I am a big believer of in-season training.  Recently, I wrote about some keys to doing your in-season training.  I followed that up with a direct email to my list about how females seem to lose their strength faster than males when they stop lifting.

The best way to avoid losing strength and any muscle mass that you have is to do in-season lifting.  I listed all the key points of what you need to do with your program in my blog post.

But, what if that isn’t possible?

Then the next thing you need to address to keeping both strength and muscle is your diet.  Did you know that if you do not eat enough calories to maintain your energy levels that your body will burn muscle for energy?

Yep, you read that right.  Your body saves all fat for emergency energy and in a caloric deficit it will burn muscle first for energy.

So let’s think about that.  If you spent all off-season working on your speed, strength, and power (plus possibly adding some muscle weight), all that is stimulated from your muscles.  Duh!  It can all go to waste if you do not eat the proper amount of calories your body needs to do all your daily activities.

You lose muscle, then you lose muscle that will trigger your maximal strength and speed possible.  Less muscle, less strength and slower speed.

From those calories, you want to make sure you get some quality protein.  That protein will go towards keeping that muscle on your body.  Get the amount of calories you need to match your caloric expenditure and you can KEEP that muscle on your body a little longer.

Even if you don’t lift.

To help get added calories and protein to your diet, I’ve been using Advocare’s BodyLean25® and it is great!  It has high quality protein in it that is easily digestible.  You can mix it in milk or some type of meal replacement shake concoction to use it as a high caloried snack for your athlete.

Here’s the plan to keep as much muscle, strength, and speed for as long as you can:

  • Do in-season lifting, if you can. Click here to read about how to do that.
  • Approximate the amount of calories that you burn during the day and match that with food you eat daily.
  • To make sure you are getting enough good protein and/or help to get the amount of calories that you need, you can consume a good protein supplement like Advocare’s BodyLean25®.

You do this for your athlete, it will maintain the peak speed and strength of the athlete for as long as time possible.