Misc. questions

Shoulder injuries have kept me off my football team for a couple of months now, so I’ve been on the track and I’m catching the track bug again. I’ve been doing a little bit of weight room stuff for the past few weeks, like Bench and Deadlift twice a week.
This is obviously not enough if I’m looking to improve overall speed and especially my accelleration .

What other lifts are best for speed and starts? I’m not good with the weightlifting lingo, so please spell out suggestions.

I’d like to do powerclean and snatch but I’m not sure the motions are good for my shoulders right now.

How much should I be deadlifting? I was a 210-220lb clean max in HS and I reckon I’m pretty close to that now.

Weights before or after plyos? Should I decrease the amount of plyos I do on heavy lifting days?

Maybe this is a purely cosmetic question, but how do I make my chest bigger? My shoulders are enormous but I’ve got nothing in the front and it looks silly.
I do pushups every other day but that doesn’t seem to do much.

Are curls important at all in speed/accel. development?

Any guidlines on squat workouts? Pretty please?

Thanks thanks thanks

Oh, and I’m 5’8, 155lbs, though I’d like to lose about 3 or 4 more (and drop my body fat % by, ohhhhhhh, about…8 points.)

Plyos are more important then lifting heavy so don’t reduce the volume to accomidate for weightlifting.

To make your chest bigger (hypertrophy), lots of dumbell and barbell bench pressing in the 8-12 rep range. Make sure you can pop out another 2-3 on each set but if you did you’d fail on the last rep. That’s how heavy it should be.

Curls have nothing to do with anything except for bicep hypertrophy and strength which can be achieved through many other much more efficient exerciess.

Focus on full cleans, snatches, powercleans, overhead squats, front squats, back squats, box squats, deadlifts, good mornings (with proper form), step ups, and medicine ball work for explosiveness.

I’m guessing you don’t know how to put together a proper routine so it’d help people replying if we knew what your regular schedule looked like (with sets,reps,exercises,ammount of rest between each set, what you did during football, what you did outside football with plyos, etc) as well as how you injured your shoulder.

Doctor said I was born with bilateral instability and it’s worsened from the constant pounding from football (I play running back, occasionally cornerback, and lots of special teams). Both shoulders are straining against the weak ligaments and whatnot holding them in place and trying to pop out.
I’m going to physical therapy twice a week, strengthing the muscles around there to take the strain off of that area.

Basically, it hurts to get hit and during certain motions. I’m being extra careful about them, but I’ll probably start doing cleans in the next few weeks.

I hit the track every day. Here’s a sample

Track - 6x flying 30m (about 45m run up for each)
Plyos - lots of bounds, standing jumps over high hurdles, single leg hops over low hurdles, depth drops from various heights. There’s very little rhyme or reason to any of this, I just go.
Bench - 10x110lbs, 5x140lbs, 4x150lbs, 3x160lbs, 2x170lbs, 1x180lbs (2 minutes or less between reps - yes, I’m weak in bench. 200ish max)
Deadlift - 5x5x240 (20-40s between each?)

Weds looks similar, only with increasing weight on the bench and maybe running 10x hill sprints (2minute rest between each) instead of track work.

I disagree. My advice would be to drop plyos entirely from your workouts. Sprinting itself is plyometric and the OLs have a plyometric component if done correctly. Traditional resistance training will allow you to more accurately quantify progress. Additionally volume and intensity can be more easily controlled to avoid overtraining (and to minimise risk of injury).

Bench, deadlift and pull ups aren’t bad selections (just be careful with DL volume)

what kind of resistance training are you thinking of, david?

And what sort of medicine ball work, renegade?

Is hypertrophy in my chest going to have any effect, positive or negative, on sprinting?

I tried to clean and my shoulder wouldn’t let me…any good substitute for it?

I’m trying to lose a lot of body fat right now. Should I focus more on that via more tempo work, or is it fine to both build muscle and lose weight at the same time? (not weight per se, I guess)…I’m asking if I need to get really fit before I focus on getting really fast, explosive, and strong.

I’m certainly not in terrible shape right now…13-15% body fat according to my scale, but I definitely want to be in the 5-8% range.

Ever since I introduced deadlifts into my workout, I’ve felt very very fast. It’s almost unreal how powerful I feel after only a few weeks of hitting the weights again.

I guess we’ll agree to disagree then :wink:

As much as I think weightlifting is great, he wants to increase his speed and acceleration. Plyometrics would really help with the explosive componants of varying stimulus for his sprinting and with his shoulder injury I think it’s best he rests his joints for as long as possible instead of jumping right into heavy lifting. Maybe some light assisstance work via olympic lifts but nothing to purely build strength.

As well, yes, sprinting is plyometric however its very linear. If you want to quantify progress it should be for what he is trying to build up: his starts and speed, not how much he can lift.

333 - your post really makes no sense

Sprinting = horizontal plane

Plyometrics = vertical and horizontal plane

Weightlifting = aggrivated injury risk for his shoulder and with a reoccuring injury like the one he has, light assistance work is great and so is calesthenics but he shouldn’t be moving into traditional style weight training …yet! Light olympic lifts with a lot of work on OH squats, front squats, cleans, etc are great. A lot of med ball work too.

