Updated: Jul 6, 2019
When putting together a program for a particular athlete a lot of thought and preparation must be put in to it. Training variables such as the sport an athlete plays, the position, prior injuries, training age, goals of the athlete, what time it is in the sports season, etc. all are factored in to writing out a program for every athlete I train. Writing out programs for athletes though goes even further than that.
The number of reps , sets, amount of recovery, etc. involve a high amount of individualization and certain lifts and muscle groups respond best to a certain amount of reps and sets. So what I do when I write out custom programs for my athletes is I periodize them. Periodization of a program is a critical part of writing out a program for any athlete. Periodization basically refers to planned changes in a program so that one does not plateau. These changes involve different phases or cycles for different parts of the sport season and involve changes in workout volume, intensity, types of exercises, rep tempo, and rest intervals.
When I write out a program for an athlete every aspect of the workout is taken into consideration and carefully monitored, tracked, and progressively changed for long term success. The ability to know the precise volume, intensity, type of exercises, etc. to have in a program for each individual athlete, how much recovery to allow, and how to change those training variables thru the different training phases is critical for long term success and to prevent over training. This is exactly what I do when I write out programs for my athletes and why they have had long term success working with me.
Increase maximal strength and power
Maximal strength and power are a big part of many sports so increases in them are a major emphasis in many programs I write out. I help my athletes bring about maximal strength and power gains thru a variety of methods that emphasis the right rep bracket, intensity zone, type of exercises, sets, and load. Perhaps the biggest part of gaining maximal strength and power is the training and conditioning of the nervous system. Many of my clients and athletes know me as a stickler for strict form and technique and part of gaining strength, explosion, and power is learning the correct form and technique on all lifting movements so that the body recruits the right motor units into the movement in the right sequence.
I see many high school football strength training programs that have kids using complex, high coordination, advanced Olympic and power lifting movements without teaching the athlete the correct form and technique on those lifts. Not only will this not allow the athlete to recruit and use the right motor units in the movement and therefore not translate over to the field of play but more importantly it will get the athlete injured by lifting with wrong form and technique or by creating a muscle imbalance by using the wrong muscles in the wrong way in the lift.
Time lost to injury can be devastating and cost an athlete their sports career. This is why I work consistently in every single workout on training my athletes in correct form and technique. Only when an athlete is able to perform a lift with strict form and technique will I start to push them to handle maximal lifting loads. The gains that I achieve with my athletes in maximal strength and power are achieved in a direct way that translates over to the field of play. These improvements will be noticed the next time the athlete steps out onto the field to compete.
Increase speed strength (starting strength, explosive strength, reactive strength)
The different types of speed strength are of major importance in almost every sport. Starting, stopping, accelerating, decelerating, throwing, and jumping are all examples of the different types of speed strength. Speed strength is important to have but it is of no worth if it can’t be used in a competitive sports atmosphere. If a strength or speed coach is using methods and techniques to improve an athlete’s speed strength that are not transferable over to that specific sport then the gains in speed strength are of little use.
My programs and methods to improve speed strength with athletes are designed to not help them perform certain drills or exercises better but to be a better on the field. I use many different methods and programs to improve speed strength that can include anything from olympic lifts to power lifting movements to plyometrics to general strength training weight lifting movements.
Sports nutrition guidance/counseling and help with correct nutrient intake and meal planning
The best workouts and programs in the world for an athlete are of little importance if the athlete is not following a proper nutrition program. I place a very high level of priority on nutrition and work hard to help all my athletes with all parts of their nutrition programs including types of food, amounts of certain nutrients, meal planning, and supplementation. I work on educating my athletes on all aspects of optimal sports nutrition and part of that education is getting a copy of my Eiden’s Principles nutrition guide.
My nutrition guide is detail specific and will provide the athlete with the information they need to get their sports nutrition program headed in the right direction. Following the athlete getting a copy of my nutrition guide and going over it I will then work with the athlete to customize their nutrition program. This will involve customizing the nutrition program to their goals, body type, food allergens, supplementation, etc. I have had many athletes train with me who once I worked with them and educated them on nutrition noticed significant changes in their body composition and in their performance.
Maximize your abilities and improve your game in your specific sport
Every athlete has different levels of improvement they can reach in their specific sport. One of my jobs as a strength coach in training my athletes is to help them reach the maximum of their abilities. I use a variety of methods to achieve this including not just using the right programs at the right times. Part of helping my athletes achieve their maximum levels of success in their sport is providing the right training environment.
I train my athletes out of a private gym that is clear of all the distractions of the big public gym’s or fitness centers yet with all the equipment and tools necessary to achieve their goals. Another part of maximizing my athletes abilities is the personalized, one on one, hands on workouts I provide for them. This personal touch allows me to be able to account for and monitor every single second of my athletes workouts, handle all the changes that make each and every workout unique, and provide the motivation and encouragement needed to push my athletes.
I once had a pro athlete who trained with me that previously trained briefly at a well known sports training facility that had him training in a group with 5 other athletes and at a hefty price tag. One of problems he had with that was the lack of attention to his specific workout and the lack of a truly customized program for him. Needless to say he didn’t train there very long.
Improve body composition (muscle to fat ratio) for optimal on field performance
What type of shape and condition and athlete is in can dramatically affect his or her performance in a positive or negative way depending on the condition of the athlete. If an athlete is fat, has a low amount of muscle, and is out of shape this will have severe negative effects on their performance in their sport.
If an athlete is in great shape with a low amount of body fat, optimal amount of strength, power, and muscle and is in great shape and condition this will have a very positive affect on their performance. The athlete who is in great shape and condition will have a definitive advantage over their competition and will be even more noticeable the later it gets in the game and sports season when the out of shape athlete is laboring.
When I train athletes a lot of the improvements they are looking for revolve around more strength, power, speed, endurance, etc. Improvements in body composition may be of lower importance to some athletes looking for better sports performance but it is of high importance in almost every sport and one of the things I focus on a lot in my programs. I achieve optimal levels of body fat and muscle with my athletes thru the right training programs, nutrition, and supplementation I implement into each athletes total program.
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