Overall, I think the summer was a success.  Once we start Football Camp I’ll have a little time to really look at the results/numbers, look at the injury report and make a final decision on success.

On the surface, Squat and Trap Bar went well for the guys that were here or the guys that I know followed the Take Home Program.  You always have some guys that will just do what they’re told and do it well.  There’s a bigger group who are absolute idiots and do their own thing and it always shows and rarely, if ever, goes well.  These guys come in looking good – muscular, in shape…. All the good stuff to the eye. 

Once we start training properly their idiocy shows.  Most of the guys (I’m actually going to find a percentage) who are "Do your own thing” guys, managed to get weaker.  I know why – way too much work doing Bench and not nearly enough building their lower body, midsection and back.

We also had a few guys that were coming off of injuries so their numbers were adjusted or they just didn’t test well because of the injury.  Unfortunately, this is normal. 


We followed our normal 3-Set Progression and worked up to 90%.  They each had a choice.

  1. Take 90% for a PR Set
  2. Take 90% x1 and then take 95% for a PR Set
  3. Take 90% x1, 95% x1 and then take 100% (TM) for a PR Set

Most guys did 90-95%.  I had a few guys that talked with me and I allowed them to take a number that they had in their head, provided it was a reasonable weight.  I determined “reasonable" based on the kid’s history and level of training.

I was very happy with form and technique.  They fight me on this, but it really is paying off.  Sets and reps looked good.  No one dumped weights.  No one complained or had to see the trainer after.  Success.

Trap Bar

I gave them a number to choose and the progression to follow to work up to it.  Our Trap Bars suck and only hold 500lbs with our bumpers.  We started at 315lbs and could go up to 500lbs.

  • 315
  • 365
  • 405
  • 455
  • 500

The “rule” was, I need a PR Set that’s 2-5 reps.  Obviously, singles might happen because you’re not feeling good… All the variables that go with that.  If they happened to do more than 5 reps because they chose wisely (conservatively) I had no problem and let them know that.  I told them, “Choose a weight that you can get 2-5 reps with and that you will be successful with.”

This went tremendously well.  Again, technique, form and execution of the lift were awesome.


I knew this wouldn’t go as well, as far as testing numbers, because I made the choice (poorly, in my opinion) to keep their Assistance work – namely their pressing movements – very high volume.  I purposely chose to build upper body muscle over trying to build maximal strength.  I’d rather them be physically prepared to handle camp and an 11 game football season (16 total weeks, including camp) than to have great Bench testing numbers.

In hindsight, I believe I could’ve built the upper body “suit of armor” with lower volume and gotten better testing results.  They didn’t get weaker.  However, they weren’t able to “show” their strength because they need some lower volume work so that their bodies can adapt.  I think if I had 3 more weeks of lower volume training the numbers would be great.  Just speculation based on my personal experiences.

No matter, the head coach wants performance and doesn’t care much about numbers.  If they’re in shape, can run and can hold up through camp he’s happy.


A big push I’ve been on is really cleaning up lifting technique, especially the Main Lifts and barbell variations.  They fight me on it and I have to repeat myself, but they’re really doing a good job.  A year ago I would've NEVER considered posting videos.  Now, I would be comfortable putting it out there for all the guru, expert nobodies to critique.  I won’t post videos because I’m busy coaching and I don’t need “likes” on Instagram and Twitter.  You wanna see?  Get in touch with me and come visit.  You’re welcome anytime.


ONE hamstring issue this summer.  ONE!  It was an incoming freshman OL.  The athletic trainer and I think it’s a real injury, but we also think he’s never really been injured and just doesn’t know what it feels like.  Side note: he ran the conditioning test last week and passed every rep.  He’s fine, now.

I “front loaded” a lot of hamstring work while my running volume was low.  As the running volume increased through June I kept the hamstring volume consistent.

                -BB RFESS (increase weight each set) – 1x/week

                -BB Lateral Squat (95-135) – 1x/week

                -RDL – 2-3x/week

-Single-leg unsupported Skater Squat – 1-2x/week (usually done as “extra work” for 2-3 sets of 5 each leg.

As I got into July I dropped the RFESS and SL unsupported work and dropped my RDL work to 1x/week.  Increase in running volume – decrease in weight room volume – especially the hamstrings.

The two things I think I got right this summer are exactly what I just mentioned.

  1. Front load hamstrings when running volume is low.
  2. Drop hamstring volume significantly and drop Single-leg work as running volume gets high.

As I pour over all of my notes from the summer I’ll start to get a better idea of how successful this training program was.  At first glance, I’m happy, but I have a few areas I need to reconsider as I get ready for January.  In fact, I think this program would work better in January because my running volume in the winter is low and consistent.  Which means the weight room can be pushed.  I’ll know better in a few days.

I’ll also take what we did this summer and finalize the in-season training plan.

I have some work ahead of me, but this is a part of the job I really enjoy.

For all who have read, I appreciate you checking my stuff out and I hope that some of it gave you some ideas or at least stimulated some thought that was productive for your own program.