5/3/1 and Coaching Athletes

Training Athletes - jimwendler.com

The most important thing to understand when training athletes is the difference between G.P.P (General Physical Preparedness) and S.P.P.  (Specific Physical Preparedness).  Also, it's important to understand that mastery in a specific discipline does not mean mastery in weight training. In fact, it is usually the opposite; master of one thing, beginner of another.  This is very lucky for you, whether you are a coach or an athlete.  What this means is that you don't need advanced or fancy training methods to achieve results.  Besides the huge pile of dung that is "sport specific training", the misunderstanding of training mastery by elite athletes is ruining training.

In general, I recommend the Krypteia program for most athletes.  We have used this program for all athletes and have gotten great results, regardless of sport.  This program is fully outlined in the 5/3/1 Forever book so there is no need to reprint it. What is as important as the X's and O's of the training is HOW you do the program.  People seem to forget the art of coaching is as important as the science of coaching.  Again, the general way to coach training for athletes is to use the barbell lifts for "power" and the assistance lifts are done with the athletes' needs in mind.  We all do the same assistance lifts; so be sure to program them based on your needs.  The barbell lifts done for power should help you always accurately gauge the Training Max; and once you figure out how to do this and knowing the indicators (most good coaches can use bar speed and know exactly what each athlete should look like; this is basic coaching), you will never train too heavy or too light.  You will train optimally.

We also combine all strength training with the following:

  • Mobility/Flexibility/Movement Training
  • Jumping/Throwing
  • Work Capacity Training
  • Speed Training
  • Conditioning

What and how you do this is entirely based on WHERE you are in your training and your current fitness level.  Again, this is why the Forever book was written; very simple principles that allow you to learn how to program for any situation.  All athletes training is nothing more than a recipe using the same basic ingredients.  The trick is how much of each to put in for your specific tastes.  And remember that many athletes, due to the amazing amount of predictability end up needing the same thing.

As I've said approximately a million times, become the best beginner coach you can; it will serve you forever.


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