From Matt's Coaching Blog


 Part One

I'm sure I've done something like this before. This process is evolving all the time. Not a lot has changed, but there's always a new "twist" as I try to improve what I do.

My latest "improvement" is due to an intern that actually wants to be a strength coach. She's not just in here because she wants an easy grade.

She's a Cheerleader and asked if she could run the Cheer workouts for the groups that she isn't in. She killed that, so I decided to teach her how to program. Here's what I came up with.

Things to Cover

  1. Warm-up (General/Body Awareness/Jumping)
  2. Strength (Squat/Hinge/Push/Pull/Brace)
  3. Mobility

The template I gave her is my basic Main Lift/Supplemental Lift/Circuit set-up. I kept the exercise choices very limited.

Main Lift Choices

  • Power (Hang Clean, Push Press)
  • Lower Strength (Squat, Trap Bar)
  • Upper Strength (Bench/Incline)

Supplemental Lift Choices

  • Lower Strength (Front Squat, SSB, Trap Bar)
  • Upper Strength - Push (Close-grip Bench, Close-grip Incline, Press)
  • Upper Strength - Pull (Pull-ups, DB Row)

Circuit: 3 Rounds

  • Lower Opposite (RFESS, Lateral Squat, RDL)
  • Upper Push (DB Bench, DB Incline, DB Press, Push-ups, Dips)
  • Upper Pull (DB Row, Pull-ups, Fat Man Rows)

Abs (Weighted Sit-ups, Rollouts, Hanging Leg Raise)

This is an overly simplified exercise selection, but I wanted her to learn how to put a workout together as well as learn how to coach a few lifts. My thought is, if she only has a few lifts to coach she can learn what to look for as far as making corrections to technique goes. These are also lifts that she has done consistently for 4 years, so she knows how to do them, herself.

If there are a ton of exercises it's hard to learn the nuances of each lift and how to correct them. Once she shows she can watch lifters and find flaws we can add a few more exercises to the pool.

As far as what type of cycle it is will be based on time of year and proximity to competition season. Cheer doesn't have their Nationals until May. This is going to be a Strength/Hypertrophy type cycle. Basically, powerbuilding at its finest.

In Episode 2 I'll go into sets and reps and some of those ideas.


Part Two 

Sets and reps are determined by the goal of the training cycle. They are also determined by the weekly training percentages. Truthfully, I don't change my sets and reps very much, but there are certainly options for you to use to change some things up.

I tend to approach every cycle, no matter what fancy name I've given it, the same way.

  • Main Lift: 5's (strength)/Olympic Lift: 3-5's
  • Supplemental Lift (if it's in the cycle): 5's for Lower Body/5-10's for Upper Body/Olympic Lift: 3-5's
  • Circuit: 3-5 Rounds of 5-10's for Lower Body/10-15's for Upper Body

The overarching theme to my training of athletes is "Athlete the Lower, Bodybuild the Upper". This is a general guideline. I have exceptions for certain things, but this is where I start.

Main Lift

I follow my version of a 5/3/1 program (that's the easiest way to describe it). I use a 90% Training Max with weekly training percentages of 70-85%. So, I know that 70-85% isn't "really" 70-85%. It's actually 63-76%. If I ever move up to 90% I know it's 81%.

This is one of the reasons I stick with sets of 5 on all of my Main Lifts. I know it's probably easier to just adjust my weekly percentages, but this is how I do it. I want the athletes to think about their Training Max as their Max - forget about the actual Max and just do the work.

The other reason is I'll adjust training Maxes and keep my percentages the same. This way I can describe what a 75% week "means". No matter what time of year the percentage they have should tell them what we're about that day. So, 70% is a deload, 75% is a light week, 80% is a medium week and 85%... you guessed it. Heavy.

Off track there for a second...

I know that the body can produce Maximal Force for 3-6 reps in this percentage range so ALL of my work sets should be incredibly fast and explosive. And, they should NEVER struggle with weights, let alone miss. You could look at it as a built in fail safe system. Although, I've never actually thought of it that way until just now, that's kind of what it is.

