Thursday, April 28, 2011

High School Athletes

Why is it so hard to get High School aged athletes, specifically boys, to lift weights? In my gym, I've been lucky enough to be designated the "strength guy" by my co-workers. When someone comes in looking for a trainer to help them get stronger for sports, or for daily life, I tend to be the one who's schedule they look towards. I find this extremely flattering, and sort of revel in it. As a result, I have had several High School athletes under my tutelage, incidentally they have mostly been Lax kids; which is funny to me because it is one of the few sports I have NEVER played.

Sick spoon, brah. 

Regardless of having never played the sport, preparing a High School athlete for their season is not rocket science. Make them bigger, stronger and faster and you have succeed. Throw in some injury prevention and you're golden. Sounds like what every High School kid wants, right? 

If you guessed yes, you guessed wrong. Getting these high school boys to subscribe to the theory of doing compound lifts and NOT bicep curls was extremely difficult. The 15 year old girl I trained bought into it nearly immediately, but not the boys. They have such a hard time wrapping their heads around doing something that doesn't benefit the mirror muscles. Even when an exercise DOES benefit the mirror muscles, they want to do something else. Pushups? No way, can't we bench? 

I can bench. YOU can't bench. YOU can't even do 10 pushups. Pullups, forget about it. 

So, why is it so difficult to get High School aged boys to lift weights. I read the Cressey Performance blogs all the time, and they are constantly talking about the great results they are getting with their high school aged athletes, but the ones I see don't even want to be in the weight room. They saw off-season strength and conditioning as a completely secondary tool, something that fell way behind their interest in just playing more Lax. How do you really get a 17 year old boy to understand that sport specific skill will only take you so far? That being bigger and better than everyone on the freshman team is only going to last so long; when you make varsity, someone is going to hammer you. At some point, being 6' and 150 lbs is not going to work out for you any more. 

So whats the deal? I don't get it. When I was in high school, if a bigger, stronger older guy told me what to do to get bigger, stronger and get girls to make out with me, I would've done it! Without thinking twice. Deadlifts? Making out? Done and done. 

I wonder if they would do their lifts if Leryn Franco told them to?

Go lift something heavy. Do it for Leryn!

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