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Old 29 April 2015, 16:08
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Originally Posted by DC View Post
Just a quick update almost a year later. First I want to thank all of you for the excellent guidance, much of the advice above has been almost prophetic after talking to some professional youth athletic trainers last summer.

His football season was a great success after spending the off season focusing on HIIT with some sprints and lighter weights thrown in. I realized he was too young to be lifting how we were plus he needed more time to grow into his body and get more flexibility/ balance/ stability.

He is now just shy of 6’3” and about 248 lbs as an 8th grader. He is not obese by any stretch. He is deadlifting over 350 lbs (trap bar for now) and benching 190 (not amazing but solid). Squats are not coming along as fast as he would like, he is struggling with a lot of discomfort in his knees and back when we rep “heavy” (> 185) so we are keeping the weight light (< 155 x 6). His form is fine, I think he just is going to have to stretch and work his stabilizing muscles more. I am considering incorporating light weight overhead squats.

One of the major lessons learned from this last year is that so much of an athlete’s performance is dictated by hip flexor strength/ flexibility. That was new to me and is now a big focus of our training sessions.

ETA: Any recommendations for a solid brand of pull up assist/ resistance bands? He wants to do pull ups but those are a long way off with his build.
I am a big guy, 6'5 250. I played football in HS and in college, but I have a heavier squat now than I did then. Back squat is around 435 and front squat is around 350. OH squat is around 250. I had to work for a long time on hip flexibility. You mentioned OH squats. I think that is what helped me the most. Well, olympic lifting in general. Really learning the full snatch movement, you have to get comfortable with your ass to the ground. They also help build explosive power. I would get him some oly lifting coaching.

Something else that really helps me is pause squats. I do them with back squats, front squats and OH squats.
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