A simple workout could look like this:

Main Lift

  • Squat: Warm-up 2-3x5
  • Work 5/5/5 (given weekly percentage)
  • You could use 3-6 reps on any of these weeks. I generally stick with 5's, as I mentioned. But, you could change reps if you wanted.

Supplemental Lift

  • Incline: 5x5-10 (work up each set - I usually give them a percentage range based on their Bench)
  • Pull-ups: 5x5-10 (based on their Pull-up Test numbers)

Circuit: 3-5 rounds

  • RDL w/shrug: x5-10
  • Dips: x10-15
  • DB Row: x10-15

In my next installment I'll go over the difference between my Hypertrophy and Metabolic Circuits. If I'm doing a Hypertrophy Cycle vs. a Strength Cycle this is usually the only real change.


Part 3

There's really not much of a difference for me when it comes to training cycles. My overall thoughts on training athletes are:

  1. Get them stronger
  2. Build muscle
  3. General and sport-specific conditioning
  4. Keep them healthy in the weight room

It's my opinion that there's no reason to peak an athlete to test. It just doesn't make sense to me. We're trying to get them ready for their season (championship season or off-season practice). I just train them and at the end we see what the training has garnered. Obviously, everybody does that. I just don't change my training as testing time comes around.

After all that nonsense about not changing much, here are some of the things I do that could be considered different.

Hypertrophy Cycle

  • Main Lift (the sets and reps rarely change - this is my constant)
  • Circuit 1 - 3 Rounds
  • Squat (Single-leg)
  • Upper Push
  • Upper Pull
  • Circuit 2 - 3 Rounds
  • Hinge
  • Upper Push
  • Upper Pull

As mentioned above, my Main Lift sets and reps don't really change. I just start the progression and work it. My circuit and assistance work are what I change to get the stimulus that I'm going for (Hypertrophy v. Strength). Obviously, the Main Lift is ALWAYS about improving strength. In the example above, the goal of the Circuits is to increase muscle mass.

In the Circuits, generally speaking, the reps are in the 10-15 range and I'm not worried to much about the weight. The "rule" is get all of your reps (no less than 10). If I use a Single-leg movement I keep the reps at 5.

With the 2 Circuit template I use a Hypertrophy Circuit. All that really means is that they will do all 3 sets of the exercise they start with before moving on to the next exercise. Sets are done every minute on the minute. This is similar to the Rest/Pause idea, with a little bit longer rest (usually 30-40 seconds).

Strength Cycle

  • Main Lift (follow the plan)
  • Supplemental Lift
  • paired with an Upper Pull
  • Metabolic Circuit - 5 Rounds
  • Lower (opposite)
  • Upper Push
  • Upper Pull

In a Strength Cycle I drop a Circuit and add a Supplemental block. The Supplemental Lift is the "medium heavy" lift of the day.

  • Main Lift - Heavy
  • Supplemental - Medium (10% lighter than Main Lift %)
  • Circuit - Light (repetitions)

The goal of the Supplemental Lift is to help build one of the Main Lifts. These exercise are always variations of the Main Lifts. My sets and reps (5x5) follow 2 different patterns.

Sometimes I use the FSL idea (from Jim Wendler's 5/3/1) and they'll do all 5 sets at the same weight. Sometimes they'll work up to their top weight just like they did with the Main Lift, only 10% lighter.

For Squat, my Supplemental Lifts could be:

  • SSB
  • Front Squat
  • Trap Bar

For the Bench they could be:

  • Close-grip
  • Incline
  • Press
  • FBB Press variations

I use Push Press as my Supplemental for the Hang Clean. You could use any variation of an Olympic Lift that you want.

In the Strength Cycle I use a 3 exercise, 5 Round Circuit with sets done every 45 seconds. I normally stick to the every minute on the minute, but the CoVid bullshit has my time limited so I dropped it to 45 seconds. Not sure it really matters.

