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  • High school football training

    What are your thoughts on having having these kids doing any type of cleans? What kind of weight training programs do you recommend for beginners?

  • #2
    When you get into more complicated power movements (and olympic movements) it can be a bitch to teach a high school kid proper form and technique. My recommendation is to use compound movements in bodybuilding rep ranges and this will build muscle but without going down to powerlifting rep ranges that are arguably less safe. Squatting, benching, overhead pressing, rowing, deads, etc..

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    • #3
      High pulls are an easy to teach explosive movement so are box jumps.
      I'm no certified strength coach by any stretch but I've taught many people while coaching mma how to clean and perform other olympic lifts with acceptable technique.
      I would imagine that you would ideally start looking at your players weakness and address those in kind.
      you need to look at the middle schools that feed into your program and find a program or better yet strength training coach and implement in their training. Maybe look at some of the west side variations for athletes. My high school had a hell of a power lifting team that unfortunately I was too cool to be part of. One of my biggest regrets wad not joining the team lol

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      • #4
        What skip said.

        That is precisely what I have done with my young clients because teaching them to do a power clean is difficult as hell and they likely don't have the strength anyways. A lot of these kids have very little body awareness and won't pick up on the little cues during a movement. It can be a hard enough thing to teach these kids how to squat properly as well. So I use a lot of progressive movements to ultimately get under the bar some day.

        I cringe when I see other trainers take their young clients and tell them to simply pick up a bar and raise it to their shoulders and press overhead. It looks ugly and you can tell they probably haven't made something simple like a dumbbell press look clean ever before.

        I categorize lifts. I have a bunch I consider novice, intermediate, and advanced.

        If you are looking for a beginner movement that imitate a powerclean or clean and jerk that will allow these kids to progress to cleans with ease, I suggest a curl and press. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, curling with a little momentum to their shoulders palms facing each other, using a slight dip to bring the weight off their shoulders as they press overhead and then lower the Dumbbells back to the start slow and in control.

        True Nutrition Discount: SRC745
        *2006 USAPL Washington State Powerlifting Championships- 1st, 14-16 age-148lb class -2nd Men's Open 148lb class
        •2x WABDL Worlds Runner Up - Teens 16-17 165lb
        *Former WABDL Teen 16-17 165lb World Record Bench Holder (Washington state record) of 396.6lbs

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        • #5
          I used 5X5 with my son while he was in 8th grade. I think 5/3/1 is good also if they are older. He went to High school summer workouts this year, and he squatted 245 1rm, at 125 pound BW. I was pissed that they had him do a 1rm, I think they are really too young for that.

          I did not have him do deads, his workout was 5 x 5 squat, Incline bench, BB rows. Then he did Abs, pullups and curls.
          Last edited by -AJA14-; 08-23-2015, 01:38 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by -AJA14- View Post
            He went to High school summer workouts this year, and he squatted 245 1rm, at 125 pound BW. I was pissed that they had him do a 1rm, I think they are really too young for that.
            I don't have kids but I would be pissed if some amateur high school coach had my future kids maxing out.

            True Nutrition Discount: SRC745
            *2006 USAPL Washington State Powerlifting Championships- 1st, 14-16 age-148lb class -2nd Men's Open 148lb class
            •2x WABDL Worlds Runner Up - Teens 16-17 165lb
            *Former WABDL Teen 16-17 165lb World Record Bench Holder (Washington state record) of 396.6lbs

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            • #7
              I work with HS kids who are on the school pwl'n team....outside of the school that isnt allowed....main focus is on form..i have seen some of the worst form ever at HS powerlifting meets...once they learn proper techniques then we move on from there in there strenght programs..

              Down here the football teams do cleans in there off season weight training.....as for the sanctionwd meets its the big 3..bencb..squat and deads...my kid has excellemt teechnique ..he owns both the squat and dead record at his former HS..he plays college football now...

              My big issje is fhey are reauired to bench shirted...cauzes more harm.then good at fhere age imo

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Collabera View Post
                I don't have kids but I would be pissed if some amateur high school coach had my future kids maxing out.
                He was proud of it, which he should be. It is just lucky, I taught him good form before he hit high school.

