Welcome to the Off Season

author - melissa witmer strength and conditioning
ultimate frisbee off season gym session

Most of us didn’t get the season we planned for this year. But, we’ll keep looking forward! We still do not know when exactly ultimate will return. But we know it will return, and we want you to be ready.

So, welcome to the off season - perhaps extended a bit longer than usual.

Even if you haven’t had your normal ultimate frisbee season, now is the time to start looking ahead to the next one!

The Off Season is where most of the actual work gets done for those who really care about athletic performance. Now is when we create a solid foundation for everything else. 

Ignore the off season at your peril! But stay consistent in the off season, and everything else about your ultimate frisbee life will be much easier, less injury prone, and more fun!

 What is it?

The Off Season is the time we set aside for ultimate frisbee gym workouts that focus on strength and power development.

Even if you are playing in some all year round, you want to create some time where you are playing less and have more focus on resistance training and power development. 

I recommend at minimum 6-8 weeks. During this time you will significantly reduce any cardiovascular demands so that you get greater adaptations in strength and power. 

Our UAP Strength and Conditioning (S&C) members spend 8-24 weeks in the off season depending on their particular season schedule.

Read more about the off season, and other phases of your training year here in The Five Phases of your Training Year

Why do Off Season Training?

Maybe in the past you’ve started getting in shape a few months before the season stars. Or maybe you “play your way into shape” in the early practices and early part of the season. 

Does that sound like you?

And how well does it work? The truth is, maybe it HAS been working for you okay so far. Lots of players "choose" this route due to laziness or a lack of proper planning.

I think more players would commit fully to an organized off season plan if they really understood the benefits. The problem is, it’s hard to really know the benefits until you experience them for yourself! I’ve seen this happen over and over and over again with my first year UAP members.

They just never knew that they’d be able to feel THAT good after a tournament. They did not believe that had SO MUCH more athletic potential available. Because many of them had been doing pretty well without an organized plan.

The truth is, if you’re doing okay without an organized training plan, a periodized off season plan will be like putting rocket fuel on your athletic performance (in a good way). 

You will be ready for blast off because…. 

Benefits of Off Season Strength and Power Development Training

  • Increases your ceiling of athletic performance potential - both in your conditioning and in your skills
  • With the physical part of your training taken care of, you can focus on skills work in the early practices and tournaments while everyone else is still playing catch up, trying to get in shape.
  • You will develop an increased work capacity - which means you can train longer and harder in the future. This means your throwing sessions will be higher quality. Practices will be easier and more focused.
  • Injury risk reduction. So many players who’ve struggled with minor tweaks and injuries for years, finally become healthy after an off season on the UAP. More strength simply means less wear and tear on the ligaments and joints. This is why you will feel better and can spend more time on the field and less time on the bench. 

If your inspiration for training has been flagging a bit, I hope this helps!

Also, I get it. Times are weird. Times are hard and stressful for so many folks. So remember, your workouts and training plans and ultimate are here to serve YOU-not the other way around.

I believe that training for ultimate can be a very healthy part of self care. But don't beat yourself up if you've been unmotivated. Workouts are here for you, to serve you and your physical and mental health. 

So DO find some healthy way of keeping active, even if you're not ready for a full on training plan.

If you ARE ready to try an organized plan...

What Type?

What Type of Training Should I Do in the Off Season?

There are many options you can use to develop strength.

In this article I’ve outlined the pros and cons of various strength training protocols for use in off season ultimate frisbee gym workouts.

 The reality is, no simple program offers all of the adaptations required for improved athletic performance in a sport like ultimate frisbee. 

This is why we created the Ultimate Athlete Project Strength and Conditioning program. 

We combine various protocols in an orderly fashion throughout the course of your off season and throughout the year.

Getting started

If this is your first time thinking more seriously about your off season training plans, a good place to get started is with some basic strength training.

No matter what type or programming you use, there are five basic movement patterns you will need to understand:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Bench press
  • Pullup (or row)
  • Deadlift or straight legged deadlift.

 If you master these five moves confidently, then every other exercise will be a derivative of one of the above.

Creating a workout

To create a balanced workout, you will want:

  • A Combination of single limb and bilateral exercises
  • A Balance of knee dominant, hip dominant, push, and pull
  • Prehab and stability exercises for injury prevention

Here is a full body workout designed with functional athletic performance training in mind.


Okay! So there you have it. A fairly complete guide to your off season training needs.

Leave the Planning to Us!

Why not join a program with all of these principles baked in?

Our UAP S&C program includes access to our custom build app which will guide you through every workout. 

The app will build a schedule for you based on the time of year that’s most important to you. Get video demonstrations of correct and incorrect form. And track your progress right on your phone.

Continuous customer support is free! - we're always available to answer your questions and help you out via our members only Facebook group and monthly Q&A calls where you can get one on one support.

Get more details about our Strength and Conditioning Program here


Use this special link to join us for a two week free trial!