We have finally reached the time when coaches, trainers, parents, medical professionals, and athletes are all in agreement on the positive benefits that a proper strength and conditioning program will have on the performance and safety of all high school athletes. It is a fact that all athletic qualities directly or indirectly rely upon an athlete’s strength. Simply put, strength is the base of the athletic potential pyramid. I would actually go as far to say that I can GUARANTEE improved athletic performance in athletes that visit my gym in just a few short months of strength training.
With all this being said, it still baffles my mind that so many athletes come into my training gym right after their “season” and work extremely hard for 6-8 months only to disappear during the season! In a few short weeks with all the demands of high school athletics their bodies lose nearly ALL the athletic qualities that they worked so hard to develop!
I’m going to go through a few key points to keep in mind when lifting weights in season. Every sport is different requiring different schedules and different demands on the athlete. With that being said, I’ve found that most athletes in high school can get two “in season” workouts in per week and can adjust as needed based on scheduling, injury, sickness, school work, etc.
Goal #1- To stay healthy. Don’t lift till failure and force reps. This will fry your nervous system, tax your connective tissue and decrease performance. Also, don’t try to maintain the same lifting schedule you had in the off season!
Goal #2- To maintain about 95% of your maximal strength, so if you tested at the beginning of the season in squat at 200 pounds then you still should be able to do 190 by the end. Maintaining your weight will go a long way to maintaining strength.
Goal #3- To stay fresh (mentally and physically) and explosive, keep the volume low. You need 3-5 sets on major strength and power movements and 2 for most supplemental sets.
Below I’m going to give you a sample workout that the high school wrestlers did at my gym last week. I keep the reps for wrestlers low because they usually want NO muscle size growth or weight gain.
1. Barbell push press- 4 sets of 5 reps
2a. Towel chin ups- 3×6
2b. Dumbell reverse lunges- 3×6 ea leg
2c. TRX strap y’s – 3×10
3a. Power wheel rollouts- 2×10
3b. weighted side plank 2x:30 ea
3b. Db Hex pinches – 2x:30