High School Football

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duly noted
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High School Football

Post by duly noted » Tue May 13, 2008 5:14 pm

My son is 15 and wants to bulk up for fall football (American). He wants to be stronger and also quick. He is about 140 lbs and seems to be a hardgainer... or maybe he's just young! He has started lifting free weights in the garage and is visibly becoming more defined, but has not gained any weight. Any suggestions?


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Post by pdellorto » Tue May 13, 2008 7:22 pm

Eat more and squat more!

More seriously, what's his routine? He's a young lifter looking to gain mass and strength and power. The Starting Strength routine (check the basic routines sticky) is aimed directly at him. I know Mark Rippetoe recommends doing that, with power cleans not rows, and working up to a gallon of milk a day, for young trainers.

If not that, the Westside for Skinny Bastards 3 routine, also in that sticky, is aimed at athletes as well...mixed max-effort and dynamic effort lower body work (squatting, deadlifting, and lots of jumping) and max-effort and repeated-effort upper body work (benching, weighted chinups, etc.)...WS4SB3 uses lots of unilateral work, too, so you do squats but also split squats and lunges.
Finally there is Bill Starr's routine, which is aimed at football players. The Starting Strength routine is similar, probably because Bill Starr is one of the guys who trained Mark Rippetoe.

If possible you might want to find him a trainer, someone with experience training young athletes and a record of success doing so. I come from northern NJ, and we've got both a Parisi Speed School (in Fairlawn NJ) and DeFranco's Training (in Wyckoff NJ) for high school football training. Where you live, is there something similar? If not there, you can always find a Crossfit affiliate...any certified Crossfit trainer will have gone to Lon Kilgore and Mark Rippetoe's barbell cert so they'll know how to coach the squat, deadlift, bench press, standing press, and power clean. Might be worth it. I fixed my DL form by going to a Crossfit trainer.

I don't know much about football, but I read a lot about training athletes ever since I became one a few years ago. Most of the advice is aimed at the "Yo, I need to get huge and strong for football, what do I do?" crowd, so even though I dislike football I know lots about training for the combine. Heh.

Peter

(Editing later - the one thing I mentioned not in the stickies is Parisi: http://www.parisischool.com/trainerfind ... index.html
...hope that helps)
Last edited by pdellorto on Wed May 14, 2008 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by brook011 » Tue May 13, 2008 7:32 pm

Eat. I wish I had this problem. Exact opposite.

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Stephen Johnson
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Re: High School Football

Post by Stephen Johnson » Tue May 13, 2008 8:54 pm

duly noted wrote:My son is 15 and wants to bulk up for fall football (American). He wants to be stronger and also quick. He is about 140 lbs and seems to be a hardgainer... or maybe he's just young! He has started lifting free weights in the garage and is visibly becoming more defined, but has not gained any weight. Any suggestions?
Spend more time teaching your son football-specific skills than just lifting weights. If he gets the skills down, then strength training will enable him to use his skills more effectively. In particular, work with your son to up his speed in the 40 yard dash. The snatch grip deadlift is one of the best exercises for improving 40 yard dash speed:

http://www.sportsspecifictraining.com/t ... 0004.shtml
Exercise #1 - Snatch Grip Deadlifts
If I had to choose only one strength training exercise to improve a player's 40-yard dash time, I would pick snatch grip deadlifts because they work the entire posterior chain (lower back and hamstrings). Snatch grip deadlifts are a bit different than your traditional deadlift in that they recruit more of the hamstrings due to the angle of the trunk and a wider grip.

Results: improve start, increase maximum speed

Description: Starting position - feet are shoulder width apart. Grip is wider than your traditional grip. Elbows are turned out. Shoulder blades are retracted. Knees over the bar. Chest and shoulders over the bar. Lower back is arched. Initiate lift with hamstrings and lower back. Maintain lower back arch throughout. Keep bar path straight
.

Good luck.

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Post by MrWonderful » Tue May 13, 2008 11:46 pm

I agree with Stephen, continue weight training but also place a strong focus on football related skills (catching, throwing, tackling, etc., agility drills, and speed training. Getting a good plyometric program and a drag sled or parachute would be good ideas. Also, it's quite possible that your son has not hit his growth spurt yet. Some of my friends still had their 8th grade bodies until they were juniors and seniors in high school.


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Post by Manofsteel319 » Wed May 14, 2008 8:46 am

Duly noted your son should be happy he has a father who wants to help him. I think thats a great thing and your a better person in my eyes for that. First I agree with the people on here football is a game of balance and quick decision making on your feet also he needs to know technique. If he's getting chisseled from lifting maybe he needs to eat more? I know as a kid being 140 at 15 isnt bad i was 5'7 135. I started lifting then too. If he's a great football player which I'm not doubting I would have him start hitting his legs hard the posterior chain. When I was a kid that age I started lifting and never ever ever hit my legs. He will increase explosiveness hitting people and power driving them to the ground and or breaking a tackle. What position does he play I would assume wr rb maybe linebacker at that age? Ok I wrote too much as it is. Just make sure you stick with routines and track his progress so you know where he's gaining. Good luck.

