The Complete Athlete Program

Tuesday, 10/09/2018

What do you think of when you envision the ideal athlete? You might imagine someone who is fast, agile, powerful, and strong. The ideal athlete you are picturing probably has a great physique which is both symmetrical and functional. Most of us have the goal to achieve an athletic body that has both “show muscles”, and “go” muscles like the athlete we are picturing, but many fall short.

If you’re someone who has fallen short of this goal you should ask yourself why? Don’t try to make an excuse like poor genetics. You can still become the most athletic and best looking version of you. If you’re being honest with yourself, it’s likely because you are not training like an athlete, or doing anything an athlete does.

Are you doing any speed or jump training? If not, then how can you expect to fast, or agile like the athlete you pictured? Are you performing compound multi-joint exercises that cause all muscles in the body to work systematically together to produce a result? If not, how can you expect to be powerful or strong? Does your strength training involve any unilateral movements? If not, how can you expect to be symmetrical and functional?

Follow the 2 day program below to look, move and feel like an athlete.

 

Speed/Agility Work

Before we get into the specifics of the program it is necessary to know some basic body mechanics when you do your speed, agility, and jumping drills.

Athletes need to be able to move linearly as well as laterally. Almost all sports involve a change of direction component and it essential to understand good body mechanics when doing this. One of the best organizations in the United States for teaching speed and agility is the Parisi Speed School. I would highly recommend emphasizing their four focal points for change of direction drills during each one of these exercises to make sure you are moving like an athlete.

*Note: Glute activation is very important to prevent injury when you change direction, so before you begin your agility sequence you should go through a thorough glute activation series.

Parisi Speed School Focal Points for Changing Direction

  1. Wide or Manageable Base
  2. Low or Manageable Center of Gravity
  3. Strong, Flat Back
  4. Weight is on the Inside Leg

 

Drill 1: Side Shuffle into Hockey Stop

  • Maintain a strong flat back as you side shuffle 5 yards
  • Do NOT let your feet cross
  • Hockey Stop by reaching with the hand closest to the line as you near the 5 yard mark. Make sure you shift your weight in the opposite direction.
    • This ensures you keep your weight on the inside leg
  • This drill lays the foundation for all the other change of direction drills.

 

Drill 2: Continuous Side Shuffle

  • Continuously side shuffle back and forth 5 yards for 3 rounds.
  • Keep a strong flat back while staying low to the ground as you shuffle.
  • Make sure you always reach for the line with the hand that is closest to it.
  • Keep your weight on the inside leg to prevent injury and make your movements crisp.
  • Time yourself and try to beat your previous time

 

Drill 3: Sprint into Hockey Stop

  • Begin in a two point stance and sprint 10 yards forward.
  • Hockey Stop by reaching with the hand closest to the line as you near the 10 yard mark. Make sure you shift your weight in the opposite direction.
  •  Make sure you are not turning the same direction each time you sprint.

 

Drill 4: Continuous sprint

  • Continuously sprint back and forth 10 yards for 3 rounds.
  • Make sure you always reach for the line with the hand that is closest to it.
  • Keep your weight on the inside leg to prevent injury and make your movements crisp.
  • Time yourself and try to beat your previous time

 

Drill 5: Side Shuffle into Sprint

  • This drill combines the previous 4 drills.
  • Side shuffle 5 yards down and back.
  • Sprint 10 yards down and back.
  • Time yourself and try to beat your previous time

 

Jump Training

Jump training teaches you to recruit your fast twitch muscle fibers to explosively propel your body vertically and/or horizontally. Many sports involve some kind of jumping, so it is essential to add to your routine if what you are striving for is athleticism.

Note: Glute activation is very important to prevent injury when you jump, so before you begin your jump sequence you should go through a thorough glute activation series.

