there that you can add to your training to improve yourself in one way or another. Different nutrition lifestyles and physical activity is going to affect the body in different ways and you can’t really tell how this will affect your athletic performance until you give it a shot. Once you have your diet and workout routine down and you’re comfortable with it, try something new and see how it can enhance your physical condition even more.
Article by: Joe Sokol