This set up has about a 2m 30s rest before you repeat an exercise, but obviously, you're constantly moving. This seems to really help overall conditioning. I've found that I don't have to run teams as much since implementing this idea.

If I had 12-16 weeks of uninterrupted training (which I never get with the collegiate schedule) I would rotate cycles.

  • Cycle 1 - Hypertrophy (3-4 weeks)
  • Cycle 2 - Strength (3-4 weeks)
  • Cycle 3 - Hypertrophy (3-4 weeks)
  • Cycle 4 - Strength (3-4 weeks)
  • 3 week cycles with 12 weeks and 4 week cycles with 16 weeks.

I think this idea would be good in the high school setting where you may have more time with the kids, especially if they don't play other sports.

These ideas are always being upgraded. I heard Buddy Morris once say, "There's no such thing as the perfect program. Just better." That always stuck with me and that's what I try to do. Once I find something that seems to work I try to improve on it.

The Circuit set-up that I use is damn near perfect for many reasons (some outside of the x's and o's of training). Nonetheless, there is a way to improve upon the system and that's what I'm always looking for.

Hopefully this might stimulate your thought process to look for ways to improve what you're doing.


Part Four



In this installment of me spewing my unsolicited opinions about training I'm in the mood to talk about how I like to pair the Main Lift with the Supplemental Lifts.

This would be an off-season template because it's a tremendous amount of work. Before I get into some of the specifics I'll note that I have used this type of set-up with any and all off-season type training cycles.

I definitely stole this concept from Joe Kenn and the Tier System. I don't think I implement it the same way, but the "spirit" of it is here.

As we dive back into my powerlifting days we know that we had 3 lifts we were trying to improve. We all tried to find variations of those Main Lifts to help drive our Main Lift up. Hence, the Supplemental Lift. These variation directly affect our Main Lift in a positive manner.

During the powerlifting days I had some specific lifts that I figured out had a direct correlation to Main Lift improvement. With the athletes I'm not concerned with finding the "perfect" Supplemental Lifts for each kid. I'm just concerned with variation of movement. I tend to go with the movements that I thought helped me, the ones Vincent thought helped him and what is feasible/teachable in my weight room.

Enough strolling down Amnesia Lane. Let's get into the good stuff.

Choose your Main Lifts that you want to improve/test. Make sure you choose lifts that give you a picture of improvement. For athletes, we're trying to improve speed, strength, power, change of direction, mobility and injury resilience.

Your Main Lifts should cover some of those, namely strength and power. If you get stronger it's safe to assume you've improved power, speed, change of direction and injury resilience.

I tend to lean towards the traditional Hang Clean (power), Squat (lower strength) and Bench (upper strength). How original? I have used the Push Press (power) and Trap Bar (lower strength), as well. Obviously, some type of Jump test would qualify as power (Broad Jump, Vertical Jump). We can dive deeper into all of this, but for purposes of this, I'm sticking with the weight room.

So, Main Lifts are:

  • Hang Clean
  • Squat
  • Bench

When choosing Supplemental Lifts they should directly affect the Main Lift - help drive it up. There are a few "rules" I follow, but can be broken.

  1. Use a barbell (you could use DB's, but you'll get more bang for your buck with the bar and DB's are used in the circuit)
  2. Be on 2 feet (although Single-leg is acceptable - I tend to use Single-leg in my circuits)
  3. Variation of the Main Barbell Lift

Hang Clean Supplemental Lifts

  • Push Press (not necessarily a direct correlation to Hang Clean, but it's a variation on an Olympic Lift)
  • Clean Pull
  • Deadlift
  • Hang Snatch

There are all kinds of variations and hybrid lifts you can choose. Keep it very simple because teaching this stuff is a bitch. Learning it, for an athlete that isn't here to lift weights, is even harder. Just know you have choices. Pick the ones that YOU think are the most beneficial and teach them well so the kids can become fairly proficient with them. If they're not at least proficient they won't get much benefit from them.

