Let’s face it, the last thing anyone wants to do after a week of hard practices and games is lift weights. Lifting isn’t fun. Actually it sucks. However, at MaxOut, we believe that it is the most vital piece of the athletic performance puzzle – especially in high school. One area of a high school athlete’s annual training protocol that is missing (if there even is a formal training protocol that exists) is an “in-season” strength training program. Coaches, especially at the high school level, only have so many hours in a week to get their kids ready to play. When the decision to use an hour to strength train or work on fundamentals is made, nine times out of 10, fundamentals rule the day.

The main reason in-season strength training is neglected is because of a lack of time. Another very valid reason is because kids complain of being sore, days after lifting or they are afraid lifting will alter their shot or ability to perform certain sport specific functions. Traditional strength training methodology is limited in how an athlete can maintain strength, explosiveness and help prevent injuries during an in-season strength training program. Traditional strength training is even more exposed when the goal is to increase an athlete’s strength, explosiveness and health during any given season. A majority of athletes show visible signs of wear and tear on their bodies as a result of the strain an athletic season has on the body, even with traditional strength training protocols in place.

At MaxOut Strength Studios, we own and utilize the most scientifically advanced strength training technology (Barwis Methods MaxOut Tower) and the most revered science based training protocols (authored by legendary strength and conditioning expert Mike Barwis) ever created. Three years ago, we asked Mike Barwis to author an in-season training program for MaxOut that maximized the athlete’s time and effort while providing the maximal amount of strength, explosive power and muscle/joint protection possible, that can be done in only one or two days per week.

Our in-season program, as with all of the MaxOut Strength Training Cycles, is based on the lifter’s “One Rep Max” (1RM) capability. The in-season program consists of five exercises – Squat or Leg Press, Bench Press, Prone Hamstring Curl, Lat Pulldown and Seated Row. Each piece of equipment – free weight or pin/rack style – is connected to the Barwis Methods Maxout Tower. Each exercise consists of three sets of six repetitions. The first set is performed using a slow four count negative while the final two are done in the traditional controlled fashion. We utilize the Barwis Methods Maxout Tower on each set so that we can provide a slightly heavier load during the lowering phase of the repetition while providing measured amounts of lift assistance with the Tower. The percentages of each eccentric/concentric load are proprietary.

Over the past three years, over 50 high school athletes have participated in our year round strength training program, which includes the in-season program. Prior to beginning each in-season program, we re-test our athletes on their 1RM. After each season, we allow one week of rest and then each athlete is once again re-tested on their 1RM in the exact same fashion as before the season. During the course of each year, two amazing discoveries were made – starting with the first year we employed the in-season training protocol.

  1. Every single athlete not only maintained their strength after their long season, but they also increased their overall strength. Most seeing 5-10% increases in overall body strength in only one 45 minute training session per week.
  2. Every single athlete completed their season without missing a single game due to injury.

What we have been able to determine is that the MaxOut in-season program works every time. It helps our athletes maintain their strength during a long season, keeps them feeling strong and explosive throughout the season and they are healthier as a result. It is our assertion that the utilization of the Barwis Methods Maxout Tower, in conjunction with specific programming created for us by Mike Barwis, is the reason why it works so well. In our research, we have yet to find a program that can prove even remotely similar results to ours. Thanks to our success to date, people are finally starting to take notice – which means we will be able to help even more kids find success and maintain their strong and healthy bodies. That, in reality, is what gets us out of bed every single day.

By: Matt Cubbler

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