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Train To Gain: Anabolic Adolescents

Training for high school football success.

Q: I’m 40 years old and have worked out with weights off and on for the past 20 years. I have two sons who are 10 and 14 years old. The oldest is big for his age, 6′ and 165 pounds. He starts high school in a year and wants to go out for the football team. How should I have him weight train so he’s prepared?

A: I have six grown children, and three of them are boys who all played football. One of my sons, Matthew, was exactly the same size as your boy on his 15th birthday. He played his first year as a safety, but by his junior year he was 6’3′ and weighed 250 pounds and played right tackle. He also played defensive tackle whenever the opposition’s offense got within his team’s 20-yard line.

If your son weight trains properly, he’s going to do a lot of growing the next four or five years. Matthew got a full scholarship to a 1A university and started his junior and senior years as an offensive right tackle. By then he was 6’4 1/2′ and weighed 290.

Here’s how I trained him during his high school career. The following workouts will not only make your son much bigger, stronger and faster, but they’ll also go a long way toward preventing injury.

Three months before the start of football practice have him train his entire body three times a week with the following routine:

Steep situps 2 x 20
Squats 3 x 10
Leg curls 3 x 10
Calf raises 4 x 15
Bench presses 3 x 10, 8, 6
Deadlifts 3 x 10, 8, 6
Bent-over rows 3 x 8
Standing barbell presses 3 x 10, 8, 6
Dumbbell upright rows 3 x 12, 10, 8
Barbell curls 3 x 8
Triceps presses 3 x 10

Don’t let him do all the sets at first. Have him do one set at the first two workouts and two sets at the following three workouts. Starting with the sixth workout, let him do all the sets as outlined.

After six weeks on this program have him start integrating running into his workout schedule. Have him run on a football field’sprints only. He should run three lengths of the field, 300 yards, but in 30-yard full-out sprints. He should warm up and stretch first. When your boy gets into his high school football practices, he’ll be very glad he did some running.

Once the season starts, have him continue working out with weights but only twice a week. High schools play their games on Friday nights or Saturdays. He should do a heavy weight workout on Sunday and a moderate weight workout on Wednesday.

If you do the things I’ve outlined and don’t let your boy screw around, he’ll not only become an excellent football player, but he might just save you thousands of dollars in college expenses as well. IM

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