The best program for athletes is one that will address weak points while maintaining strengths in their sport.
Joe Defranco's Westside for Skinny Bastards template is the best form to capture everything you need. It customizes the exercises so that you can choose the best one that will carry over to your sport while developing general strength. Specificity makes you a better athlete. General strength will help becoming a better all around monster.
Now Joe provides the template, but without knowing your sport it's difficult to know what exercise is "best" for your off season program.
Let's start off with the typical team sports
Each of these sports has a few things in common that can be improved by developing lower body power and upper body strength. We'll call this "Armor Plate the Upper, Athlete the Lower". WS4SB is perfect for this development - We'll go through each day and pick the best exercises to develop these qualities.
Monday - Max Effort Upper
A. Max Effort Exercise - find a heavy 3 to 5 reps
Joe lists quite a few variations, but lets stick with 3-4 that we'll cycle through each off season.
- Incline Bench
- Pull Ups
- Standing Press
Because variation is great, however, too much variation is counterproductive for a young athlete.
every 4 weeks we'll switch this lift, this gives us time to recover as well as keep things fresh as the program continues
Big Tip: Take at least 3 sets of 3-5 reps on this exercise, you need this volume to develop strength and not just tax your nervous system.
B. Supplemental exercise - 2 sets of max reps
Whatever press you choose in the first exercise, change the angle of this supplemental one.
If you choose Incline Bench for A, go with a flat bench or vertical press for B. This allows you to change the angle and get more volume.
C1 & C2 - Horizontal Pull/Rear Delt Superset
Stick with dumbbell and cable variations for these exercises. Bands are great, but don't allow for objective progression in weight.
Sets and Reps - 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
The progression for sets and reps should look something like:
Start with 3 sets and aim for a difficult set of 10 reps
Maintain the same weight and progress weight when you can do 12 reps
Add a set if you are feeling good or are on the lower end (8-9 reps)
D - Traps
Again, great options, but stick with Dumbbells for a little variation as well as more grip activity. the first part of the workout got your hands on a barbell, so lets give each hand some work individually
Sets and Reps - 3 -4 sets of 12-15 reps
Traps can withstand a ton of volume, so really push these
E - Biceps
Switch between Hammer Curls and Zottman Curls throughout cycles. These will hit your Brachialis muscle hard enough that both give your arms size as well as protect your elbow when you are out on the field.
Sets and Reps - 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
That's it for Day 1 - you should be prepped and ready to go with your list of exercises!
I'll go further into selection and variations for Day 2 in a future post. Subscribe for more!