Squat Supplemental Lifts

  • Dynamic Effort Squat (more like Wendler's FSL)
  • Front Squat
  • SSB Squat

Obviously, there are others, but these are my go-to's.

Bench Supplemental Lifts

  • Bench (Close-grip or Regular grip)(BB or FBB)
  • Incline (Close-grip or Regular grip - vary angle if possible)(BB or FBB)
  • Press (BB or FBB)

Again, there are others, but these are what I stick with.

How you choose to write your program is entirely up to you. My Supplemental Lifts are done on different days than the Main Lifts. For example, my program might look like this:


  • Main Lift - Hang Clean
  • Supplemental Lift (Squat) - Dynamic Effort Squat (FSL)


  • Main Lift - Squat
  • Supplemental Lift (Bench) - Incline


  • Main Lift - Bench
  • Supplemental Lift (Olympic) - Push Press

As I see it, the Supplemental lift is done the workout before the Main Lift. That's a little odd considering we Hang Clean on Monday and Push Press on Friday. But, if you keep going through the cycle you'll see that the Push Press on Friday is the workout before the Hang Clean the following Monday.

There are certainly a lot of ways you can choose your Supplemental Lifts. The one big point that I will mention is don't get to creative. Stick with lifts that you can teach well. Stick with lifts that are fairly easy for the athletes to perform. Not the lifts YOU think they can perform, but the lifts they can actually do well. This may take a little experimenting before you figure this out. Drop your ego. It's not about how fancy your program is or how many exercises you know. It's about the progress of the team and the individual.

I won't waste time teaching a lift that the group seems to struggle with when I could use an alternative that accomplishes the same goal. It may not be the "best" lift. But, if they can't perform it well it doesn't matter how good the lift is supposed to be - it sucks because they can't do it well.

Hopefully, this may give you some ideas as you get ready to write your next round of programs for the winter.

The next logical topic is to explain how I choose my Circuits based on what the Main and Supplemental Lift are.

Part 5



I'm trying to get my brain functioning properly so I can finish and proofread the Softball Take Home program. I'm not sure how well written this is going to be because I'm not feeling intelligent or creative this morning.

I'm sure I've mentioned this, but it bears repeating - The circuits are based on Jim Wendler's Walrus Circuits.

  • Lower (opposite of Main or Supplemental Lift)
  • Upper Push (or variations on Lateral Raises)
  • Upper Pull

The overall goal of each workout is to include all of the basic movements that our body performs.

  1. Squat
  2. Hinge
  3. Push
  4. Pull
  5. Brace

I have a list of all the exercises (more concisely, all of the exercises that I use) that fit into each category. I keep this list short because I want the kids to master what we do. The number of exercises that you choose to use is entirely up to you.

Here's my list:

Main Lifts (lifts that I test or have tested)

  • Olympic
  • Hang Clean
  • Push Press
  • Lower
  • Squat
  • Trap Bar
  • Upper
  • Bench

Supplemental Lifts

  • Olympic
  • Push Press
  • Hang Snatch
  • Lower
  • SSB
  • Front Squat
  • Trap Bar
  • Deadlift
  • BB Lateral Squat
  • Upper
  • Close-grip Bench
  • Incline
  • Press
  • Circuit - Lower
  • RDL (w/shrug)
  • Snatch-grip RDL
  • GHR
  • RFESS (BB or DB)
  • Lateral Squat (BB or DB)
  • Circuit - Upper Push
  • Close-grip Bench
  • Incline
  • Press
  • DB Bench
  • DB Incline
  • DB Press
  • Push-ups
  • Dips
  • Circuit - Upper Pull
  • Pull-ups
  • Fat Mans
  • DB Row
  • BB Row
  • DB Chest-supported Row
  • Circuit - Lateral Raise variations (Shoulders)
  • Chest-supported Lateral Raise
  • Shoulder 21's (Front/Side/Rear)
  • Chest-supported L-Raise to Press
  • Pull-aparts
  • Face Pulls

Obviously, there are others. I listed these, but I don't use all of them all the time. I keep my exercise pool fairly small because I think it's more important to become proficient with a few exercises rather than mediocre with a lot.

