2023 Summer strength training results are in for stage 1 and 2 athletes. I am very excited about these athletes and their progress.
Starting, the athletes had a great attitude and worked hard every time we trained. They were curious and asked why we were using a training method, I encourage it. To me, this helps with their buy-in, not just going through the motions. To help, I also explain why and how it translated to the sport movement.
The calendar was set up to weight train 4 days a week, I scheduled it so that in the event an athlete needed to miss a session they could still get in 3 days. The program was divided into two blocks and I used an undulating periodization method.
We test several areas:
Broad Jump: 0% increase
By no means are we happy about this, however, based on the national averages, they all scored above average to excellent.
Vertical Jump: 11.4 %
We are making progress on the vertical jump. They are scoring at or above average for 17U ruby athletes and above average for 20U men’s soccer
On the surface, these numbers may not seem as good as the last few cycles but consider training age. All these athletes range from 12-17 years old when they started and their training age was ZERO. Meaning they had never lifted weights before I started training them.
To help understand how the body works…
In simple terms, when these athletes started they did to know how to lift weights, we had to start with basic non-weighted body movement to access movement patterns, then they progresses to basic movement patterns with kettlebells, dumbbells then eventually a barbell. During this process, the body makes dramatic changes in the nervous system (NS), telling the muscle fibers to fire. The more that fire the stronger you get quickly, after a while the system is ramped up and the progress is not as fast.
The other aspect is, some of these athletes are changing hormonally. Pre-pubescent athletes get stronger primarily from the neurological aspect of training, were as older athletes that have progressed through the initial NS phase tend to change at a different rate depending on the individual. This is different for female athletes.
Hang Power Clean: 2.32%
Back Squat: 20%
Overall, I am very pleased with their progress. Every athlete from 13-18 years old, squatted 200 lbs. or more, and three of them squatted over 200% of their body weight. I recall some of them, only a year and a half ago, had a difficult time goblet squatting 30 lbs.
Coach Robbins- CSCS