MBSC in the COVID Era: The Future of Strength and Conditioning?

Jun 22, 2022


Anthony felt that our ( MBSC's) response to training during a pandemic would make a good article. To be truthful, it's a bit of a work in progress. We have totally revamped the weight room for both flow and social distance.

There are a couple of new realities for us.

Reality 1 is 60 minute workouts. In the past our adult and personal training clients worked out for an hour but, our athlete program was 90 min. The bottom line is that we cant have 90 minute workouts with social distancing. This means 60 minutes for everyone.

Reality 2 is that it will have to be 36 minute lifts.

My current thought is a 60 min session cut into 5 twelve minute blocks:

Block  Time      Focus
1        12 min               Roll/ Stretch/ Core
2 12 min Dynamic Warm-up Speed Power
3 12 min Weightroom 1- Power
4 12 min Weightroom 2- Strength pair 1
5 12 min    Weightroom 3- Strength pair 2                                     


This also means the weightroom must be divided up into three distinct blocks that maintain distance and, do not involve shared equipment.

For this reason we have purchased Powerblocks from Perform Better for each “pod” and will include only one exercise pair that uses dumbbells. 

Note: if you go the Powerblock route you will need to remove all your lighter dumbbells. When we were doing outdoor training our clients raved about how great the Powerblocks were. When we moved inside they basically refused to use them.
What our clients liked about Powerblocks outside was the ease of use and the fact that they didn't have to put on a mask to walk inside to get dumbbells. Once we were inside they went back to old habits. This meant walking into someone else's space to get the dumbbell they wanted vs adjusting the Powerblocks.
Our conclusion? Put all dumbbells up to 50 in storage to “force” acclimate our clients to the new reality.

One thing we realized is that conditioning may be a casualty in a 60 min workout. I think the solution may be 70 minutes with 10 minutes of conditioning at the end.

On the positive side we have been doing three 36 minute strength sessions this summer ( again due to restrictions) and, so far so good.

Power, speed and strength (VJ's, 10 times, and lifts) have trended positively.



Unfortunately with shorter lifts some exercises become impractical.

One exercise that suffers is Trap Bar Deadlift. It's just tough to get enough warm-up sets in for a stronger athlete so we are prioritizing unilateral even more (and, we already do that).

Another casualty is Sled Push. It requires space that we no longer have. 

Lots of tough decisions to make but, ultimately, if we can Push, Pull, 1 Leg Squat and 1 Leg DL (skater squat) I think we will be ok.