General Strength for Young Track Athletes

I received the following comment on facebook after posting a video of a very challenging General Strength routine called Core H (video).

Great core work out. How much recovery time should a 15 year old take between workouts? The 15 year old has been training 6 days a week with his high school cross country team. He is not as advanced as the athlete on the video. His mile time is 6 minutes. Is she doing core work every day? Does your DVD have information on scheduling work outs to prevent over training?

The type of high school athlete described here should not be doing Core H, but rather should follow the Eight Week General Strength progression that I wrote for Running Times.  It’s easy to follow – it’s broken into Hard Days and Easy Days, and is grouped into two week segments.That is the first step towards better general strength levels.  If that athlete can progress through those 8 weeks then they can move onto things like Core H.  But Core H is something that should be reserved for athletes that can handle a decent amount of General Strength.

Yes, athletes should be doing some General Strength every day.  In terms of the content from, we have over 100 exercises in each DVD.  But because everyone’s at different points in their development, we don’t have prescriptions in the DVDs – what would be a inappropriate for one athlete because they’re strong could conversely be inappropriate for another athlete who is weak.  That said, just this week Mike and I discussed the posibility of putting some progressions together for the various types of viewers (high school athletes, adult marathoners, collegiate athletes, etc.).  That may or may not happen, but if I get feedback that people want that then we can work on those progressions.

But go back to the progression above – that will take you through two full months of work.  Then, if you purchase the DVDs, the next logical step will probably be obvious, such as modifying Core H by doing each exercises for 20 or 30 seconds and take the same amount of rest.  That’s much easier than a minute for each exercise with no rest.

Thanks for the question Fred – really appreciate you taking the time to ask.

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  • Stu A

    Jay, a series of progressive general strength workouts are not only applicable for the high school student, and an adult running for the first time or one coming back to running after 20 years of inactivity. Similarly, an older person who has never worked out would need a progression of a different sort.

    Anyway, I think it would be wonderful to have a set of progressive strength workouts.


  • CoachJay

    Thanks Stu. As I said in the post above, Mike and I are considering this. Obviously I have some progressions with the elite athletes I’m working with and I’m experimenting with some progressions with the adults I’m coaching, so there is a very good chance we will have something for you in the coming months.

    Thanks for your patience. Have you done the Eight Week General Strength program? That’s what I assign to all of the adult clients I coach online.