Strength Training Principles for High School Athletes

High school athletes, I have a question for you–do you strength train? Plyometric train?

For countless high school athletes, regardless of sport, the answer is often “no.” Common reasons that I hear are “I don’t have time,” “I don’t have access to weights,” “I don’t know how to lift or how much to lift,” and finally, an excuse I hear from my runners is “I don’t want to get big and slow.” 

My goal today is to de-bunk those ever-common explanations for why high schoolers don’t make the time to strength and plyometric train, and more importantly why they SHOULD incorporate those aspects into their training regimine. Let’s get started.

Copy of Dryland Blog

Soccer Players:

I have been you, and I understand the busy training schedule. When you are not at the Dome or Tanglewood, you are likely working on your aerobic fitness or getting in repeated technical skills. 

How could you possibly add to your schedule?

What if I told you that adding two strength days would improve the velocity of your shot? That adding one plyo day would improve your athleticism to jump higher to win 50-50 air balls? The reason to do strength and plyometrics are similar to the reason to do technical ball skills– you want to be a better player. Strength and plyo workouts don’t have to take a ton of time, you could show up to soccer practice 30 minutes early and complete a quality strength/plyo session (stay tuned for a sample strength/plyo session). 

Baseball & Softball Players

 It’s difficult to be a baseball/ softball player in Alaska when there’s snow on the field 70% of the year. Thank goodness for the Dome, right? An added bonus to the Dome is that they have weights! Problem solved, right? If you don’t train at the Dome, you can still strength train effectively with a set of dumbbells (more on that later). No more need to worry about “weight accessibility”– fun fact, you can accomplish a lot with a little.

Track Runners

Have you ever heard the rumor that “if you lift weights you’ll instantly gain muscle mass and become slow?” I am here to debunk that myth. Weight training not only improves speed and power, but reduces the risk of injury. Bone responds to the load placed upon it; therefore, our bones are actually craving a heavier lifting session (good-bye bone stress injuries)! Resistance training is not only good for bone health, but tendon health as well. Any teenage male runners suffering from Osgood-Schlatter’s (patella tendon pain)? I’m talking to you. 

Outlined in the table below are important strength training principles to consider. With the limited time in a teenage-athletes day, its essential to train efficiently. For example, when building strength, you want to lift heavy enough to where you are TIRED by rep six. If you are not tired, INCREASE THE WEIGHT!

Strength Training Principles by Goal:

training principles

The goal would be to implement two strength days per week with one plyometric session. Talk to Morgan Lash PT, DPT here at Runners’ Edge Alaska about specific training plans for your goals and sport demands. Let’s get you to that next level! 


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