Unfortunately, most school weight rooms remain about 20 years behind current training trends. Many of them take similar approaches, but if you were to watch professional athletes their training looks totally different. There are many different aspects of this to dive into. Today, though, I want to discuss one of the core issues that has to change if school weight room training is going to improve.
The Obsession with Specific Lifts Has to Stop
The sport I played, football, is particularly guilty of this. Every football player knows the exercises they are likely to do every week; bench press, back squat, clean, deadlift. These are not bad exercises, but there is no rule stating football players or other athletes must do them. The problem arises when strength coaches have athletes do them just because they think their players are supposed to. They lack a “why” behind using these lifts. As coaches we should program with a goal in mind and ONLY put in the exercises needed to get there.
Here’s an example. There are a million ways to train a football player to be more explosive. The clean is not the only option. It is so technical that without great instruction athletes usually miss the desired effect. An athlete could become more explosive by throwing the shot put too, but the time it would take to teach them the technique isn’t worth it. The same is often true of the clean.
The Best Approach
The approach I take when working with athletes is finding the exercises that help them get the specific benefits I am looking for. If an athlete and I want to work on strengthening their hamstrings, but they have trouble using their hamstrings on a deadlift we simply swap out the lifts or adjust it so they do feel it correctly. There is always another option for how to target a muscle or goal. As an athlete try not to get too focused on using the perfect exercises or equipment. Instead hone in on what gets the best results.
If you want to make sure you are your son or daughter is getting the most out of their training send me a text! (865)448-5115