Q: As a veteran coach, what is one of the most frequently asked questions you get from other coaches looking to build a strength and conditioning program?
A: One of the biggest focuses is the off-season and weight room. People always ask me how do you build commitment among athletes in the off-season?
For us we have upwards of 60-70 athletes in the weight room at a time which is awesome! That has to come from a tradition and set of expectations set by the coach. Then it is carried about by the team.
Q: How do you see that off-season tradition growing year over year with the teams you work with?
A: The freshmen who first got their feet wet are now thinking about sophomore year.
The sophomores feel that they were growing and starting to see results. Now they look at the weight room as the place to develop into upperclassmen.
For juniors, the off-season is going to be one of their last chances to get better before senior year. It almost becomes a right of passage to start owning and leading the weight room.
Year over year, tradition and commitment are built as the athletes see results at different levels.
Q: What type of results do you think the kids are drawn to most?
A: For some, results are as simple as looking in the mirror. They look and can see that they are getting bigger or stronger. Others are just excited to see maybe some flab turn into muscle.
And then the numbers and graphs we use with PLT4M go a long way. They see improvement through ‘worksets’ week over week and know that what they are doing is having a big impact. A lot of times a traditional max day is a stressful time and not everyone improves as much as they want. I love using ‘worksets’ because it helps everyone see results.
Q: A lot of PLT4M programs use a ‘workset’ on the final set, but you do things a little differently with your programming that you like to use. How do you like to use the ‘workset’?
A: So I have the ‘worksets’ programmed on the three final sets. For example, after warming up we do a lot of 3-5-7 or 4-6-8 rep schemes. Each of those 3 main sets will allow them to check-in.
The whole idea is that the athlete’s max can only go up if they hit all the reps on all 3 sets. If at some point in the 3 sets the athlete cannot hit all the reps, they might go down by 5 pounds or stay the same for that week.
Because of worksets we are able to take the guess work out of what weights athletes should be doing.