Weightlifting Guidelines Every Athlete Should Remember | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Weightlifting Guidelines Every Athlete Should Remember

May 24, 2012

Must See Strength Training Videos

So many different training methods exist that are specific to a given sport. Here's where I challenge the system: do things really need to be so complicated?

You're young, fit and athletic. Some well-structured weightlifting guidelines will go a long way toward kickstarting your career as an athlete. The problem is, some athletes and experts get too caught up in the madness of staying on top of trends and trying to be as innovative as possible.

As an athlete, I've been told to avoid certain movements in the weight room because they "didn't pertain" to my sport. The first time you hear that, it makes perfect sense. Performing an exercise that mirrors your sport is the best way to go, right? But if you dig deeper, you find holes in this argument.

Most young athletes—no, all young athletes—have muscle imbalances that need to be corrected. I'll be blunt—simply training to fix those imbalances will positively affect your athletic potential. When athletes learn how to use their bodies, and their bodies cooperate, the athletes immediately becomes better players on the field.

Nike Basketball Ad

This may look cool, but focus on the basics first!

That said, situations do arise when weightlifting is so important that it can make or break an athlete's career. Dramatic, but true. Take injuries for example. As a sprinter, I dealt with issues in both hamstrings. When I was on the mend from tearing my left hamstring, I was instructed against performing Hamstring Curls of any sort, since the butt-kicking action was considered the devil in sprinting mechanics. However, that mindset neglected the fact that Hamstring Curls are a great way to strengthen the muscle group. Like many young athletes, I had to worry about getting truly strong before trying to tailor my workouts to match those of world-class sprinters.

Specialized exercises are great, but at a young age, you should focus on general strength and conditioning. The time you spend actually practicing your sport is what makes you better at that sport. Weight room training is independently responsible for your strength, muscular development and injury prevention—regardless of what movements are chosen.

Focus on improving your performance with the primary barbell and dumbbell movements, like the Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press and Barbell Row. If you have weak links, make sure to give them special attention so your body can function as a strong and cohesive unit, even if the movement doesn't match a sports movement or skill. In the end, your athletic development and performance on the field will benefit from this approach.

Photo:  Nike Basketball

Lee Boyce
- Lee Boyce is a strength coach based in Toronto who works with strength, sports performance and conditioning clients. He contributes to many major magazines, including...
Lee Boyce
- Lee Boyce is a strength coach based in Toronto who works with strength, sports performance and conditioning clients. He contributes to many major magazines, including...
Must See
Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 2,276,651
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,528,318
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 32,304,585

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: Duke University Views: 217,694
Eastbay: It Begins Now Views: 70,986
Path to the Pros 2015: Training Days Views: 118,412
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

10 Ways to Get Stronger With a Sandbag

Every athlete has probably heard their coach use the term sandbagging it; referring to somebody taking it easy and not pushing themselves as hard as...

3 Simple Strategies for a Better Workout

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Exercise

These 3 Single-Leg Movements Will Improve Your Squat Technique

7 Strategies for Faster Workout Recovery

Develop Core Strength for Throwing

Never Bench Press With Your Feet in This Position

Improve Soccer Agility with Lateral Strength Exercises

3 Nordic Hamstring Curl Exercises to Boost Your Performance

Master the Lateral Lunge to Improve Your Hockey Stride

A Better Way to Train Your Core

12 Strength Moves from NFL WR Harry Douglas's Full-Body Workout

Mike Boyle's 5 Tips for More Effective Workouts

7-Exercise Core-Blasting Workout

How Functional Training Has Overly Complicated Strength Training

Build Max Power With These Pulling Exercises

Dominate Your Bench Test With This Strategy

4 Simple Golf Core Exercises to Increase Your Driving Distance

How to Design a Greco-Roman Wrestling Training Program

Increase Your Explosiveness with the Power Curl

5 Ways to Get a Higher Vertical Jump

3 Tricks for a Stronger Front Squat

Mike Boyle: 4 Small Muscles That Can Lead to Big Gains

How Strength Training Changed Rory McIlroy's Game

7 Best Lower-Body Strengthening Exercises

3 Post-Activation Potentiation Combos for Explosive Strength

Posterior Chain Fixes to Improve Your Game

4 Deadlift Variations to Increase Your Pull

7 Farmer's Walk Variations for Improved Core Strength

5 Exercises to Develop Soccer Power

Perfect Your Squat Technique With the Unloaded Squat

Reach New Training Heights With Resistance Band Exercises

Use Eccentric Lifts to Increase Size and Strength

6 Gym Machines That Are Actually Worth Your Time

12-Week Resistance Band and Chain Workout

The Best Single-Leg Exercises for Youth Athletes

How Often Should You Vary Your Exercise?

4 Weaknesses That Can Ruin Your Exercise Technique (With Fixes)

Improve Your Squat Depth With 5 Easy Warm-Up Exercises

7 Ways to Work Out Competitively Without CrossFit

Putting Together an Off-Season Workout for Point Guards

The Science of Building Muscle: 2 Ways to Maximize Hypertrophy

How to Improve Shoulder Strength and Flexibility

How NOT to Perform a Pull-Up (With Fixes)

Bench Press Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise