High School Strength and Conditioning Flaw 2

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Fatal flaws when designing your High School Football Conditioning Program.


Flaw #2 Chasing Too Many RabbitsThis section is a bit more basic then the prior. By the heading, Im suggesting that your program has no real direction; you are trying to accomplish too many goals without proper focus on one. Your body needs to be stressed enough towards one training goal for it to adapt properly. I think part of the problem is that coaches typically do not even have a specific goal when designing their training programs. A days training might look like this:

specific day is

Exercise Power Clean Squat Bench Press Lat Pulldown Triceps Extension Biceps Curls

Sets 5 3 3 3 3 3

Reps 5 3 10 10 15 15

This training

unstructured. The National Strength and Conditioning Associate prescribe sets and repetitions for different training goals. To the develop power the recommendations are 35 repetitions, strength 1-6 reps, (I personally break this into two types of strength; maximal 1-3, general strength 3-6) hypertrophy 6-12 reps, muscular endurance > 15 reps. So with that in mind, which of those goals would the above training day be accomplishing? Unstructured workouts like the above are very common in a high school weight room. Now, the caveat is that when you have someone brand new to weightlifting, like a scrawny freshman. Anything will get them stronger for a short while because of neural adaptation. This is how coaches get in trouble and personal trainers make money.

Coaches will see their kids getting stronger and think its a good program. But, they will quickly plateau and soon accomplish nothing with this program. Personal trainers benefit from this because they can do almost anything with a new client and see almost immediate results. So, what would a properly designed training day look like for developing strength? Something like the following makes more sense. Can you tell what the training goal is here?

Exercise Squat Bench Press Stiff-legged Deadlift Bent Row Weighted Triceps Dips

Sets 3 3 3 2 2

Reps 3 6 3 5 6

Now this

is a very basic and cookie cutter training session to get a point across. There is much more that goes into developing a proper training session. Getting into great detail is not the point of this initial article. Instead, I am merely getting you to start to think about your training program in detail and what you can do to improve it. So lets recapped what we learned from our first two fatal flaws. First, to develop power an athlete must be both forceful (strong) and be able to produce large velocity. Secondly, it makes no sense to attempt to develop power before an athlete can produce at least moderate amounts of force. Third, your freshman and sophomore athletes will benefit much more by just focusing on getting them as strong as possible. Fourth, break up your yearly routine into individual periods with specific goals (hypertrophy,

strength, power (if theyre capable). Lastly, make sure each training session during that time period addresses that specific goal. I will be addressing the final three fatal flaws in the coming weeks. In the mean time take a look at what your athletes are doing in the weight room and ask yourself if it is following any of my proposed guidelines. You can learn more about me and some of my philosophies by visiting my blog and reading my about the author page.


Thanks for reading and feel free to ask questions. I look forward to hearing from you and I hope I can help as much as possible.


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