Building muscle mass is something that is extremely difficult for athletes at any age. However, for high school kids who are active and have high metabolisms, it can be even tougher.
For our inaugural Ask An IMG Trainer blog, our Twitter followers agreed and voted that we track down info to help them progress when it comes to strength training.
In response, we took the time to sit down with Matt Wheaton, a Physical Conditioning Coach with our partners at IMG Academy. In our conversation with Wheaton, he gave us five great strength training tips that you need to know.
Here they are:
1. Catalog Your Workouts
“Catalog not only your reps and exercises, but write down how hard you are working out on a 1-10 scale as well. This allows you to make sure you are progressing in a safe manner, and also allows you to look back and say, ‘I was doing this exercise with this amount of reps or sets and I was at an 8 out of 10 that day’. Three or four weeks down the line when that same workout is now a four, that shows you are making a pretty significant jump. This will help you keep consistency and find the quality of strength you want.”
2. Stay Consistent
“Whatever you decide is the quality you want to focus on when you train, needs to stay consistent. When it comes to strength, everyone says there is no magic pill that will help you. They are absolutely right. You can’t do one day of bench press and expect your upper body strength to jump exceptionally, so sticking with the plan and cataloging your workouts to stay consistent is very important.”
3. Keep It Simple To Start
“The simplest is the best. We work a lot on the goblet squat here, which I think is the king of all exercises because you can use a variety of implements to increase resistance that are easily accessible. Whether it be a dumbbell, a kettlebell, a sand bag, a medicine ball, even a backpack. The goblet squat is one of the most basic squat forms, and is a great full body workout. Once you get that down, by all means throw in any barbell variety or wrinkle you want, as long as you maintain a high quality of movement with those new implements to ensure safety. This goes for many other exercises as well.
4. Implement Rest Between Reps
“I think one of the biggest misconceptions right now in strength training is that more reps is better. A lot of young athletes have this mindset where the more I do, the better that I am going to be. This is a great mindset from the standpoint of kids are much more active in looking for ways to prepare themselves for an upcoming season, but a lot of these young athletes misunderstand that your adaptation to this strength training comes when you rest. You need to understand that when you are strength training, you are breaking down muscle, and the only way you are getting stronger or bigger is if you allow your body to rest.”
5. Draw A Pyramid To Balance Out Your Strength And Cardio Training
“Draw a pyramid and make endurance training your biggest level. That is going to support all recovery. If you don’t have a good base within the aerobic system, you’re going to see any strength gains or speed adaptations drop off pretty quickly. Pick a day to have a specific aerobic day, and then come back the next day in the weight room and work on the phosphocreatine system. Allowing recovery from the aerobic work you did the day prior, while working your short-burst energy system. It’s a tough balancing game and you need to be conscious about what you are doing and what you are working towards.”
Keep your eyes peeled next month for another poll on our Twitter account. Cast your vote, and if you’re lucky your topic may be the subject of our next IMG Ask A Trainer blog!