The Simple, Core Training Principle that Guarantee's Progress & Success in the Gym

There is one core training principle that guarantee's success in the long-term development of young athletes and teens - and yet, hardly anyone utilises it. Why... because it's simple and basic

Ky is on a simple linear progression with his Squats

Ky is on a simple linear progression with his Squats

The majority of people have it wrong when it comes to training. There's a reason people are continually spinning their wheels, and there's a reason we're not seeing the level of young athletes we used to...

It's because adolescents and young athletes aren’t training - even though that’s what they refer to it as. They’re simply working out… The different comes in the fact that with training there is a plan… there is an end goal in mind to be reached… bettering oneself in a specific aspect

And working out is simply that, doing something without any real intention. Whereas training is setting a goal you want to reach or identifying a skill that you wish to better - it’s having an intention before entering the gym or stepping on the field 

Teams will work ball skills with the intention of having this transition over to game day. Athletes will work on their explosiveness or strength in the gym so that it transitions over to their on-field performance

And when it comes to training adolescents and young athletes within an S&C context the basics reign supreme, in exercise selection and the way to progress. And there is a simple, core principle that guarantee's results when the training age (time actually spent training) is so young...

One small step at a time

One small step at a time

Enter Progressive Overload

Progressive Overload is a highly under-utilised training progression that works absolute magic. Why is it under-utilised? Because it’s not sexy… it’s simple and basic… and yet it elicits some of the most powerful & amazing results

Put simply, it is the act of adding a small amount of weight/an extra rep/an extra set to an exercise at every training session over time 

For example, let's look at increasing strength in our primal squat movement pattern. Let’s say we begin with just the bar:

  • Session 1: Bar x 8 x 3
  • Session 2: 5kg x 8 x 3
  • Session 3: 10kg x 8 x 3 (and so on)

If we squat three times a week, over the course of 8 weeks there is the potential to be now squatting 115kg x 8 reps if proper recovery principles have been adhered to. All from simply adding the small amount of 5kg each training session

The intention here is getting great work done, whilst adding a little more stress to the body each training session. It is not about the weight, technique and safety comes first, and the athlete only moves up the next session if all reps were completed using great form. We never sacrifice form for numbers - your ego is the enemy...

Simple and basic

Biggest Takeaways

Pick an exercise, pick a rep & set scheme that matches your overall goal, and stick to it over the course of a few months by adding a small amount of weight each session and maintaining correct form & technique

Nick Maier