Memory flash back: the year is 1997. I am a six foot, gangly, curly haired kid walking into a new school. This school is small, but sports reign supreme. Luckily, I was ok at football, but I wanted to be better. So, I was going to live in the weight room, I was going to have traps like Goldberg and arms like the Ultimate Warrior. I was going crush souls on the football field next year, and I was going to be all that is football. Let’s go bend some iron!
Walking into the weight room they had all of the standard equipment you would expect. The school had one measurable to be put on the wall, your 1RM bench. There was no program to follow, no guidance, and nobody there to enforce movement standards. So you do what any other underclassmen does, which is follow what the older guys are doing. This means you bench press Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, sprinkle in some curls and lat pull downs (I also did dumbbell shrugs because I wanted those traps!!) On Tuesday and Thursday you hit up the squat machine (not even free weights), leg press, and some isolation leg movements.
The concept here is, you do not know what you do not know. What you’re doing may seem like the right thing to do. When I was in the weight room, doing what the older guys did seemed it would make me stronger. I saw marginal strength gains over two years, but these gains are laughable now when looking back. Was I going to be the next Reggie White? Never, but could I have been better, there is no doubt in my mind.
Present Day: Many schools are still using this archaic method to lifting, not because they do not want you or your child to be the best possible, but because they do not know any better. Is your school having kids curl and do a great deal of isolation movements on muscle groups? If so, you need to look into the program. A program for high school athletics needs to have a foundation in strength.
The high school athlete may only have one chance to build the base strength which will propel them to the top of their game by the time they are a senior. The athlete requires a program based around the back squat but includes the deadlift, bench press, and power clean. A program which drives strength adaptation through power lifts and open chain movement patterns. Enough about lifting though, because it is actually secondary in any well rounded program. The base of any program, which many people fail to identify as the most important part to any athletes evolution is nutrition.
We tell our clients nutrition is at least 70% of what you do and the same holds true for the student athlete. The nutrition protocol we assign a high school athlete is going to be altered from what we tell a fitness client to adhere to or follow. This is where we can really help.
Food is fuel for your student athlete. Their nutrition should be performance based, meaning it is nutrient dense and promotes gut health. Your athlete should be drinking about ½ of their body weight (fluid ounces) in water daily. There are different protocols if you want your athlete to gain, maintain, or lose weight, which are gender specific. Yes, this is not just addressing the male athlete. We are addressing male and female athletes from all sports, hockey to football, soccer to lacrosse, rugby to baseball.
There is a ton of information out there (some better than others), so we invite you to attend our FREE Athlete Nutrition Seminar on Sunday, May 1st at 2pm. There is limited space so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot. We will be covering how to properly fuel your athlete so they can get the most out of their time in their sport(s).