Jump training, just like your agility and speed training starts off slow with technique work. In order to jump, you need to know how to land properly to prevent injury. When landing from a jump, make sure you land with your feet about shoulder width apart with your shoulders over your knees. Your knees should be tracking in line with your feet, and you should first land on the balls of the feet to cushion the impact. The Parisi Speed School “Toe Drop Drill” is a great way to practice a good landing position before you begin your jumps.

 

Drill 1: Toe Drops

  • Begin this drill in triple extension (feet, knees, and hips extended) with your arms overhead
  • Pull yourself down into a good athletic stance so you land on the balls of the feet
  • Maintain a strong flat back and have your knees track in line with your feet when you land.

 

Drill 2: Standing Vertical Jump

  • Begin this drill in triple extension
  • Rip your arms down, and explode back up jumping as HIGH as possible
  • Pull your toes up when you jump so that you store elastic energy in the ankle to produce more force on your next jump.
  • Land on the balls of the feet maintaining a strong flat back.
  • Make sure your knees do not cave inward.
  • This drill can be done on one leg if you are an advanced athlete.

 

Drill 3: Standing Broad Jump

  • Begin in triple extension
  • Rip your arms down and throw them forward jumping as FAR as possible
  • Land lightly on the balls of your feet making sure your back stays strong and flat
  • Make sure your knees are not caving inward.
  • This drill can be done on one leg if you are an advanced athlete.

 

Strength Training

In order to train like an athlete, you need to think in terms of movement patterns vs. muscle groups. Your strength training for this program will involve all compound lifts consisting of a squat, vertical press, vertical pull, hip hinge, horizontal press, and horizontal pull. This program involves using both a “strength cluster” and an “assistance cluster.”

The “strength cluster” will have you perform a lower body movement followed by an upper body push and an upper body pull. All of these movements will be bilateral to ensure you are engaging the most amount of musculature possible with each set. Your strength cluster will have more sets, yet less repetitions per set.  

The assistance cluster will have you perform the 3 remaining movement patterns unilaterally and will also include a core movement.  Performing these exercises unilaterally will train your balance, core stabilization, and will help create symmetry in the body. Your assistance exercises will have fewer sets, yet more repetitions per set.

 

The Program

Day 1

Components

  • Speed and Agility Focus
  • Strength Cluster Focus: Squat, Vertical Press, Vertical Pull
  • Assistance Cluster Focus: Hip Hinge, Horizontal Press, Horizontal Pull, Core Rotation

Component

Order and Exercise

Sets/Reps

Speed/Agility

Side Shuffle into Hockey Stop

3x5yds (1 set = 1x dwn/back)

 

Continuous Side Shuffle

3x5 yds (1 set = 3x dwn/back)

 

Sprint into Hockey Stop

3x10 yds (1 set = 1x dwn/back)

 

Continuous Sprint

3x10 yds (1 set = 3xdwn/back)

 

Side Shuffle into Sprint

x3 (1 set = 5 yd shuffle dwn/back, and 10 yard sprint dwn/back)

Strength Cluster

Back Squat

4x5

 

Barbell Strict Press

4x5

 

Chin Up

4x5

Assistance Cluster

1 Leg Kettlebell RDL

3x8ea

 

1 Arm DB Bench Press

3x8ea

 

1 Arm DB Row

3x8ea

 

Banded Rotational Twist

3x8ea

 

Day 2

Components

  • Jump Focus
  • Strength Cluster Focus: Hip Hinge, Horizontal Press, Horizontal Pull
  • Assistance Cluster Focus: Squat, Vertical Press, Vertical Pull, Core Anti-Rotation

Component

Order and Exercise

Sets/Reps

Jumping

Toe Drops

3x5

 

Standing Vertical Jump

3x5

 

Standing Broad Jump

3x5

Strength Cluster

Trap Bar Deadlift

4x5

 

Bench Press

4x5

 

Chest Supported Row

4x5

Assistance Cluster

DB Bulgarian Split Squat

3x8ea

 

1 Arm Standing DB Press

3x8ea

 

1 Arm Lat Pull Down

3x8ea

 

Pavlov Press (Core anti-rotation)

3x8ea