Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Building & Rebuilding the Young Athlete

Ryan "PB&J" Pierson is working his tail off. We've had just just over 6 months of training, averaging 2 workouts a week, with several weeks off in the summer due to wisdom teeth extraction and AAU tournaments (drive me crazy). He has leaned out to 6' 10" and 238 lbs, from 247, as a 16 year old high school junior. He is still learning to train, developing base strength, mobility and body awareness, training vocabulary and gaining confidence back after his LE surgery (avulsion fx)and post-surgical pulmonary embolism in the summer of 2007. His knee no longer swells during basketball games, as it did last winter.

His training plan has included a steady diet of squats (bw, back, front), lunges, lunge n reach, step ups, presses, push presses, incline presses, db snatches, body weight rows, and basic bilateral and unilateral landing and jumping mechanics. We are creating strength and learning how to express it.

I don't normally like to post specific workouts, but this is what he did this afternoon.

Warm Up

Jump rope (dl, sl, alt), MB squat/press/lunge series, 20 push ups
Leg swings, hurdle mobility, mt climbers/groiners, knee hugs, high kicks
BW Squat Series (20 bw squats, 10 fwd lunges R/L, 5 lat lunges R/L, 5 sq jumps) x 4 with 20, 30 and 45 seconds in between sets.

Main Strength

Front Squat: bar/5 95/5 115/5 135/5 155/5 x 4
(Best Back Squat set is currently 225/5)

Push Press (behind neck): 75/5 95/5 115/3 125/3 135/3 140/3 (pr) 145/3 (pr)


Step ups w/ 20# weighted vest: 8 R/L (fwd/lat) followed by vest off and 6 Alt Jumps R/L x 3
DB Row: 30#/12 x 3
Curl & Press: 30#/6 x 3

We will do some testing next week and transition into more footwork, agility/first step/running mechanics, and combo strength/jumping stuff. We will also move to a new facility where we can do more rotational MB work and really get into more transverse plane movements. By the end of next year, he will be one of the most mobile, athletic big men around. And he likes to play defense.

P.S. If anyone has a pair of size 17 weightlifting shoes you aren't using, I'd be happy to take them off your hands.


Anonymous said...

Tracy and Ryan, Big applause for both of you. Tracy has been meticulous in her training and Ryan works very seriously. I have been fortunate to see the transformation. If every athlete could be so lucky to have this kind of supplemental training! Great job coach!

The Iron Maven said...

Thanks, Dan. This wouldn't be possible without your help, facility and equipment at CF DP.


Dan Hubbard, M.Ed., CSCS. said...

I know this is a snapshot of his training, but just out of curiosity, why did you choose the behind the neck push press (as opposed to in front of head push press)? How is his shoulder mobility? Again, just curious.

Great work both of you.

The Iron Maven said...


Ryan's shoulder mobility is very good--normal, not excessive. He can front squat and he can press (in front) but his comfort with the bar in front is such that is more effective to have him push press behind the neck. I feel this is a key movement for him to learn lower body power production and gain upper body strength/stability at the same time.

He has really never bench pressed or done excessive pulldowns/pullups, so there are no issues with his shoulder/spine mobility. In the weightlifting world, behind the neck work (jerk and snatch grip) are staples. And most people can PP and PJ more BN than they can in front. But it does require normal shoulder mobility, something many young men in the weight room do not have.

We do push ups and incline work occasionally, but right now, we do not do any DB or BB bench pressing. We are strictly doing standing pressing work at this time.