Complete Full-Year Workout Program for High School and Collegiate Throwers

January 17, 2013 | John M. Cissik

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If you want to become a better thrower, you need to train to be explosive. Why? Throwers must be able to exert tremendous force in as little time as possible to propel the shot.

Below is a complete workout for throwers that will make you stronger and more powerful. There are three phases—off-season, pre-season and in-season—and two versions—one for high school athletes and one for college athletes, both of which are designed to challenge you at your stage of development and which take your schedule into account.

Off-Season

The off-season generally runs through fall. It's the perfect time to develop a fitness and exercise technique base, and to begin increasing strength and power. With that in mind, high school throwers will train three times a week, one day focused on strength and power, and two on increasing muscle mass. Collegiate athletes have the benefit of training for an additional day.

High School Off-Season Thrower Workout

Day One

Day Two

  • Rest

Day Three

Day Four

Collegiate Off-Season Thrower Workout

Day One

  • Hang Clean - 3x3-6 at 60-70% (above knees)
  • Back Squats - 3x8-12 at 80-85%
  • Romanian Deadlifts - 3x8-12
  • Bench Press - 3x8-12 at 80-85%
  • Barbell Bent-Over Rows - 3x8-12
  • Standing Military Press - 3x8-12

Day Two

  • Rest

Day Three

  • Hang Snatch - 3x3-6 (above knees)
  • Front Squats - 3x4-8 at 70-80%
  • Lunges - 3x8-12 each leg
  • Pistol Squats - 3xMax
  • Goodmornings - 3x12-15
  • DB Back Raises - 3x15-20
  • Calf Raises - 3x15-20

Day Four

  • Push Jerk - 3x3-6 at 50-60% of Power Clean
  • Incline Press - 3x8-12
  • Superset: Dips - 3xMax + Push-Ups - 3xMax
  • Pull-Ups - 3xMax
  • Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows - 3x8-12 each arm
  • 3-in-1 Shoulders - 3x15-20 each exercise
  • Superset: Bicep Curls - 3x12-15 + Tricep Extensions - 3x12-15

Pre-Season

The pre-season runs from around November into January. This is the time to focus on increasing strength and power. For the high school athlete, one training session is devoted to maximal strength, one to power and one to both. For the collegiate athlete, two days are devoted to strength and two to power. The college athlete begins to see advanced training tools like wave loading and split lifts for specificity.

High School Pre-Season Thrower Workout

Day One

  • Back Squats - 3x4-8 at 80-90%
  • Romanian Deadlifts - 3x4-8
  • Bench Press - 3x4-8 at 80-90%
  • Barbell Bent-Over Rows - 3x4-8
  • Standing Military Press - 3x4-8

Day Two

  • Hang Clean - 3x3-6 at 50-60% (at knees)
  • Push Jerk - 3x3-6 at 50-60%
  • Hang Clean Pulls - 3x3-6 at 60-70% (below knees)

Day Three

  • Dumbbell Hang Clean - 3x3-6 (above knees)
  • Hang Snatch Pull 3x3-6 at 60-70% of Power Clean (above knees)
  • Front Squats - 3x4-8 at 70-80%
  • Goodmornings - 3x4-8
  • Incline Press - 3x4-8
  • Pull-Ups - 3xMax

Collegiate Pre-Season Thrower Workout

Day One

  • Back Squats - 1x4-8 at 80%, 1x2-6 at 85%, 1x1-4 at 90%; 1x4-8 at 82.5%, 1x2-6 at 87.5%, 1x1-2 at 92.5%
  • Goodmornings - 3x4-8
  • Bench Press - 1x4-8 at 80%, 1x2-6 at 85%, 1x1-4 at 90%; 1x4-8 at 82.5%, 1x2-6 at 87.5%, 1x1-2 at 92.5%
  • Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows - 3x4-8 each arm
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 3x4-8

Day Two

  • Hang Clean - 3x2-4 at 60-70% (below knees)
  • Clean Pulls - 3x3-6 at 70-80%
  • Push Jerk - 3x3-6 at 60-70% of Power Clean

Day Three

  • Rest

Day Four

  • Front Squats - 3x2-6 at 80-90%
  • Deadlifts - 3x2-6 (from knees)
  • Incline Press - 3x2-6
  • Barbell Bent-Over Rows - 3x2-6
  • Seated Military Press - 3x2-6

Day Five

  • Hang Snatch - 3x3-6 at 60-70% (at knees)
  • Split Hang Clean - 3x2-4 at 50-60% of Power Clean each leg (above knees)
  • Dumbbell Hang Clean - 3x3-6 (above knees)

In-Season

In-season begins in January and lasts until the last outdoor meet is over. Due to the demands of travel and competition, throwers have less time to train, so the focus is on getting as much bang out of training as possible. Lifts are done from the floor, they are heavy, and in the case of college throwers, they involve complexes and specific movements like Pause Squats and split lifts.

High School In-Season Thrower Workout

Day One

  • Power Clean and Push Jerk - 3x3-4 at 70-80%
  • Clean Pulls - 3x2-6 at 80-90%
  • Back Squats - 3x2-6 at 80-90%
  • Bench Press - 3x2-6 at 80-90%
  • Pull-Ups - 3xMax

Day Two

  • Dumbbell Hang Clean - 3x2-6 (at knees)
  • Hang Snatch Pulls - 3x2-6 at 70-80% of Power Clean (at knees)
  • Front Squats - 3x2-6 at 80-90%
  • Incline Press - 3x2-6
  • Dumbbell Rows - 3x2-6

Collegiate In-Season Thrower Workout

Day One

  • Clean-Grip Deadlift + Power Clean + Push Jerk - 3x3 at 60-70% each
  • Pause Squats 3x2-6 at 80-90% + Squat Jumps - 3x10
  • Single-Leg RDL - 3x8-12 each leg
  • Pause Bench Press - 3x2-6 at 80-90 + Med Ball Chest Pass - 3x10

Day Two

  • Snatch Pulls 3x4 at 60-70% + Power Snatch - 3x3 at 60-70%
  • Split Hang Clean - 3x3 at 70-80% of Power Clean (at knees) + Split Squats - 3x3-6 each leg
  • Dumbbell RDL - 3x4-8 + Dumbbell Hang Cleans - 3x 3-6 each leg
  • Barbell Bent-Over Rows - 3x4-8 + Med Ball Behind Back Toss, 3x10

Photo: kitsapsun.com

John Cissik
- John M. Cissik is the president of Human Performance Services, LLC, which helps athletes solve their strength and conditioning problems. He has worked with athletes...
John Cissik
- John M. Cissik is the president of Human Performance Services, LLC, which helps athletes solve their strength and conditioning problems. He has worked with athletes...
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