In the heat of a new off-season schedule, we can take a look at the overall system, the core exercises, and the set-up of a small school and how to make the most from your low budget weight room.
Logistics: The weight room on-campus is a small (approximately 600 square foot) room with bad lighting, a carpeted floor, and cinder block walls. There are no platforms with our school logo, instead we have rubber mats. There are no mirrors.
Instead we have four power racks, four adjustable benches, three sets of dumbbells ranging from 10-100 pounds, with 6 olympic bars, three curl bars, and a couple of random chairs.
Our workouts normally have around 20 guys of varying sizes (we have a kid around 5’2 and a guy 6’4), ages (no one under 13 is allowed in), and experience (rising 8th through 12th). We have 3 coaches at almost every workout. With this being the case, we had to make a program and a plan of action that could accommodate what we have. The plan I’ve come up with works for us. If you have a similar set-up, I could only imagine it would work for you as well.
Speed and Movement: I cannot disclose what we do for our “speed” and “movement” days because my program was purchased from Dale Baskett (you can find more info about Dale here), however I will tell you what we no longer do. We have eliminated plyo boxes, ladders, hurdles, bag drills, and dots from our equipment inventory. We have also eliminated using circuits to train out in the field. Instead, we use a very precise system created by Coach Baskett which focuses on football speed, and has four lines going at once, with our three coaches working in one area, together, at different stages of each drill.
Program: You may notice that I don’t have phases or percentages, and power days are the only time that you see reps listed. We have adopted some of the ideals of HIIT training, Tabata, CrossFit, Olympic lifts, and BFS to create our own program that is unique to us.
For who we are I truly do believe in our system. On a bilateral day (both arms and legs in every exercise) we use 3 sets of 30 seconds. The players look at their “Reps” weight and know that’s what they should be getting on bi and uni lateral days. I also have a “Power” weight listed for them. On a bilateral day we use 4 sets of 20 seconds. On the power days we mix heavier lifting with jump rope and a core exercise (normally bridges). On power days the partners spot each other. On bi and uni days the coaches spot exercises like cleans, push press, and squats. On uni/bi days you do not spot for your partner, instead both players are working out at the same time, and we normally align a weaker player with a stronger player. On power days you would have your normal team of 2-3 players that are of the same strength.
Take a look at a sample week below (we go Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the summer).