This is a sample of what a week of training could look like with Olympic Lifting.

Monday - Hang Clean

  • Main Lift
  • Hang Clean
  • Supplemental Lift
  • Front Squat
  • Pull-ups or DB Row
  • Circuit
  • RDL w/shrug or Single-leg (Hang Clean - Hinge/Front Squat - Squat: choose what you want in the Circuit. Factor in what your plan is for the rest of the workouts that week)
  • DB Row or Pull-ups (opposite of Supplemental Pull)
  • BB or DB Press variation

Wednesday - Squat

  • Main Lift
  • Squat
  • Supplemental Lift
  • Incline
  • DB Row
  • Circuit
  • RDL w/shrug, GHR, Good Morning
  • Press variation or Lateral Raise variation
  • Pull-ups

Friday - Bench

  • Main Lift
  • Bench
  • Supplemental Lift
  • Trap Bar (Push Press, Hang Snatch are Olympic options)
  • Pull-ups
  • Circuit
  • BB RFESS or Lateral Squat
  • Press variation or Lateral Raise variation
  • DB Row

This is another sample without Olympic Lifting.

Monday - Squat

  • Main Lift
  • Squat
  • Supplemental Lift
  • DB Incline (vary angle)
  • Pull-ups
  • Circuit
  • RDL
  • Chest-supported Lateral Raise
  • DB Row

Wednesday - Bench

  • Main Lift
  • Bench (usually with Swiss Bar)
  • Supplemental Lift
  • DB Row
  • Circuit
  • GHR
  • Pull-aparts
  • Pull-ups

Friday - Deadlift

  • Main Lift
  • Trap Bar
  • Supplemental Lift
  • DB Incline (vary angle)
  • Pull-ups
  • Circuit
  • BB Lateral Squat
  • Chest-supported Press
  • DB Row

How you choose to order your lifts is entirely up to you. I always put my Main Lift first. In the past I have always started with an Olympic Lift regardless of the Main Lift (lifts we test) we have on that day. I don't think it makes much of a difference.

This is by no means the be all and end all of training templates. These are just two of many options you can use to get done what needs to be done. Hopefully, this might stimulate a little thought as you prepare to write your next training program. When in doubt, try it on yourself before you unveil it to your teams.

No idea what my next topic will be. I covered all the notes that I had on this subject. From here on out it'll be whatever pops into my head that seems interesting to talk about.

I do apologize if this doesn't read that well. The brain just wouldn't function properly today.

Part 6


The Warm-up is something that I think a lot of people get too carried away with. Obviously, you need to get the athletes loose and ready to go. But some of the things I've seen are ridiculous. Just my opinion.

When I warm-up a group I take into account what we're doing that day. Lifting, speed work, agility work, general conditioning... I know from experience that it doesn't take a lot to get athletes ready to lift. When it comes to running, that's a different story. Again, this is my personal opinion.

In my constant effort to streamline everything I have "come up" with a warm-up that takes 7 minutes (when run efficiently by me). What I've noticed is:

  1. The athletes don't enjoy it, but they like it because they feel ready when we're done with it.
  2. From the get go, the athlete has to pay attention to directions and follow commands. This gets their heads ready for the workout. They can't just go through the motions.
  3. This warm-up gets them ready for any lift we do because it hit everything.

The general warm-up is based around the 4-count, military-style burpee. They hold each position for as long as I decide. It's usually 5-10 seconds. The first round through I hold each position for 10. The subsequent 2 rounds I move them a little quicker. Basically, once every athlete is into the position I call for I move them to the next, etc...

Execution of movement

They start standing and it moves all the way through until they return to standing.

