9th Grade Weight Lifting Class 9th Grade Weight Lifting Class

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Thread: 9th Grade Weight Lifting Class

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    2

    Default 9th Grade Weight Lifting Class

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    I am a PE Teacher at a Junior High(7th-9th). We offer a weights class for our 9th graders, and over the past 3 years I've been attempting to run a Starting Strength Model for our program. We've run into a few issues along the way, but I've gradually got it to a point where I'm feeling good about the program. The major issue is time, which is made worse by space. We have 45 minute period, which sounds like a perfect time range for SS workout, however once you factor in getting dressed, and changing, as well as 20-24 kids divided between 6 platforms it can get tricky. 4 kids per rack with different working set weights changing in and out takes more time than you'd think. Once you factor in changing time, we really have about 35 minutes. We tried the basic program of 3 core lifts a day and it was train wreck with time. Next we went to "Double Days" (Squat/Bench Day, Squat/Press Day) but still weren't quite finishing up the second movement especially as working sets started becoming more challenging. Kids were just doing everything as fast they could, and not really having the time to really focus in on the lifts and often times not finishing their sets before class was over. At this point we are on one lift a day:

    Monday - Squat
    Tuesday - Bench
    Wednesday - DL
    Thursday - Press
    Friday - Clean

    I like this the best because the kids have enough time to finish their set correctly and the days are easy to manage. At the beginning of class I'll do a quick technique overview for the given lift, and then they go through their core lift and really get to focus in on it, then we fill the remainder of class with auxiliaries. The main objective of the class is that they have mastered the technique more-so than actually getting stronger, but the kids still improve as-per the Novice Effect.

    Any ideas or experiences anyone has running weights classes with small time parameters and limited space would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    54

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    I wish my high school weight teacher had known the SS method. All we did was bench.
    We used a squat machine...once...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Wichita Falls, TX
    Posts
    904

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    It's pretty cool that you're doing this. I think that for 9th graders, given the time constraint, the one lift/day that you're running sounds right. At that age, the focus should be on technique anyway.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    207

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    There are a few of us that have had success training large groups of kids. John Janecek was my inspiration, but the aof_strength instagram was pretty good. Since then, there are plenty of SSOCs running kids through programs. You can learn a lot from their instagram feeds or these forums.

    I think coaching these kids through the clean must be straight chaos. However, you've been doing this for 3 years so you know better than me. I'm impressed.

    I approached the time constrains with my athletes by cutting bench press. I tend to sort them by height and not ability. That means some kids stand a run a bit as stronger athletes finish their sets.

    I think you have to accept a bit of chaos just because it is a large group of kids. Don't stress. It doesn't have to look perfect as long as your goals are achieved.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    La Jolla California
    Posts
    1,913

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    Yeah. SS and strength training in general is a solitary activity. Its not a team or group activity. The sooner kids learn that the better it will be for them. Training is personal - exercise can be done in a group setting but training cannot.

    I would focus on teaching the essentials of the movement and the basics of linear programming while explain that they need to do this on their own - the classroom is for learning and instruction. Application of the knowledge occurs in the real world on their own time. This applies with equal force to algebra, home ecocomics and chemistry as much as to strength training. Focus on exokaing why squats to depth matter, why we choose lbbs over front squats and hbbs, why the press matters and why deadlifts can preserve your spine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    47

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    I can't love this enough. I wish to death I had the option of weightlifting in high school. We had a weight room that nobody used, I think there had been a weightlifting club in the early 80s and early 90s, but by the late 90s it was no more. I don't think the football team really used it either. There were some large football and PE coaches that lifted after school, but I remember them being reluctant to ever tell anyone interested anything of value.

    Us interested teens were left to the magazines for learning, and of course, we learned all the wrong things. Isolation bodybuilding routines to get big chests and abs for the girls. How's this movement for the shoulders coach? They always new better, but I guess were scared or ignorant to tell us different. No you stupid kid, start squatting, deadlifting, pressing, cleaning heavy, and eat like a horse, quick screwing around doing flyes, lateral raises and triceps pushdowns. If only I had heard that.

    Teach them great form, but don't forget to teach them why they are doing the program, and not arnold's chest blasting workout. Why it's all that really matters at their young age, why strength is important, and how to eat to grow big, so they will continue down that path once they're out of your class.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivey View Post
    There are a few of us that have had success training large groups of kids. John Janecek was my inspiration, but the aof_strength instagram was pretty good. Since then, there are plenty of SSOCs running kids through programs. You can learn a lot from their instagram feeds or these forums.

    I think coaching these kids through the clean must be straight chaos. However, you've been doing this for 3 years so you know better than me. I'm impressed.
    Yeah, the cleans are difficult. We really don't get into them though until the last month or so of the class. It ends up being more of an introduction to the movement with a super gradual increase in weight. The first 3 months of the class that Friday will just be a squat day.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    106

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    starting strength nutrition camp
    If you have been doing this for three years, I would think you would have the bugs worked out. If no one has ever coached this many of kids in the time constraint you have, they have no idea what cat herding is all about, it is tough. So my suggestion would be to make sure you have the logistics figured out to the tiniest of details (ie:kids grouped by size and strength etc) and then keep on with your schedule. I would think after a while they would become proficient enough to add a lift and get maybe 2 per day, but I know that is hard to do. Nice work!

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