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Many mistakes can be made with an off-season training program, including exercise type and technique. But one of the most common mistakes is failing to use proper rep schemes.
At Ultimate Advantage, we have athletes who are making real gains. A high school sophomore recently added 90 pounds to his Deadlift, 45 pounds to his Bench and 65 pounds to his Squat—all in only eight weeks. (Learn how to fix your Bench.) He also gained 25 pounds of body weight and has made serious speed improvements. Here's how he did it.
Your first exercise should be a very heavy barbell movement. Limit your reps to three, and always finish with a one-rep max attempt. That's it. Don't lower the weight and do reps following the max attempt.
Rotate your first movement every two weeks. For example, switch your Bench Press from flat to an incline.
Choose a barbell pressing movement such as the RS Press. Do a moderate rep range of between eight and 12, and use heavy weight.
If you are working your upper body, choose a lat rowing movement such as the Seated Single-Arm Row. If you are working your lower body, choose a hamstring movement such as the Seated Hamstring Curl. Do these for 4 sets of eight to 12 reps.
Finish with two more movements that hit the back and shoulders. If you are working your lower body, do hamstrings, hips and plyos. All these should be done for 15-20 reps.
That is the template to get bull strong and build muscle. Never mind all the other stuff. Focus on your strength and you will start making serious gains on the field.