  1. Prisoner Squats: 5 reps - hold bottom position for 5-10
  2. Push-up position: hold 5-10 seconds
  3. Spiderman - Right - hold 5-10 seconds (they "jump" to the Spiderman - like an over-exaggerated Mountain Climber)
  4. Spiderman - Left - hold 5-10 seconds
  5. Push-up position - hold 5
  6. Push-up: 1 rep
  7. Alternating Shoulder tap: 1 rep each
  8. Cross Connect: 1 rep each (in Push-up position bring right elbow and left knee together (sort of like an alternating crunch) and repeat on the other side)
  9. "Do the Move" - when they finish the Cross Connects they are in Push-up position. "Do the Move" is jumping to the bottom of a squat (catcher stretch) and standing up.
  10. *I will sometimes do an Inch Worm in place of "Do the Move".

We go through this 3 times. Each time I may add a "twist" to some of the movements. For instance, when we do Spidermans on Round 2 I'll have them do 3 elbow drops and 3 reaches (thoracic mobility). Round 3 of the Spidermans I have them do a reach opposite and hold the position (I think it's a yoga pose?) Once they all return to the basic Spiderman I'll switch them to the next movement.

Once this part is done we go right into some movement with isometrics.

  • Split Squat or Lateral Squat: 10 reps with a 10 second hold at the bottom of the last rep (knee barely off the ground) - both legs
  • Push-ups: 10 reps with a 10 second hold 3/4-1/2 way up
  • Hip Extension (sometimes both legs, sometimes single-leg): 10 reps with a 10 second hold on the last

When I have my shit together, this portion takes 7 minutes. If you add up all the times, I think it comes out to more than 7 minutes. As they get to know the positions and understand the order, it flows. It turns into a situation where I call out the movement, they get to it, as soon as everyone is in the position I get right on to the next. It turns into constant movement with little holds in between each.

From there we go into what I call "Body Awareness". It's just 3 forward rolls and 3 cartwheels.

We finish with Jumps. My go-to is a Broad Jump. I usually get 6-12 touches. These are the ones I use the most.

  • Broad Jump - jump and stick landing
  • Double Broad Jump - Jump, Bounce (Hop), Stick
  • Triple Broad Jump - Jump, Bounce, Bounce, Stick

I've also done these same jumps but single-leg.

In my weight room they have enough space to get 3-4 jumps. S0 I'll say 3 sets of 3. They know that means 3 touches (whatever variation I give them) down, back, down, etc...

Pretty simple.

This whole deal can be done in around 9-10 minutes. Obviously, the smaller the group the quicker it goes. I know with a groups of 25-30 I can get it all done in 9-10 minutes.

The first time through it took longer. I don't change it much because the kids start to memorize it and they get very efficient. As the semester rolls on I'll give the warm-up to the "leaders" and they handle it. I only take it back over if it becomes inefficient.

This may be hard to picture without seeing it happen. If you like the idea you can figure out how to get a hold of me and I'll have one of my assistants video the warm-up and I'll send it to you. Or, just find something similar that you like and employ the same concept.

I know this doesn't really qualify as "How I Write a Program", but it is part of the program, so I included it.



Part 7




We just finalized our football schedule for the spring. We'll be training in the weight room 2 days per week and practicing 5 days for the first month (kind of like normal aspring practice plus one practice session). Once we start our schedule we'll have the same schedule, but there will only be one "hard" practice, one "medium" practice, two light/medium practices and one walk-through (day before game).

Not a bad set-up. I'd love to get them for three weight room sessions for the first month, but this will be just fine.

Squeezing three workouts into two isn't ideal and I won't actually do that, but the idea of making sure to cover all of my bases is something that needs to happen. It's much easier to do that with three lifts as opposed to two.

I started by going through my ideas and narrowing down my exercise puddle. We're not doing much.

