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Guide to Squash Training

  • Since squash is a game that can be played all year-round it is easy to go stale. 
  • It may be easier to mark the holiday season on a calendar, including the competition seasons, also mark semis and finals, before attempting to design a short/long term squash training program.
  • By designing a periodised squash training/playing schedule (based around your family and work commitments) it is possible to get a balance between skills and physical conditioning.

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Heart Rate

Maximal Hear Rate (MHR)
  • MHR is the nominal heart rate for your age in beats per minute (BPM)
  • It is calculated by subtracting your age from 220 (EG. 40 year old's MHR is 180 bpm)
  • Certain forms of training require a specified heart  rate (EG aerobic activity is performed at between 60 - 70% MHR)
Taking Your Pulse
At the end of the jog/run take your pulse by:
  • Having the Stop Watch/Watch Ready
  • Place the index and middle finger of your right hand on your left carotid artery (easier to locate on your neck).
  • Count the pulse (heart beat) for 15 seconds x 4 = ?  bpm
  • Record in your training diary
Resting Pulse Rate
  • Take your pulse when you wake/rise in the morning
  • Monitor and record daily
  • As you become fitter the resting pulse rate will decrease
  • If it starts to increase you may well be overtraining - you need to get it checked out!
About Wrist type Heart Rate Monitor (Distance, Speed, HR)

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Setting a Routine

When training for Squash, it is easy to get carried away with the volume of training. More is not necessarily better.
  • Incorporate rest days into your training
  • Progress your training gradually so that you do not incur injury at the start of your training regime
  • Alternate your training so that you don't do similar training two days running
  • Within sessions, alternate muscle groups to allow for recovery eg. bicep curl followed by squats
  • Vary your training to prevent staleness or boredom

It is easier to focus on conditioning if a schedule has been planned based around the time available.  Here is simple example for  the start of a program:
  • Day 1
    • Jog for 5 minutes
    • Play squash
  • Day 2
    • Strength Circuit
  • Day 3
    • Jog
    • Play squash
  • Day 4
    • REST
  • Day 5
    • Jog
    • Play squash
  • Day 6
    • Play squash
    • Strength circuit
  • Day 7
    • Jog for 7 minutes
  • Day 8
    • REST
  • Day 9
    • Jog for 7 minutes
    • Play squash
  • Keep going as above by adding 2 minutes to the Jogging time per week.
  • After, say, 2 weeks, keep a record of your PULSE immediately after the Jog.
  • After 1 month you will be jogging 20 minutes.
  • While you jog 20 minutes every second day, as well as play squash (competition, routines, restricted games, skills), you will last a 5 game match, feel fit, lose weight, improve your body shape, increase your heart and lung capacity, and feel good.
  • It can be difficult to follow a strict routine when it rains, or is cold, or travel interrupts.
  • In time it will come second nature to amend things, eg instead of jogging, do court sprints, or bicycle ride.
  • The use of a  professional personal trainer or advisor can greatly assist in setting up programs and is strongly advised

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Periodisation is an orgainised way to set up a training program built around goals, priorities and events.
  • Your training year is broken up into phases or periods. These include:
    • Preparatory - Aerobic base  and strength
    • Pre-competition - Maintain strength, aerobic. Start anaerobics training
    • Competition - Increase intensity, decrease time
    • Transition - alternative activities
  • These phases are built around your main events/competitive seasons
  • Each week of each phase is further broken down into specific training or rest days depending on your goals and schedule.
More detail on periodisation...

Squashgame Gold: Advanced Text and Video Content


              Off Season
  • Build up strength with lesser emphasis on playing and after the jog spend more time on the skills practice.
Pre season
  • The jog should comprise a combination of sprinting and jogging/walking (to develop more speed).
  • About 6 weeks before the competition starts more emphasis on drills/routines with a partner followed by games.
  • Structured games (with a particular theme) eg play good length, will re-enforce the key factors of a game plan.
Competitive Season
  • Increase the on-court physical training.
  • Combine skills training with drills/routines
  • Incorporate the ten fundamentals into the game plan.
  • Revise the tactical  and mental skills section.
  • Set some short and long term goals.
  • Use the match evaluation sheets to get more ideas.
Read about Goal Setting

Read Tactical Skills - 10 Fundamentals

Read Mental Skills

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