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                • #9
                  I have worked with rugby teams in highs cool and first year college

                  even at first year college you can clearly see that the training process is fractured, disjointed and the kids don't seem to progress other than in bodyweight. which in puberty just reflects natural strength progression anyway...

                  these kids are in the prime of their lives - they should be prepared for this stage of their advancement of the athletic training cycle from earlier years.

                  there is no basic form of an established foundation, general physical training, for kids in school. There should be a general balance in primary grades and from there absed upon the childs choice he/she can specialize in high school with appropriate training plans.

                  tied into power-cleans it really comes down to the technical experience with a bar, foundation and sport.

                  Use a kettle-bell instead?

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                  • #10
                    I think it comes down to the individual athlete, the setting, and the equipment.

                    Some athletes are just more advanced than others and can take instruction better. However, even the best ones need certain attention given to them so group settings would be difficult to insure they are getting the guidance needed.

                    Lastly is the equipment. If there are 10 pound bumper plates available that are the same height as a 45 pound plate, and 25 pound technique bars, then you aren't talking more than 45 pounds of weight in total once the bar is set. Plus, they will never have to be moving the bar from such a low height that their lower back will be compromised.

                    I may get ridiculed for this, but I played a little college baseball and used to strength train and long toss every week and never threw a ball harder than 70 or so miles per hour and was an ok runner. I'm 26 now and don't work on improving arm strength, but I do play softball once a week and noticed I can throw a ball closer to 80 now and can run faster than I did in college. The part that I'll get ridiculed for is that I started Crossfit 7 months ago, and while we have done a lot of box jumps and other plyometrics, I'd say the biggest contributors are the amount of explosive olympic movements we've done. It makes me regret not training this way when I was younger and a stronger arm and quicker legs would have taken me a lot further in my baseball career.

                    I think the right athlete, young or not, can learn Olympic lifts but I think the focus should be on a technique and speed rather than strength. I still think the strength should be coming from things like Deadlifts, Squats, i.e. the meat and potatoes.

                    Maybe start with Front Squats to see how stable they can keep their lower back and if they look really strong, then consider Power Cleans.... I wouldn't have them jump into Squat Cleans until they look strong on both Power Cleans and Front Squats. I'd even say the progression should be Front Squats -> Hang Power Cleans -> Power Cleans -> Squat Cleans. I would also consider Overhead Presses from the Front Squat Rack position to insure an athlete has the flexibility to even get into the right position to perform a jerk.

                    High Pulls were an awesome suggestion and could be a good precursor to eventually training an athlete on how to do Snatches. But I'd consider very light Overhead Squats first, then see how they look on Hang Snatches, then Power Snatches, then Squat Snatches.

                    For a high school athlete, I'd say a year of experience progressing through these movements still wouldn't qualify them to even approach 80-90% of one rep maxes on olympic lifts. So I don't want it to sound like these are fast progressions by any means.

                    Now, with all that said... unless you know how to perform these very technical movements well yourself; you are strong at instructing others how to do them; you have the correct equipment; and also have the time to devote to each athlete you're working with; then I would ignore everything I said and stick with a regular strength routine with some body weight plyometrics mixed in like Box Jumps, Jump Ropes, and maybe some medicine ball or kettle-bell work for upper body movements.

                    Sorry I mentioned crossfit on a bodybuilding/powerlifting board.
                    Last edited by mhschiefs97; 09-23-2015, 10:51 PM.
                    "If people were 1/10th as worried about the rest of their meals as they were about the post workout shake, there would be a hell of a lot more people looking like bodybuilders. "
                    -Trop

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                    • #11
                      Second what Scott said. Ive had the opportunity to worked with decent amount of HS and College athletes and taught clean form to them with out issue most of the time. However that being said form needs to be the focal point, taught properly and nailed before even worrying about weight, ie I will start most with a broom stick (to get the athlete used to going through the progressions of the lift while holding something similar to a bar) and progress from there.

                      You'd be surprised how many athletes even at the collegiate level have terrible form, its almost painful to watch them train, unfortunately there are many unqualified or uninformed "strength coaches" teaching them form. All to often the emphasis is placed on the amount of weight being moved instead of the mechanics and basics of all lifts not just cleans.

                      I was fortunate enough to have a good strength program and coach coming up, once I nailed my form I was able to own the record board from HS to College.

                      As far as the best program to implement IMO would differ and have to be individualized based off sport, position played, strengths and weaknesses...

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