Starting The Hardbody Athlete Training Program: Maximizing Youth Athletic Potential Through Strategic Exercise Selection at Hardbody Athlete

At Hardbody Athlete, we’re committed to developing youth athletes into elite competitors, especially in sports like hockey and soccer. Our approach emphasizes not just skill development but foundational strength through scientifically backed methods like the Hardbody Training Program. This training strategy focuses on absolute strength development—an essential element for enhancing athletic performance and durability.

Understanding Absolute Strength in Youth Training

Absolute strength is the pinnacle of all strength attributes. It underpins an athlete’s ability to run faster, jump higher, and perform with resilience under physical stress. By incorporating max effort training days into our programs, we aim to develop this critical capacity, ensuring our athletes can outperform and outlast their competition.

The Role of Max Effort Training

Max effort training involves lifting near-maximum loads for low repetitions. This method is crucial because it trains the nervous system to recruit a higher number of motor units, increasing the athlete’s overall power output capabilities. Our program includes two max effort days per week—one focused on lower body and one on upper body exercises.

Selecting the Right Exercises for Beginners

For young athletes, especially those new to structured strength training, selecting the right exercises is crucial for safe and effective progress. Here’s how we approach exercise selection in the initial phases of training:

  • Simplicity and Effectiveness: We start with basic yet effective variations of the squat, bench press, and deadlift. These foundational movements build general strength and prepare the athletes for more complex variations.
  • Gradual Introduction to Variations: As athletes grow more comfortable and stronger, we introduce variations like the incline bench press or mat deadlifts. These help target specific weaknesses and prevent training plateaus.

Sample Max Effort Lower and Upper Body Training for Beginners

Here’s a breakdown of how we structure the first two months of max effort training for a beginner at Hardbody Athlete:

Month A:

  • Week 1: Squat and bench press for top sets of 3 reps, focusing on mastering form.
  • Week 2: Introduction to variations like mat deadlifts and close grip bench press for single top sets.
  • Week 3: Return to squat and bench press with added complexity like paused reps.
  • Week 4: Incorporation of good mornings and floor press to develop posterior chain strength and benching power.

Month B:

  • Week 1: Transition to single rep max efforts in squat and bench press to start collecting reliable data.
  • Week 2: Introduce deficit deadlifts and incline bench press for triple top sets, targeting underdeveloped muscle groups.
  • Week 3: Repetition work on basic movements to provide recovery and consolidate strength gains.
  • Week 4: First introduction to specialty bars to prepare athletes for more advanced training phases.

Progression and Evaluation

After the initial eight weeks, we evaluate each athlete’s progress, comfort with movements, and overall strength gains. This assessment helps us tailor subsequent phases of the program more precisely to each athlete’s developmental needs, ensuring they continue to grow stronger and more capable in their sport.

Why Hardbody Athlete?

Choosing Hardbody Athlete means opting for a facility that not only understands the science behind youth athletic development but also implements it with precision and care. We provide a nurturing environment where youth athletes and their families can thrive, fostering not just physical strength but also the mental and emotional resilience needed for competitive sports.

Our programs are designed to help young athletes transition smoothly into elite levels of competition by building a robust athletic foundation through absolute strength training. Join us at Hardbody Athlete to give your athletic ambitions the structure and support they deserve.

Visit our website or contact us today to learn more about our youth athletic development programs and how we can help you or your young athlete achieve sporting excellence.