Wintertime is the "off-season" for many sports, including baseball, triathlon, and soccer. During the non-competitive part of the year, many athletes in these sports emphasize strength training. Strength training provides a solid foundation for performance and injury-resistance – ideal preparation for sports-specific training in the spring.
The Season of Strength is for Everyone
You don’t have to be a competitive athlete to benefit from a winter focus on strength training. After all, many of our preferred cardio activities—walking, running, bicycling, inline skating, etc.—are more fun to do outdoors. When winter weather makes it difficult to train outdoors, switching your focus to strength training indoors will allow you to keep your fitness moving forward.
Strength training during the winter can give you a motivational boost by giving you a new challenge to focus on.
You will also get the same physical benefits it offers professional athletes: a leaner physique, improved musculoskeletal health, and better performance in your favorite cardio and sports activities.
When cortisol is secreted in response to day-after-day, unrelenting stress, cortisol has toxic effects.
Excess cortisol can be stimulated by physical stress such as over-exercising, lack of sleep, dieting, and poor nutrition; mental stress such as a high stress work environment; and emotional stress such as a death of a family member or even just too many demands on your time.
To get these benefits, you need to lift weights at least twice a week and for at least 20 minutes per session. Three strength workouts per week will give you substantially greater benefits. Be sure to include exercises for all of your muscle groups, from your shoulders to your lower legs.
Try a high-quality whey protein such as EnergyFirst’s ProEnergy after strength workouts for better recovery and enhanced benefits from your strength training.