Elite and pro athletes train between five and six hours a day, six days a week. That’s right, 30 to 36 hours a week. That’s 30 plus hours of brutal work honing their skills and body. While weights, aerobics and other exercises and stretching build muscle and strength, isometrics is a special kind of strength training. Unlike “pumping iron,” or using machines to build strength, isometrics is an exercise in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction – adding a different kind of strength.
During my entire athletic career, from playing college basketball to currently training for Ironman competitions, I have see a large majority of athletes overtraining, hurt and sick at the time when being at your peak means the most. Based on these results, I believe that athletes can lift throughout the entire year, not only maintaining strength, but also improving it dramatically, while at the same time spending more time on sport specific technique and drills. One of the distinctions I have personally noted in those who athletically excel is that the best athletes typically are not held back from injuries and are able to see continuous gains. Many athletic careers are over before they ever really get started because of simple overtraining or injury that could have been avoided.