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Post by duly noted » Wed May 14, 2008 2:48 pm

Thanks everyone! Great advice (as always... I might add...) I will discuss each of these with him...

I especially like the emphasis on legs... He needs that explosiveness!

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Post by hoosegow » Wed May 14, 2008 9:56 pm

Just to add a couple of things. I can't agree more for adding shear mass than to incorporate squats and deads. I would suggest, for explosive power, to focus on the Olympic lifts. They are all about explosive power. I would buy him Christian Thibadeau's (sp?) book the Black Book of Training Secrets.
https://www.t-nation.com/onlineStore.jsp
I wish I had this book several years ago as it breaks down a lot of the science to where even I can understand it. It has a section on offseason football routines geared towards young men his age. It also teaches and breaks down a lot of the O lifts and what to look for. If you can find him a good O lifting coach, even better. They are easier to find in some parts of the country than others.

Everyone talks about eating. Since he is relatively small, any additional weight gain needs to be muscle. Fat will slow him down. Kids these days eat like crap. You need to make sure he is eating enough of the right calories. Don't have him eat 4 Monster meals at the local burger puke. He will probably have to eat until he is sick of eating all the time to get enough good calories in him. Go to the calorie requirement estimator on this website. http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/CalRequire.html Then break his meals up for at least five meals a day with a macro nutrient of 40% Carbs, 30 % Protein and 30% good fats (from nuts, fish oil, avacados, etc.). Break his week up into where he eats 500 calories above his caloric need for five days and goes 500 calories below his calroic need for two days. The split should be something like +500 for 3 days, - 500 for 1 day, +500 for 2. and -500 for one. This will put on mass and keep his fat build up to a minimum. His diet may be the toughest thing to adjust to. For regular foods, a good rule of thumb is don't eat what you can't kill or grow and you can't grow bread or processed rice.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Wed May 14, 2008 11:14 pm

hoosegow wrote:Just to add a couple of things. I can't agree more for adding shear mass than to incorporate squats and deads. I would suggest, for explosive power, to focus on the Olympic lifts.
While the full Olympic lifts are without peer for developing power, they are too complicated to be used as an adjunct to a sports training program. The power clean is a good compromise - relatively easy to learn and execute, but develops power well. The power clean is one of Bill Starr's "big three" exercises (the others being the squat and the bench press), and is widely used in football conditioning.

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Post by pdellorto » Thu May 15, 2008 4:14 am

To add to what Stephen said, Joe DeFranco has his athletes do lots of jumping instead of O-lifts. Instead of spending time teaching them the O-lifts they learn to lift heavy (squats, deadlifts, bench press) and then jump a lot - especially high box jumps. You need a lot of power to jump high, and training jumping also seems like a useful compromise.

I'm doing that now...my O-lifting skills are very low, and my hip is too weak from surgery to explode properly...but I can jump. So I jump...and I've shown some strength and power improvements in the process.

Still if you've got a skilled O-lifting coach handy, what the heck...I'll still go with what I said earlier - find him a good trainer! If he makes pro as a result of good training now it'll pay for itself, and even if he never pursues sports past high school learning to lift hard and well with proper technique is a gift that keeps on giving.

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Post by TimD » Thu May 15, 2008 9:35 am

I'll third that comment about the O lifts being too technical for what's required for power. Any jumping will work well, and throw in some power cleans and push presses/jerks and you'll have the power factor covered.
Tim

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Post by Manofsteel319 » Thu May 15, 2008 9:39 am

In my opinion lifting is great for football. So is aggresiveness and explosiveness along with brains. Don't aim to truck everyone when a side step avoiding a hit could allow you to break a long run. I think your son should also work on lateral movement left to right although every coach will say north south north south!! I think that means run forward haha. Stiff arms are great thats triceps and chest thats if your running the ball. I'd say defenders laying into someone really get the explosiveness that comes with actually lifting like completely laying out coiling up then springing into the ball carrier whit hips legs calves and just destroying someone. HAHA What position or positions does he play?

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Post by duly noted » Fri May 16, 2008 1:15 pm

He plays fullback and safety...

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Post by Manofsteel319 » Fri May 16, 2008 2:06 pm

Ohhh yea.... those are impact positions. I know that he will get a lot of contact as the fullback blocking for the back also as safety he'll be leveling anyone that comes over the middle for a pass or in run support a very strong safety with great hitting and tackleing ability will make running backs weary. What type of offense does the team run? That determines what he does and the fullback if its run oriented then a lot of blocking. blocking is a full body workout. Coming into contact with a linebacker or a safety he would want to coil up and blast the defensive player in the chest and try to just toss him on his butt. thats explosiveness. Sorry I ramble but I can't wait for the football season to begin!! If he has heart and trys his hardest all the time he will just own those other kids even kids bigger than him. Awesome.

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Post by duly noted » Fri May 16, 2008 4:28 pm

He definitely likes to hit! I'm not sure about the offense. I want to say "I" with him down in front of the halfback. He did a lot of lead blocking last year...


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