He wants to build speed and decrease his starting times…that’s going to come from sprinting itself + explosive strength. IMO I’ve played football myself and I know how shoulder injuries can come back to haunt you (I’ve seen it first hand with a lot of guys that were on my team). It’s better to completely rest the shoulder and let it heal then try to get back into lifting weights really quickly. If he wants to do pushups, fine. If he wants to do handstand pushups against a wall, fine. If he wants to do pullups, fine. My opinion is to wait a little while longer. Why risk something that could really mess you up later in life? There’s other ways to target it and right now I think the load traditional style bench and military presses, etc provide is just too much for the shoulder joints. Upper body work = med ball, jerks, OH squats, pushups, pullups, etc.

you want to rest the shoulders but still gonna do jerks - dont make sense.

Ok, I’ll humour you…

  1. Sprinting has a vertical component! (Not that the ‘plane’ of action is at all relevent!)

  2. Why are are explosive push ups and throws any safer than bench press??!

  3. ‘Explosive strength’ is product of force and velocity. So improve velocity with sprinting and improve force with weight training

  4. If you re read my post you’ll see I actually didn’t advocate Olympic lifts.

“Plyometrics would really help with the explosive componants (sic) of varying stimulus for his sprinting”

“sprinting is plyometric however its very linear”

What do this statements mean?

Ultimately, my arguement is that resistance training is a better mode of training for a young / intermediate athlete than plyometrics. You really haven’t made any good arguements to the contrary.


I realize sprinting has a vertical componant however that is not changing the stimulus.

When children jump off playgrounds and trees, play tag, hopscotch etc…what do you think that is? It’s all a form of agility and plyometric work whether they realize it or not. I’m not saying young athletes shouldn’t weightlift…if it wasn’t for being at a boarding school and not having time to enter comeptitions I would of had a national U18 record when I was 13 years old. I’m saying for the individual who asked the question, in his particular situation, weightlifting should be something secondary to sprinting and not a test of progress. He should not be training for strength or anything similar, he should be getting his muscles used to the loads that he will have to accomidate once the area FULLY HEALS. Olympic lifts are fine at low weights as they are full body movements, but single plane exercises such as bench pressing (at heavy weights to build strength and test progress) I’m not advocating. Bodyweight exercises as I said, like pushups, are fine because there is only a maximum load that can be lifted and they are not dangerous since they are natural movements …just like skipping and running and jumping, etc.

Cliffs Notes:

-Weightlifting is fine for young athletes
-Weightlifting heavy and in a manor that a healthy individual would lift, for this particular situation, is not.
-LIGHT weightlifting, however, with a lot of assistance lifts and olympic lifts at low weights IS alright for this individual.
-Sprinting has a vertical componant, but plyometrics are not the same type of stimulus otherwise they would be the same movement.
-Bodyweight exercises are fine because of the reduced load.

I’m playing it safe here David. He can weightlift if he wants too but the force and pressure of hits on the shoulder in football are enormous and it’ll only come back. You don’t build the top of a skyscraper with no base, do you?

I’m advocating jerks and similar olympic lift style exercises, again, at LOW weights and ONLY for assisstance purposes. The power for jerks is generated in the legs, if you feel your pushing the weight up your doing it wrong.

Sigh… we have a fundamental disagreement

You still stabilize with the upper body and that’s the issue to be addressed first.
With unstable shoulders, weight movements should be controlled and since this is basically a developmental athlete, the higher number of lifts entailed by separate exercises is no issue. OLs or other explosive upper body movements should only go in after the shoulders are stabilized.
Simply resting the shoulders and hoping the problem will go away is not an option either.

First, sincere thanks to all of you. I appreciate it a great deal.

I definitely can’t do cleans, snatches, jerks, etc. right now, at any weight. I tried a low-weight clean last week and it hurt like hell. I do plan on making OLs a big part of my program once my shoulders heal, but I’m not going to rush it. My physical therapist said basically the same thing Charlie did.

Bench has been absolutely no problem. There’s no strain on the affected areas at all, and I’m in fact benching better than before.

I’m not a beginner in track or anything…I was around 11.2 in HS.
I’d like to believe with a CF-style track program (as opposed to my HS coach’s refusal to have us run anything shorter than 300m all-out in practice…seriously), and a dedication to the weight room, I could take that down to the 10.9 range. I’ll probably re-join the football late this season or early next.

with your problem i would drop all overhead stuff, and use lots of db movements:

db bench
db incline
all kinds of db raises
and lots of rear delt stuff
rot cuff work/prehab (ytwl on swiss ball etc)

if you must do ol’s i would just do clean or snatch pull.

What is ytwl?

Why do you feel you need to do those lifts with your bad shoulders? What about exploring other options that would have a similar training effect and won’t add additional stress to your shoulders

You lie prone (face down) on a stability ball, activate the scapular muscleclature then proceed in forming the letter with your entire body.

According to the post below yours he can’t do oly lifts anyways (I thought he might be able to since he’s doing bench, but again I was thinking like 90lbs or so, just enough to get the heart pumping and his body working) - so that’s out the window anyways.

What would you suggest for rehabilitation then? I can see maybe db bench presses but trying to repair the shoulder with barbell bench pressing just sounds like it’s going to cause trouble. Also, I wasn’t recommending purely resting the shoulder I think it’s important it is exercised. I was thinking perhaps calesthenic work for the upper body as it’s harder to injure yourself from natural movements.