his=gh school weight program

my high school team starts practice on monday, march 3. it is a 12 week season - with the big meets on saturday of the 10th and 12th week. our first competition isn’t until april 5 so we have five weeks to really get after it in the weightroom and then we hope to maintain our strength and power throughout the competitive season. here is our weights program for our sprinter/hurdler/jumper group that has weight experience for the first 4 weeks. this group has been training since november and they are familiar with all of the lifts listed in this set-up. please take a look and give me some pointers. in the past i have had the strength coach write the workouts - but that has led to problems (one hand not knowing what the other hand is doing).

max v (100-200m)
hang cleans 5x3 @ 75-85%
a2g squats 3x6-10 (these are especially for the girls - hoping for a little hgh boost)
rev extensions 3x6
press 3x6
pull 2x8
decline abs
med ball throws
dynamic flexibility

dumbell/ab circuit (press and row alternated with abs - no rest)
general strength circuit
hurdle mobility

tech runs @ 90%
intensive tempo
step-ups or split squat 5x3
single leg dead lift 4x3
ghr 3x6
decline abs
dynamic flexibility

extensive tempo pool workout (water therapy recovery)
general strength circuits
hurdle mobility

accel (100m-300m)
bsq 4x5 @ 75-85%
ghr 3x6
rev. extensions 3x6
decline abs
dynamic flexibility
med ball throws

other pertinent info …

  1. it will be about 30-40 degrees outside all month
  2. all acc/max v sessions will be conducted on a runway surface placed on a gym floor
  3. our weight room is really nice
  4. did i mention that the weather sucks!

It’s a shame that you and the strength coach couldn’t get along.

You have a 300m gym? Must be nice. I have a 70m hallway with stone floors


I’d take that! There isn’t even a track within 70km of our school. There is a spongy uneven field, and some 40m hallways.

ok … can i get some help here? when a coach puts his plan out there he is opening himself up to all the critics. all i ask is for some constructive critiques. thanks.

Why is dynamic flexibility toward the end of the workouts? Is it also in the warmup?
You might be able to add more sets of cleans as well as include them in some form on friday.

your tue and thur is good, i would probably move the fri squats to monday and monday squats to friday. if you have the smaller bumper plates I would add some pc or cp into the program. i see no problems with using the throws and dym flex as a cooldown.

Agree, the relatively high volume of deep knee bends on Monday will likely yield soreness in the days to come which is why it would be more optimal to replace it with the higher intensity lesser volume workload that you have planned for Friday.

Also, be absolutely certain that the athlete’s can attain the full squat position with the following mechanics prior to intensifying the activity:

  • torso upright
  • heels in contact with the floor
  • flat lower back (no posterior tilt)
  • knees track toes/knees inline with toes as -valgus stress (knees buckling inward) is something to look for

I only stress this because when I coached at the high school level there were only a certain percentage of my athletes (girls or guys) that I permitted to full squat because they possessed sufficient mobility about the ankles, hips/back to safely perform the exercise.

I’m also inclined to suggest that you include hurdle mobility every day along with power speed drills (if they aren’t already).

What if you had an athlete who had several ankle surgeries and just cant keep the heels on the ground.

agree on the a2g squats. this winter we did them as a warm-up (2x6 @ 40%) for parallel back squats and then they had a recovery day and an off day to rest up. i think i will pair them with back squats on friday.

james: i hear what you are saying about squat form. the athletes that are using this plan have good technique. but what should i do with kids that cannot squat properly? what should replace squats? lunges? step-ups?

we do have dynamic flexibility in the warm-up as well.

cleans on mondays and fridays? ok. i suppose we could get more quality cleans if we did some both days.

last year we used hurdle mobility after high intensity days only. i am now thinking about mobility everyday this year.

thanks so much for your help. i really appreciate it!

I say to do more cleans simply due to the fact that the weather is horrible and your sprinting is constrained. Later on when the weather breaks, you can reduce the cleans again and increase the sprinting focus.

also … i was thinking about moving the upper body lifting to tuesday/ thursday because of time constraints. that shouldn’t be a problem early in the season? what do you think?

mortac: point taken on the cleans

In that case I would either place something small under the heel (e.g. 1kg plate) that would compensate for the lack of ankle mobility if I felt the deep knee bend position was strongly warranted in the form of a squat.


Simple have the athlete squat to the most mechanically efficient position and if I felt deep knee bends were still required I would include them via a different exercise such as a split squat or lunge.

Regarding problems with squatting I think we need to look at whether an anatomical peculiarity is the cause of the problem or a lack of mobility.

Most often, in my experience, it’s the latter and this is resolved via any number of mobility exercises, stretching, soft tissue work, etc.

Remember, for the non-weightlifter/non-powerlifter, all these exercises are the means to the end, not an end in an of themselves. Consequently, none of them are that important as there is always alternatives.

If you reference the motor unit chart that Charlie has included in the forum review and Vancouver slides you will notice that there is certainly more than one alternative to register a certain degree of motor unit activation and with respect to the much more simple task of muscle activation the list of alternatives grows immensely.

Something that Charlie has said that I really live by is ‘if it looks right it flies right’.

1/2 squat, parallel squat, full squat, front squat, supported squat, hack squat, leg press, reverse leg press, split squat, lunge, step up, etc who cares. Get the muscles strong however you want and keep them sprinting and you may be surprised by how little the non-specific stimulus matters in ‘shape’ but rather that it simply exists.