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Over the years I have coached a lot of athletes in their pursuit of strength. Typically this list has included the stereotypical football, wrestling, powerlifting, strongman and throwing athletes. In recent years I am finding my strength training universe has expanded in all kinds of directions. The word has gotten out…strength is an asset in every sport and functional strength is an even bigger asset for the demands of daily living.
This winter I have been working with my two daughters and a few of their long distance running cross country friends. These are girls that are 13-17 years old that log 15-25 miles of running a week. Both of my daughters, ages 13 and 15, have been training with me for a number of years, but the other girls had little to no strength training background. Rather than spending several training sessions trying to learn proper form, I had them jump right in. A learn as we go type approach. I put together a simple program of lunges, box jumps and light snatches or overhead squats as a warm up. This is followed by 5x5 or 5x3 Olympic Cleans that are completed to the full front squat position. We then transition into 8x2 high bar speed squats followed by 5x5 bench press and other assistance. A program set up purposely to be simple. It took a couple weeks but the girls learned quickly and after 7 weeks everyone has near perfect form. We have seen tremendous gains these past couple of months. Strength training is strength training as far as I am concerned. No real need to get to fancy in application. The irony is that I use almost the same program for the college wrestlers I have been helping this winter, I just don’t tell them they are lifting like the girls.
My training is progressing nicely. With just 3 weeks to go until the Arnold, and a possible trip to Australia to follow in April, it’s time to kick it in gear. Jackals Gym will again be well represented at the Arnold with 5 of us competing out of our small gym in Marshall, MN. I am looking forward to seeing everyone in a couple of weeks.
Train smart, stay healthy, set your goals high, and make sure to add GNC Pro Performance HMB to your supplement list.