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Keeping fit after the summer break _ universal program

Even if each team sport and each individual have their own specificities, there are basic rules on which we can rely to successfully manage the summer break. It is based on this common base that we have built a universal fitness program, intended for amateur athletes with 6 to 8 weeks off. Summer break in team sports: the basic rules First basic rule for managing the summer break: rest. Then comes a resumption of effort with work that will increase in difficulty. The other important point is to vary the pleasures while not neglecting the basic aspect or muscle strengthening (core, abs, pumps, posture work, etc.), which will be refined later in the company of a physical trainer. , during the physical preparation phase itself. It is only then that we will attempt to significantly improve endurance, power, explosiveness and mobility, among others, in order to be ready for the recovery. For a professional athlete, the intensity of the work carried out during the summer break is obviously greater than for a simple amateur, while the rest time will be reduced (7 to 10 days maximum instead of 3 weeks). As a reminder, we are talking here about the management of this truce for amateur (but conscientious) athletes over a period of 7 weeks. Week 1 - Total rest The basic idea is to do nothing at all in order to treat your minor injuries, completely clear your mind, and allow yourself a few restorative naps. This total rest, difficult to imagine for some, is nevertheless highly recommended. Even essential. Week 2 - Almost total rest The body having had time to rest for a week, the amateur athlete must continue on this path even if he begins to feel the desire or the need to return to sport. He can possibly allow himself one or other alternative sporting practice at low intensity, without competitive spirit: 1 hour of leisurely walking on flat ground, a game of pétanque, a little table tennis, beach volleyball or swimming... Week 3 - Partial rest Left to rest for two weeks, the body has undoubtedly rested perfectly and its need to gradually get back into action grows naturally. The rest period is not over but it is now combined with a very gradual recovery. We can thus slightly increase the intensity of the efforts made during complementary fun activities, preferably different from the sport practiced all year round. This can be done via a fitness walk or an active mountain bike session, on uneven terrain. You can also schedule a few sports sessions requiring more cardio (badminton, more active swimming, tennis, football with friends, etc.) Week 4 - Resumption of running Now rested, the athlete is ready to endure one or the other session more active work. Be careful, however, not to resume too quickly. For example, consider three weekly running sessions, to be distributed equitably according to your schedule and the desired objectives. During this 4th week, you can therefore plan a first running session of around twenty minutes at a moderate pace, at 60 to 70% of your maximum aerobic speed (VMA, an easy index to calculate). The 2nd session may be a little longer (30-35 minutes) but at the same intensity, with ease of breathing. As for the third, it will be identical to the first (25' at 60-70% of the VMA). Week 5 - Increased running duration You have gotten used to running calmly again, not for too long. During this 5th week, and as long as you have not suffered too much the previous week, you can slightly increase the running duration during 3 new sessions in easy breathing (60-70% of your VMA): two of 30 minutes and another, interspersed between these two sessions, of 40 minutes. Ideally, add core work at the end of each session. Week 6 - Increase in intensity While continuing to get closer to the duration of a half of your favorite sport (45 minutes for football for example), you begin to increase the intensity of your efforts, to reach 75 to 80% of its VMA. Over these three weekly sessions, you can either increase your running pace or the elevation of your route. We can consider two sessions of 35 minutes and another of 45-50 minutes of running in a natural environment, ideally on soft ground. At the end of each session, plan core training, push-ups and proprioception work in order to anticipate any risk of muscle injury. Week 7 - Interval work Even if it is not yet necessary to reach the thresholds sought for the start of the season, interval work can be integrated during the three sessions of this last week of break, which will be punctuated again by various muscle strengthening exercises. For example, we can imagine a first running session of 20 minutes of jogging at a moderate pace (60% VMA), which will be followed by a session of 10 repetitions of 100 meters at VMA, interspersed each time with 50 meters of recovery. at jogging pace or slightly lower (50-60% VMA). We will finish again with 5 minutes at a leisurely pace. In the middle of the week, we will place a session of 40-45 minutes of running at 70% of our VMA then, at the end of the week, we will work on the interval again in a different way by shortening the distances for example: 20' jogging, 7 x 18 meters almost flat out with progressive acceleration, 1 minute recovery at 50% VMA then another 5-10 minutes of jogging to recover. We won't forget the 10-15 minute core workout at the end of each session. By following the guidelines of this universal fitness program, you should come out of the summer break in optimal condition. You are now ready for pre-season physical preparation, an essential period of work to achieve your collective goals!