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Q&A with Physical Preparation Coach Adam Rotchstein

We get an inside look at the off-season plan to get stronger and faster

As we begin our off-season training, dcunited.com caught up with Physical Preperation Coach Adam Rotchstein to learn about the lifting program for 2013-14. We wanted to know how the Black-and-Red will come back stronger, faster and less susceptible to injury.  

When did the program start?
Adam Rotchstein: Right after their last game against Houston. There really isn’t an off-season for these guys.

Are the programs personalized?
AR: Well, we all have the same muscles, right? But, some guys are more injury prone in certain places than others, so we do work on specific things, like stability and mobility with each player. But, there is a kind of global approach to the program, then certain things within it are personalized.

What are you doing to bridge the gap between soccer-specific training and Olympic lifting? What are you doing that keeps them separate?
AR: The fitness aspect, which I didn’t talk about earlier, is the most soccer-specific part of it. That is meant to give them a good base so when they return back for preseason, that’s les time that we need to spend on making sure they have a good base of fitness. So maybe we can hit the ground running a little bit more, get sprints going a little faster, and we’re not doing base-level endurance stuff, wasting time. That way we’re ahead of the curve.
As far as the lifting goes. We’re trying to get our lower bodies as strong as possible to carry us through the season, trying to build a strong core and upper body, so we can be good and physical on the ball. It’s tough to make it sports-specific when guys will be all over the place. It’s difficult to make the lift itself sports-specific. There will be movements themselves that they do on the field, for instance, like a lateral lunge, that they experience through a lift.
Lifting isn’t going to make you better with the ball; it’s going to make you stronger, faster, more explosive and resilient to injuries throughout the season.

Do the guys going home get a packet to follow?
AR: Yeah, exactly. They each get a packet. But again, there is a very good group sticking around. So they will all follow the same packet. Some will just be in the weight room with me and others will do it on their own.
They have a twelve week program that they are required to complete. They have requirements upon getting back here, from a lifting standpoint and a fitness standpoint, so that if they’re not with me, I know that they did the program. Three days of lifting, three days of fitness.
It’s not off time for them. 2014 began two weeks ago. These guys are not happy about where they finished, we’re happy with Open Cup, but we need to translate that to MLS. They’re excited about getting into the gym and getting better. They know they need to do this to have more guys available for each game.

Can you explain, since injuries played a big role in our season, what type of mobility and stability movement and exercises the guys are doing?
AR: For stability, most of that is core work, being able to resist taking a hit. That’s about as sports-specific as it gets. Mobility, we’re look at hip and ankle joins. Are they healthy? Are they mobile enough so they don’t limit the athlete on the field?

Will they have a regen or recovery day or just a day off?
AR: It’s just a day off. The regen is included in the program each day.

How is it going to work with the guys staying here? Are they all going to come in together?
AR: We will get away from here with the guys who are staying. We will go to results. Regroup form the season. We are getting away from training, away from going to the field everyday. It will be good for them; just them versus the weights right now.