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8/13/2004 - Del

In regards to high school athletes, what criteria should an athlete meet before using bands and chains?

Before we even get into chains and bands with high school athletes, I believe they should be at least to do the following before they even lift weights;

50 push-ups with proper form (no A-Frame or saggy ass)

10 strict pull-ups

100 sit-ups

25 parallel dips

Be able to hold various bridging positions for at least 30 seconds.

Have some kind of running base with emphasis on conditioning and HOW to run properly. I'm sorry but if you are 12 or 13 years old and can't run a 7:00 minute mile than something is wrong.

For females, the numbers would obviously be different, but the same principles would apply.

In my opinion, kids should participate in as many sport as possible. The age of specialization has killed our athletes. Even in the Soviet Union, the athletes, no matter what sport became their specialty, participated in tons of different sports. And still did as part of their GPP when they became more specialized.

Now let's take my wife's training. She recently gave birth (6 weeks ago) and her training consists of the following;

Emphasis on relative strength (bodyweight):

Bodyweight squats
Push ups
Back raises

Form work (3 days/week) on squat, bench and deadlift. These are done for multiple sets (up to 7-10 sets) of 10 reps and small increases are made only if the form is perfect. Keep in mind that she has little (very little) experience lifting weights.

Once she reaches the following lifts will her program become more involved;

Bench Press - 95x10
Full Squat - 95x10
Deadlift - 135x10

All of these have to done with proper form and should not be an all out effort on her part. For the record, she does not powerlift nor has any aspirations to do so.

All coaches must keep in mind the following steps and should not progress until the criteria of each be met;

1. Physical Fitness
2. Technique and Form
3. Repetition Method
4. Max Effort Method
5. Dynamic Effort Method
6. Weak Point Training

So in answering your question; until the athletes are able to at least do bodyweight exercises that were listed prior and perform my wife's goals, then I would stay away from more complex means.

Off-topic: Why is it that my wife, who really has zero knowledge of weight training whatsoever, said to me during her pregnancy (about her training); "The first thing that I have to do is develop technique and muscle mass before I do anything advanced." Like a breath of fresh air...

Jim Wendler

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