It’s a common scenario coaches and athletes are faced with each day in the gym.
How, and what do I eat to get bigger? And by bigger I’m talking building lean muscle and gettin’ JACKED!
Unfortunately, like everything else, too many guys are looking for the easy route.
They will never find it. This stuff is hard work. It separates the men from the boys.
Below is a conversation I had the other day with one of our dedicated high school athletes. He was your typical skinny high school athlete. In the last year of training with us he’s gained over 30lbs and has transformed his athletic ability (literally added over 5” to his vertical – how this is possible while gaining that much weight is another post entirely). I’ve had this conversation with him and all our athletes many times before - which may have added a little aggressiveness to my replies.
Read this actual conversation as it covered some frequent topics high school parents, coaches, and athletes are frequently faced with.
A couple months ago I called out the fellas to a 6-week Challenge. This challenge was going to test them physically but also mentally. We had time slots that allowed them to come in for 6 sessions per week if they wanted. Most of these guys were ex-athletes of all ages that wanted to recapture their “edge”. Others were fathers, students, and businessmen.
The challenge has been completed and I’m extremely proud of the MEN who stuck with it to the end. Sometimes life can get in the way but you MUST prioritize your health and not make any excuses when it comes to your training and nutrition. Not everyone saw the challenge through.
Jim Reitsma was not one of those guys. Before the challenge he was unhappy with his healthy and finally just said screw it and signed up. Jim trained 5 days per week and totally dedicated himself to making a change – including sacrificing plenty of family time which is not to be taken lightly! He truly inspired us all and for 46-years young, did things guys half his age couldn’t even do. Jim was the winner of the challenge and didn’t even realize that the reward was for $250 cash. I found this even better as he was doing it all for self-improvement. Watch and listen to his story.
Youth (4th-8th grade) training is a topic that is still unclear to a lot of people despite all the info out there. Here are some questions and comments I hear rather frequently:
“What’s the earliest age can he start training?”
“What do you do with kids that young in the gym?”
“He’s a pretty strong kid already, what can we do for his speed?” (Kid is 12 years old…)
“My son is in 8th grade and he’s been working out at the high school. He likes it, but can you help him with his lower back pain? His knees are starting to hurt too, probably just because he’s growing.”
“He’s never had any formal training before, will he be too far behind to begin?”
“He did some speed and agility training through his AAU organization last year but didn’t get much out of it. It was more like daycare and we didn’t see any results.”
I could go on, but these are some that jump out at me. Needless to say, youth athletes should be training and preparing. In fact, they MUST be doing SOMETHING to prepare their bodies for the physical trauma athletics bring. This will reduce the likelihood of injury, improve their performance, develop a strong work ethic, and build the foundation for their future athletic endeavors.
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” – Confucius
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.“- Colin Powell
“The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck.” – Tony Robbins
“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Search Google for quotes on preparation and you’ll find more than you’d ever need. There are plenty to go around. You’ve probably heard many of them yourself, especially the ones listed above. Some smart people are talking about the importance of preparation so it must be something we all must do, right?
For example, if an athlete isn’t prepared for the start of the season it looks bad – it’s a direct reflection of their LACK of preparation.
But let’s dig deeper into some scenarios I see far too often. We’ll use high school football as an example since we’re in the heart of football season, but this of course applies to any sport/athlete/age.
Hockey players are warriors – at least the ones that we have had the pleasure of working with. These guys shut up and get right to work every single day. They easily play over 100 games a year, which has engrained a “game-like” outlook towards their training. They’re always ready when it’s time to train.
For a prep hockey player, the goal is to make a junior team. These junior teams have various leagues with varying levels of competition. The right league can accelerate your hockey career and also set you up for a college education and college play.
We had two PSTS athletes drafted in the USHL Draft this past May.