This post will cover our training methods we perform with our bantam and midget aged athletes. A lot of parents become worrisome when their child begins to lift at this age, they fear stunting of growth, injury, etc. At Institute 3E we utilize age-specific training, these are points in an athlete's life where they'll be most responsive to different forms of training.
When your son/daugher lifts with us, the programs and movements they perform are made to create a strong foundation (progressive to their skill level) and to aid them for more elite lifting as they get older.
There is a term in the strength and conditioning world called, Accumulation of Training Years–an essential piece to an athlete's continuous success. What this means is an athlete that has multiple years training and working on their skill will be better and more prepared than those who don't. This is why learning fundamentals and building a base of strength is so important for this age of athlete–with higher level play and college approaching you don't want to be left behind by the more experienced.
The aspects of training we focus on with the bantam and midget aged athlete are...
Speed (reaction time)
As an athlete gets older it will be harder for them to keep up with an elite level player who's had years of experience in the gym. For example, if you're planning on playing juniors and you've never truly back squatted before–you're going to get passed up by someone who's squatted the past couple of years. While they're adding weight and getting stronger...you're working on learning the movement, gaining the mobility and building a base of strength.
Speed (reaction time) is a huge component we work on at this age group, this aspect goes hand-in-hand with explosive power and strength as well. We'll perform exercises such as, plyometrics (broad jumps, box jumps, vertical jumps), Olympic lift progressions and various team-based exercises such as indian arm wrestling.
Strength endurance is a key to building an athlete's base of strength, this involves performing a movement for multiple repetitions. It builds the capacity of muscles to handle a larger workload (i.e.more reps) while maintaining the strength of doing so. Examples of this are any strength movement with more than 5 reps (back squatting for 8 reps, incline benching 10 reps, chin-ups max reps).
Maximal strength and explosive strength while different in many aspects work together in unison in a lot of cases. For example, you won't be able to create a maximal strength effort without some form of explosive strength, vice versa. With a built foundation of basic strength the muscle will be able to handle heavier loads (i.e. less reps, heavier weight) and be able to create more explosiveness. Examples of these aspects include: plyometrics, lower reps-heavier weight movements (a 3-5 rep deadlift) and exercises involving critiqued tempos (holding a front squat for 2 seconds at the bottom, then exploding up).
An athlete's time at this age should be spent building a good base of strength, this will help improve their performance and keep them ahead of their competition. Higher levels of play call for more speed, strength and endurance–our programs will help prepare your athlete for just that. To get a better idea of the images above check out the video below!