My niece recently contacted me to inquire about how to train for the upcoming track season. Her email brought back the glory days when I was a triple jumper in high school.
I had decent hops with a personal record of 46-10 and a top-five placement in the north state sections.
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What if I had employed a strength coach? What if I wasn’t injured? What if I had trained properly in the off-season? As of now, time travel isn’t possible. So having any sort of regrets doesn’t do much. The best I can do is help those who are preparing for the upcoming track season.
Before I get into that, I want to address the importance of playing more than one sport in high school.
In the 2016 NFL Draft, almost 90 percent of the draft picks played multiple sports in high school. So stop focusing on playing one sport year round. Your body doesn’t like it. The constant stress in the same plane of motion leads to injuries. My first piece of advice is to play other sports instead of trying to specialize in one.
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Track is an amazing sport because of its variety. It requires jumping, sprinting, running, throwing and hurdling. I’m going to provide a basic workout plan for a jumper and hurdler because their actions, muscles used and bio-energetics are similar.
I want to help you stay strong and healthy during the off-season by developing a progressive strength training program.
To optimize results, the following program should be performed on three non-consecutive days. Runners and jumpers should focus on single-leg movements (e.g., Lunges, Step-Ups, and Bulgarian Split Squats) due to the reliance on individual legs during their events.
In my opinion, there’s no need to do more than six reps. The risk of injury increases when form degrades on maximal lifts. I constantly stress to my athletes to save at least one rep in the tank. Why risk an injury for the glory of the ego?
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Here’s how to train for your upcoming track season.
- Dumbbell Step-Ups – 3 x 15 each leg
- Push-Ups to Dumbbell Rows – 3 x 12-15 each side
- Single-Arm Half Kneeling Landmine Press – 3 x 15 each arm
- Nordic Hamstring Curls 2 x 3 (lower slowly)
- Chin-Ups – 3 x max
- Dumbbell Lunges – 3 x 15 each leg
- Dumbbell Incline Press to Standing Cable Rows – 3 x 15 each side
- Single-Arm Military Press to Lateral Raises – 3 x 15 each arm
- Leg Curls to Single-Leg Push-Ups – 3 x 15 each leg
- Bodyweight Bulgarian Split Squat – 3 x 12 each leg
- Bench Press to Inverted Rows – 3 x 15 each arm
- Single-Arm Half-Kneeling Landmine Press – 3 x 15 each arm
- Plyo Push-Ups on Bench (push off and try to get to an upright position) – 3 x 8
- Nordic Hamstrings to Chin-Ups – 3 x 3 to Chin Ups MAX
Increase the weight from the previous week and aim for 12 reps per exercise. Also, add weights to the Bulgarians if you can to get 8-10 reps per leg. For the Push-Ups, if you can do 10 easy, add a resistance band or weight on your back. For the Nordics, if you weren’t too sore, add another set and perform 3-5 total reps.
Increase the weight so you can do 10 clean reps per exercise. For the Bulgarians, add weight to get 6-8 reps per leg, and add another set for Push-Ups and Nordics.
Increase the weight so you can do 8 clean reps, and one more set (4 total). Add a fourth set of Bulgarians, but do as many reps as possible without weight. For the Nordics, you should be doing 4 sets of 3-5 reps.
Go back to Week 1 and repeat the exercises for a total of 5 sets (i.e., 15, 12, 10, 8, 6.) Rest 90-120 seconds between sets.