I had a training session with my basketball team last night. After the lift, I asked one of kids what he thought. He said it was "not that hard of a lift".
What should my response be as a strength coach?
My thought? That's good -- every workout doesn't need to crush you.
This workout was very purposeful in achieving the goals of this "cycle" of the lift. This cycle we are focused on tissue resilience and upper body size.
This workout had two supersets and a burner at the end.
Superset 1 -- four rounds
Trap Bar deadlift for 5 then immediately into two sets of 5 dumbbell jumps.
Single arm bent over row x 10 each arm.
Superset 2 -- four rounds
Single leg barbell deadlift from a landmine x 8 each leg
Rotational medball throw x 8 each side
Inverted row (sets alternate between max hold or max reps)
This is a very posterior chain dominant workout. The SL deadlift focuses on the hamstring. The dumbbell jumps focus on ankle and knee tissue resilience. The trap bar deadlift, although relatively light, helps build strength along the posterior chain and the hips.
The bent over rows and the inverted rows are meant to build a strong back (which helps with virtually everything else), strong grip and biceps, strong pulling motions for basketball scrums. These rows are great to put on size and help the boys play and look like beasts out on the court.
There was downtime on these lifts. Guys standing, watching, helping correct, even chatting and cracking jokes, and that's OK. They can have a good time as long as they're getting the work in. I'm sure my coaching style will change overtime, but that's where I am now.
It's OK for the body to be rested going into a lift, for the heart rate to be somewhat elevated but not through the roof. Yes, there are times when training at high outputs is necessary, but not always necessary.
It is important to consider the broader context of their training too. They just had a big multi-game tournament over the weekend and just finished a two hour skills practice. That's a lot of volume in a few days. Kids gotta recover too.
After these supersets we went into a burner to help hit some "show" muscles.
Here was the burner -- :30 of work with quick transition to next station. 3 times through at each spot. There were four stations of -- arm curls, lateral raises, deadbug sit ups, and DB shrugs.
The kid that said the workout wasn't that bad said the burner at the end was his favorite part. You know what that tells me? He and his teammates are leaving feeling good. The burner at the end hits what they want to hit and they'll keep buying into the program because of that.
But the 40ish minutes before that, they hit what they NEEDED to hit, and that'll keep them healthy and successful on the court and they'll keep buying into the program that way too.