Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Student-Athlete PR!

SAPT recently took Carson - a High School Lacrosse player (Junior) - through a 12-week cycle to get him as strong as possible for the upcoming season.

His results were nothing short of fantastic.  Below is a video of him hitting a 55 pound deadlift PR (personal record).  At the beginning of the cycle, he maxed out at 300lbs.

Carson also hit a 10lb Squat PR (3-rep max), and a 20lb Bench Press PR!  For those of you unaware, this is phenomenal improvement for a mere 12 weeks of training, especially considering Carson has already been lifting for a few years now.  Not to mention, over the past training cycle he was also required to attend many brutal conditioning sessions (read: do lunges and pushups until you puke) with his lacrosse coach, so we had to be sure to account for this in programming for him. 

Carson is one of my favorite athletes to coach, as he always brings with him incredible focus and INTENSITY to each of his training sessions.  Heck, even when he performs face pulls and cradle walks (a warm-up drill) he has a facial expression on him that would kill a small child.

So it's no surprise that - when you combine expert programming from the coach and impeccable focus from the athlete - the results are going to be nothing short of superior.

Keep in mind: it's not like there's an absence of high school males across the country that can pick up 355lbs.  However, very few of them can pull a conventional deadlift with no rounding of the back.  Notice how tight (no rounding) Carson's back was, during every deadlift.  This is of paramount importance for safety of the athlete (especially in the deadlift), and for ingraining proper technique.

If you talk to any of our athletes they will tell you that we never let them move up in weight unless they are doing it perfectly.  Practice doesn't make perfect.  Practice makes permanent.  Our number one goal as strength and conditioning coaches is to keep our athletes free of injury.

Perfect reps mean that body is in proper alignment (this takes a while to get down), and that there is a decent feel of speed to the lift.  No grinding reps.  This is something that very few people (males, most notably) fail to grasp.  Grinding reps is a recipe for burning out the CNS; thus impeding strength gains and recovery time. 

Also, many athletes are surprised to find out that if they practice (with lighter weight) moving a load with perfect form, this will lead to far greater strength gains in the long run than just "barreling through" lifting sessions with no regard to form or technique. 

Congrats, Carson!


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