Strength is arguably the foundation for… well pretty much all sports performance. Going a little bit further it’s probably better talk bout force and our ability to produce force being the foundation. However, that isn’t the point of this post!

I want to talk about strength in a more specific sense. There are many sports and events where it is important to hit max on the day of competition (yes a pretty obvious statement). This is often called peaking and there is normally a period of tapering leading into the event. But what is the right amount of time to taper? How much drop in weight is there when you taper? Do you stop lifting completely?

It’s important to mention that the following is not the gold standard, there will be many other methods. However this is a researched and practised method to set a standard from.


Strength Tapering Protocols

Research has shown that it is preferable for athletes to take a minimum of 4 days off weight training, prior to an event. However, this can be lowered to a minimum of 2 days, or stretched to no more than a week. Everyone is an individual and may react differently so it’s important to try a few different time scales.


The Impact On Training & Coaching

These results mean both individual athletes and coaches can safely allow rest periods within these protocols. This will allow for efficient recovery, or a shift of training focus whilst remaining confident that strength levels will be maintained.

Take everything with a pinch of salt. As mentioned, try a few different approaches and find out what works for you.


NK Fitness work with a wide variety of personal training clients and athletes in Richmond and the surrounding areas.  We encourage our team to train smart.  Displaying a high level of emotional intelligence when things don’t go to plan is one of the best tests of training smart.  Training programmes are made to evolve, so if your first taper doesn’t go well, try again!