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Example Workout Feedback

Max Nelson, [14/06/2023 00:58]

I’d like some opinions and criticism on a workout I will be leading athletes through in a few weeks and this is the first one I have so far. 

Athlete shoulder/legs 

A1 Backward Sled 3x25yd D/B 

A2 Banded Pull aparts 3x25 xxxx

A3 Patrick Reverse Step up 3x15 3111

A4 Trap 3 ECC 3x8 5010

B1 ATG Split squat 3x8 3510

B2 Seated DB Shoulder ER 3x15 41x0

B3 VMO Squat 3x15 31x0

B4 DB Shoulder Press 3x12 32x0

C1 Nordics 3x5 5000

C2 Couch Stretch 3x30s

C3 Wall tib raise 3x15

This will be for 1on1, 1on2, 1on10, and 1on15-20… the larger groups are HS and Middle school. The smaller are basketball/football college. The gym has 2 prowler sleds, 6 squat racks, DBs/bands, med balls, and other stuff. I will have another workout as well.. thinking of doing push pull sled, seated gm, press/pull-ups or hangs, pigeon, elephant wall so far.. QLs too.


Ben Patrick, [14/06/2023 14:55]

Max for young athletes I’d take an approach of targets. I’d list what you want then to achieve. 

At a young age, intention will matter more than programming. Otherwise, you risk getting large groups very average at too many things… So, Max if you could wave a magic wand, what 5 abilities would you want your group to have by the end of the year?

Now make these goals known and center training around them. 5 is a random number but the point is to keep focus on GOALS, not sets/reps/programming. Make that super simple. 

I wouldn’t even stretch. I’d teach them a flexibility routine for their own time. I’d use the in-person time for coaching technique on the hard stuff. Making a program as quickly as I can…

1. Flat ground split squat 5 rep 5 sec pause (using ATG buddy) which you can coach on a large group, actually counting it out loud, etc.

2. Full squat bodyweight for reps

3. Eccentric Nordic control

4. 10 full pull ups

5. DB Shoulder pressing 25% BW per hand for reps

That would probably be my workout for them twice a week.

2 sleds may be useful but anything which limits action is your enemy. 2 might be an enemy with 20 athletes. But 20 athletes could all: Split squat with pauses on your count, Squat using the 6 squat racks, Nordic holding each other’s heels, Pull ups, DB Shoulder presses. I FEAR the team doing that twice a week for a year straight. But I don’t fear the team doing the program you wrote above - no offense!

Young athletes and groups need SIMPLE, and INTENT. There’s too much technique involved in the program you wrote. There won’t be enough actual adaptation. Save the other stuff as bonus they can do on their own time: stretching, rotators, etc.

Sled I would use only to SMOKE those who think they can’t split squat or squat. Everyone else split squat and squat. So all you need is wedges for the split squats and squats, and pads for the knees on Nordic eccentrics.

Max your overall instincts are really good. Now build a culture out of mastering those 5 exercises, and you have a better high school lifting system than anyone in America, in my opinion.

Let’s look at some alternate options too… But 20 athletes could all: Split squat with pauses on your count, Squat using the 6 squat racks, RDL using 6 squat racks, Pull ups, DB Shoulder presses. Depends on the age of the athletes. But you CAN achieve some incredible standards none of your competitors will, if you simplify the program enough

I will write this up more fully as next week’s article. Summary for now…

1. I would use the workouts only to master 5 or less exercises, whichever are THE ones I want to transform by the end of the year

2. I would only use the two sleds for athletes who think they can’t ATG split squat and ATG squat

People would fear not split squatting and squatting… Yet you’re changing their life by actively using the sled to handle their pains so they CAN split squat and squat! ❤️❤️ (Meaning the sled alternative would have to be SERIOUS work, probably about 400 yards of sledding)

3. I would make polished accessory toolboxes for their OWN TIME

This way you get results on EVERYONE, and the die-hards can also get jacked rotators and every other little detail they may desire.

Coach with a gun to your head for results. Coach like Michael Jordan played. The biggest difference between MJ and everyone else in basketball is he took genuine responsibility to win. Hence won 6 championships in 6 finals appearances. No one else actually took full responsibility.

The program I wrote above may not be perfect, but it’s taking full responsibility. And it is guaranteed to blow away the results of most sports teams. They will: skip full range, waste endless time not actually creating adaptation at too much random stuff (which leads to going nowhere), deviate from the lifts that are working, 100% of the time. Good luck 🫡

Quick thought after writing: Nordic and RDL could alternate if you have two sessions per week. Should press and incline dumbbell press could alternate if you have two sessions per week. I’d still only work pull up both sessions to force adaptation. Young athletes won’t work hard enough on rows for it to be worthwhile. Chins force HARD WORK and adaptation. I’d still split squat and squat both sessions. Patient mastery on those. They can recover and flourish on two of those sessions per week.

Session A

A. ATG split squat PAUSES (ALWAYS pauses for groups of youth so they can focus and master the form) 3 x 5 w/ 5 sec pauses

B. ATG squats (5 x 5 is simple and works well and allows low enough reps to coach hard eccentric control)

C. Nordic eccentric 3 x 5 

D1. Pull up 3 x failure (if can’t do a pull up, only ONE rep per set, lowering as slowly as you can)

D2. Standing ATG-style DB Shoulder Press 3 x 8, 4 seconds down every rep

Session B

A. ATG split squat PAUSES (ALWAYS pauses for groups of youth so they can focus and master the form) 3 x 5 w/ 5 sec pauses

B. ATG squats: 3 x 10 “light” session to keep working on the motion but without as much pressure - little mental break from the 5 x 5

C. RDL 2 x 20 - focus is on the stretch. These high reps give a change to learn the form without injuring the back. Can use dumbbells or barbell.

D1. Pull up 3 x failure (if can’t do a pull up, only ONE rep per set, lowering as slowly as you can)

D2. ATG-style Incline DB Press 3 x 8, 4 seconds down every rep

There’s the program I would use if a gun was to my head. Stretch routine and other accessories would be given as stuff they can do on their own time: Rotators, Calf raises, Tib raises. Don’t need to waste your 2 workouts with those. But you ALWAYS want to be coaching the other stuff in-person, every session.

Further notes…

My investments would be in this order:

1. Buddies so fleets of people can get amazing split squats and squats

2. Chains for squats

3. Full push up and dip stations

Because I’d build the culture around rotating the press if possible: Shoulder Press, Incline press, Dip. Thereby pressing strength from all angles. Full push ups require parallettes and dips even have dip stands you can get pretty affordably. 

Then I’d get a fleet of Nordic benches. That’s it.

I wouldn’t get too much because it would confuse the pride in what exercises you’re trying to master. 

Lower leg trifecta, Shoulder trifecta, L-Sit, Flexibility. I wouldn’t waste the team workouts on these but I’d make videos and give all the athletes the videos if they want to add them on their own time

Max next week I will do this as full article and video and put it in the app with the main workouts + bonus protocols.

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