The instructions and protocols for weight training program & progress tracking
Flexibility is measured in two areas, upper and lower body.
Lower extremity flexibility is measured with the student/athlete in long sitting. Without bouncing or assistance he/she leans forward with hands on the floor, palms down as far as possible. Measure the distance ( D -distance, P -past, F -foot), plus or minus, between the tip of the middle fingers and the soles of the feet at the heal. If they are even it is -0-. If they are 1" past the foot it is +1. If they are 1" short of the bottom it is -1.
Upper extremity flexibility is measured with the student/athlete lying down in the prone position with his/her arms stretched out to the sides at a 90° angle with the torso. Without assistance he/she lifts arms off the floor as far as possible. Measure the distance, ( D -distance, O -off, F -floor),between the floor and the wrist.
It is recommended that the measurements taken for each of the areas listed above are done when the student/athlete is warmed up properly. A good measure for this is if he/she is sweating before hand. This can be accomplished by jogging, running bleachers, jumping rope, etc.
It is further recommended that each of the weight lifting components of the Progress Tracking measure where the student/athlete is at this juncture in the school year. Student/athletes should be encouraged to increase the amount of weight they lift when the last repetition of the last set becomes easy. This will ensure that the student/athlete is continually challenged and making gains in strength and endurance. This approach will also eliminate the need to "max out" which is where most injuries occur during weight training regimens.
The varied components of this Progress Tracking allow the coach to make sure the student/athlete is making progress in all of the areas that are essential in any athletic endeavor or sport. Whether the sport is Football, Baseball, Soccer, Volleyball, Tennis or Golf, a combination of speed, quickness, vertical leap, flexibility and arm speed are areas that define athleticism.
Please pass these records on to the student/athlete's coach for his or her next school year. This way they will be able to track and see where their new student/athlete has progressed from!
Keep this in mind
When a student athlete is trying out for a college football team, the strength test isn't how much can you lift. It is how many times can you lift 185 pounds.
For professional football teams, it is how many times can you lift 225 pounds. The focus is not only the amount, but how many times because you need strength and stamina to succeed at those levels.
If we could build a weight training program in middle and high schools that would focus on proper form, stamina, strength and flexibility you would see an enormous decrease in the number of injuries each year and a massive increase in athlete's athleticism!
Imagine having kids do the standard lifts but with the amount of weight they could do 35 times with good form. Then continue lifting that amount until they could do it 50 times with good form.
At that point, increase the weight by 5 or 10 pounds and continue lifting that weight until they could again lift it 50 times with good form. By the time these kids were seniors in High School, they would be absolute beasts.
If you also included kettle bells, heavy balls, heavy bag and plyometric workouts along with daily stretching these kids would be reaching their optimal athletic performance and be able to out work and out perform anyone they were competing with.
The status quo of doing the same old Nebraska Weight Training and maxing out to set weight lifting goals should be forever and finally done away with. This tired, old, outdated routine has cause more injuries and limited the potential of so many high school athletes that it should be obvious to any intelligent, thoughtful coach something new needs to be adopted now I hope you, if you are a coach, can make that change for the sake of your athletes.