Quick Lift

  • Hang Clean (4 weeks)
  • Push Press (4 weeks - still up in the air on this one)
  • Jumps

Lower Strength

  • Squat (4 weeks - will drop once we start playing games)
  • Trap Bar

Upper Strength

  • Bench
  • Incline (4 weeks as Main Lift and will become Assistance Lift once we start playing)

Lower Assistance

  • RDL w/shrug
  • RFESS (BB, DB or Plate)
  • Lateral Squat (BB, DB or Plate)

Upper Assistance

  • Press
  • Push-ups
  • Dips
  • Pull-ups
  • Fat Mans
  • DB Row
  • Shrugs
  • Chest-supported Lateral Raises (Rear Delts)
  • Front Plate Raise
  • Neck (Flexion/Extension)


  • Hanging Leg Raises
  • Weighted Sit-ups
  • Rollouts
  • Housewife Abs (I let the kids pick easy ab work sometimes)

There may be some slight variations here and there, but this is pretty much what I've boiled it down to. I went back a year and took note of the exercises I used over and over again.

Once I get the plan on paper I'll get it on here so you can see if I'm sticking to my guns.


Part 8



I call all the little stuff after the core workout "The Fluff". I don't know why, I do.

When I speak about training this is the stuff I refer to as, "the stuff that isn't important." Now, it does have it's place. It is, in fact, important. But, if you don't do it and your program is sound, you don't need it. This is the extra stuff to fine tune things and address problem areas.

In this section of my program I generally look at the common injury areas for each sport. A lot of these overlap, regardless of sport.

  1. Every athlete needs strong abs/lower back
  2. Every athlete has twisted an ankle
  3. Every athlete needs to do some single-leg work for knees and hips, etc...
  4. Most every athlete should do some type of shoulder stability work (especially overhead athletes)

This would be the part of a workout program that I might refer to as "sport-specific". Or better yet, "athlete-specific".

For instance, the overhead athletes we have (Softball, Baseball, Volleyball) will have some more specific shoulder stability exercises (I call it Shoulder Health on the workout sheet). Football will have more neck and trap work than some other teams.

I keep this short and sweet and do it every workout. This goal of this block never changes. It's always touching on these "problem" areas. In general, this stuff is done with DB's, bands or bodyweight for 2 sets of 10-20 reps.

This is an area that I like to keep simple - meaning, I don't do a ton of different exercises, but this area certainly has more variety than the core of the workout. That's just how I handle it.

Here's a sample list of exercises for the different areas. I'm sure I will miss some, but this should give you a good picture of what I use for this.


  • Overhead RFESS
  • Overhead Reverse Lunge
  • Lateral Squat w/punch
  • Cossack Squat w/punch
  • Hurdle-under Lunge
  • GHR
  • Partner Glute Ham
  • Stability Ball Leg Curl
  • Banded Good Mornings

Abs/Lower Back

  • Rollouts
  • Hanging Leg Raises
  • Weighted Sit-up
  • Plate Sides Bends
  • Plate V-Twist
  • Back Extension
  • Supermans

Shoulder Health/Stability

  • Neck Flexion/Extension
  • Front/Side/Rear Lateral Raises and variations
  • External Rotation - variations
  • Chest-supported Lateral Raise (vary angles) - this is a go to
  • PVC/Band Dislocates
  • Pull-aparts
  • Face Pulls
  • PVC/Band Prone A's
  • Prone PVC Press
  • Shrugs/Kirk Rows

With a lot of this stuff I ask the athletes what they like/what feels best. I'll write a particular exercise on the board, but I always tell them to see me if they have something else they prefer. If their alternate is a similar kind of move I'm totally fine with it. For instance, if my goal is scap retraction and they have a scap retraction alternative, I'm good with it. If they want a rotator alternative for a scap movement, I'll give them some scap ideas. I hope that makes sense?

This is certainly not gospel. It just seems like it has been working for me. As much as this stuff doesn't generally interest me, I do spend a lot of time looking into the fluff. As I mentioned earlier, I refer to it a the stuff that isn't important, which I don't really mean. I just mean it's not the end of the world if you miss this stuff for a few workouts. Just don't abandon it all together. And make sure this stuff isn't the meat of your workout.

I still have a request for my running program. I'll try to get motivated to write about it.