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
Skylar Diggins Attacks the Off-Season On and Off the Court
Views: 4,985,994
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,223,704
How to Perform the Euro Step With Iman Shumpert
Views: 83,880

Featured Videos

Elite Performance with Mike Boyle: Recover Faster With this Simple Technique Views: 11,358
John Wall Elbow-to-Elbow Shooting Drill Views: 187,524
Abby Wambach Power and Stability Workout Views: 300,640
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

Most Popular Videos

Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 846,993
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 704,420
Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling
Views: 1,170,687
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 880,747
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 19,660,170

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How You Can Olympic Lift With an Injury

Mobility issues and injury, specifically a wrist injury, can be a huge problem for an Olympic lifter, or any athlete that uses Olympic lifting in their...

Can You Survive This Insane 100-Rep Push-Up Challenge?

Kevin Love's In-Season Workout

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

The Best Lower-Body Landmine Exercises

Build a Strong Upper Body With These Landmine Exercises

Train Like a Pro: MLS Soccer Strength Program

Train Like a Pro: Corey Kluber Baseball Strength Workout

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

The 3-Minute Total Arm Pump

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

What Happens When You Do The Same Exercise Every Day?

Build Awesome Arms With This 15-Minute Workout

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

Paul Rabil's Powerful Rotational Strength Workout

Tobin Heath's Powerful Leg Workout

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

When Not to Try Unstable Hockey Training

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

Evan Longoria's Off-Season Strength and Resistance Workout

Train Like a Pro: James Harden's Basketball Maintenance Workout

Train Like a Pro: Damian Lillard's Basketball Core Workout

Get Faster With This Weightlifting Technique

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Train Like a Pro: Henrik Zetterberg's Hockey Strength Workout

3 Keys to In-Season Baseball Training

Prevent Volleyball Shoulder Injuries With These Exercises

4 Tips for Reducing Deadlift Back Pain

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Build Strong Legs with the Leg Press Lockdown Workout

Is It Too Soon for Olympic Lifts?

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

The Un-Liftable Inch Dumbbell: Can You Handle Its Challenge?

Save Your Shoulders With These Barbell Landmine Exercises

Get a Full-Body Workout With Just 2 Exercises

The 4 Best and Worst Cable Machine Exercises

Bicep Curl Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Get Faster to Pitch Harder

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Full-Body Workouts

Train Like a Pro: Peyton Manning's Core Workout

Not Making Bench Press Gains? Try These Strategies

4 Exercises From NFL Players to Build True Game Speed

Deadlift Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise