Every strength coach wants to design the perfect strength and conditioning program for his or her athletes. Every personal trainer wants to design the perfect class for his or her specific client demographic. Sport specific coaches want to be able to run practice and training well so that their athletes get the most out of every hour spent on the field or court. Physiologically, there are many arguments as far as what is the “most appropriate” way to program for certain sports… Should some athletes be squating more? Who should be doing more plyometrics? What weak link training should be specifically targetted based on injury risk assessment of the sport? While these are all important questions, and just the tip of the stregnth and conditioning iceberg, there are perhaps other questions that coaches and strength coaches forget to ask, which are equally as important.
One of these important questions is “How efficient are you with the time you are with your client, athlete, or team?” There are many stregnth coaches out there that can get more work done with a team in 30 minutes than many coaches would get done in over an hour. If a workout or lifting session is 90 minutes long, but most of that time is spent waiting for a turn on the equipment, or just standing watching in general, some edits may need to be made within that prgram. Keeping athletes moving constantly during a workout is key to increasing their level of overall fitness. Whether you have them do supersets, travel between exercises in groups and spot each other, or just have an incredibly high paced workout where they lift hard straight through, any of these, plus more options, and a healthy combination of all of those things will help improve athletes’ physicality and team spirit as well.
Another thing to consider is the space and/or organization of a gym or weight room. Does the placement of the machines, racks, bands, sleds, etc. make sense? Can the room sustain a large number of people and have a good traffic flow without people getting in each other’s way and potentially risking injury? These questions should be asked when initially designing a weightroom, but also when programmign workouts for a team or group. For example, having a group of 5 or so people who all bench press around the same weight is a good idea. This group will likely play similar positions on the field, and can spot each other, and do synergistic exercises close by while awaiting their turn to bench or spot. There are many things to consider as a stregnth and conditioning coach, and efficient programming is of the utmost importance.
Use the video below to learn from Ron McKeefery, former Director of Strength and Conditioning at Eastern Michigan University, as he shares his programming from inside the Rogers Athletic Pendulum Strength Full Racks.
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