What makes a Great athlete….Great?
I get questions often about programming for athletes. Either through Weightlifting, Powerlifting or Sports Performance. After I answer these questions A LOT of people look at me a little strange.
For the most part I tell them they need the basics, strength, power, hypertrophy, movement pattern, mobility, coordination in complexity. Then I tell them they need multiple workouts. I give them this breakdown.
- Athletes who are just starting off (no physical background): 2 days a week
- Athletes who have been in sport but don’t train: 3-4 days a week
- Athletes who have been in training but never sport: 3-4 days (they should up their sport practice not training).
- Athletes who have been in sport for 4 years and train for longer than 1 or 2 years: 7-8 workouts per week
Don’t get all wide eyed and say your kid isn’t training enough. That’s not what this means. This article is about what a Great athlete looks like. So don’t think that your 10 year old kid needs to be in the gym 8 times a week doing pointless movements when he/she can get this in regular physical activity such as playing with friends.
This article is for those who don’t understand why their “gains” have stopped. You only workout 3 days a week at 1.5 hours each session. So that means you are only putting your body through 4.5 hours of stress in 168 hours (7 days x 24 hours) Something doesn’t seem right there right?
I can guarantee any GREAT athlete, and I’m talking most collegiate level athletes and all professional athletes have at one point in their athletic career done multiple workouts in a week.
Here is the number 1 reason why great athletes need multiple workouts. Their bodies ADAPT to nearly everything. Any stimulus you have through a workout will eventually make your body adapt to it. Some athletes take longer than others but eventually everyone adapts to their appropriate load.
And lets face it the more time you spend on the field or in the weight room will make you better. You get more time reacting, lifting, and moving. Which will make you better.
Now here comes the other end of this…..If your multiple workouts are STUPID workouts doing pointless things the amount you improve will be very minimal. For example….If you bench press 7 times a week…Yes your bench press will go up…but it won’t go up as much as it could with proper planning and programming. You will also come up with this issue called overuse which leads to Tendentious. And nobody got time for that!
So if you are a coach reading this and you think that 1 workout a day for your Junior or Senior kids is enough to take you to the Next Level….I have other news for you.
A great athlete plans and prepares with the best coaches possible and attacks every situation with knowledge and guidance. They do multiple workouts in a week, all to reach their ultimate goal. Great athletes all have a great coach behind them.
And believe me when I’m talking about athletes it means every facet. Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Crossfit, Strongman, Sport, etc….