T Nation

Did High School Sports Help You?


I never participated in sports in school at all and it wasn't till I was 19 that I started lifting weights.

I would have to say that I started too easy...I mean I went months and months after my first day in the university gym doing cable crossovers and curls and other silly shit like that.

How many guys here that had to do weight training in high school are here today and how do you think it has effected your training today and how you look today?

I think I would have had a great head start if I'd done more stuff in high school other than watch The Next generation and read Mack Bolan books!


I would say lifting for high school football definitely was useful for getting a good foundation for how I look and lift today. Unfortunately, my coach was a bit narrow minded with regards to certain exercises. He was a major proponent of pressing, particularly bench and incline. However, he greatly neglected teaching pulls like deads or snatches. Additionally, he wasn't too keen on accessory/isolation/injury prevention work. Consequently, my chest and shoulders started off pretty big, but my back and legs lagged pretty far behind. If my lifting program was more broad in high school, I probably would be much bigger than I am today. Overall, I say it was beneficial because it introduced me to weightlifting and set/rep schemes.


Interesting Topic.

I guess I would be an example of the other end of the spectrum. I played competitive baseball from the age of 10 - 18. At school we had what was called the "High Performance" gym class. I guess it was like the "advance" class of gym - just as you would have with math or the sciences. It was pretty cool cause it was full of athletes; and only the best, like the top 30 guys from a school of 1500. All we did was train, no sport of any kind. On a typical day we would do a quick run, do a plyometric routine( they were really trying to improve our hops) and then hit the weight room. Once a month we even tested our vert with the proper device so things were pretty competitive but always in a good way. We would also have pull up contests, 225 "hold" contest etc. Fun stuff.

Anyways, I think all that definitely gave me a good start.

Here is me at 21 -


One thing to think about - young kids with growing bodies being pushed to hard. I have a few issues now that I don't think would exist, or at least not to the same extent, had I not been doing depth jumps and shuttle runs etc 3x week when I was only 14. Not saying that young kids can't train(and I speak more of the plyos than the weights) but just that the programing has to be done properly and diligence taken in watching for signs of overtraining.


I feel like the biggest benefits were largely social: confidence, camaraderie, leadership opportunities and so on

And while the physical benefits (of consistent lifting) are undeniable, I know I squandered much of them by simply not eating enough


absolutely, its this reason i lift today


Yeah it was helpful.

We started in Jr. High, if you made a sports team you were seperated from the other kids in P.E. and spent the hour in a weight room.

I had dicked around on dads weights prior to this but a coach running us through a regimented plan of full body and compound lifts gave a great foundation of both knowledge and strength to continue building on through HS and now life.

But fuck it, who cares? It's never to late to start. You know what to do now OP, congrats on doing it!


I think that there were some pros and cons. From wrestling I learned that although important, s&c isn't everything. There was a lot of emphasis at my first school on technique, and the coaches left the strength and conditioning aside as a secondary benefit of rigorous drilling. At my second school, the coach would have us doing all sorts of in season conditioning and use up tons of practice time on sprint intervals and other sorts of monkeying around. First school turned out sectional, regional, and state champions. Second school turned out a lot of kids that got pinned but were in great shape to walk off the mat a loser. I think that being able to compare and contrast these different coaching styles gave me good insight into doing what works with regard to your goals and dropping what doesn't. One of the major cons was that the attitude and application of both was at times downright sadistic and counterproductive to long term (life long) performance. I went through half a season one year with an erector spinae that looked like ground meat- "for the team", and a couple other seasons with torn acl, mcl, and numerous other cumulative injuries that come back to haunt occasionally.

But heck, "pain is temporary, pride is forever" right? 21 years later I disagree.

There were a lot of life skills taught in the process. Teamwork, good sportsmanship, dedication, and role modeling were all incorporated into those practices too.


I trained as a sprinter in high school but also had a Judo career. Weights lifting was part of that lifestyle.

It's definitely increased my confidence and strength throughout the years and despite injuries and other set- backs, I still strive to gain more knowledge, improve my techniques and push myself to the point I'd thought it'd be impossible for me to achieve.


No, the only running I did in HS was from the cops and responsibility lol.


Yeah...even running....I never ran farther than 1 mile till I was 18 or so!


I wish I hadn't played sports in high school.

My right hand is a mess from football injuries including a surgery. I had a concussion from wrestling which (I think) causes problems for me on occasion. I have a serious imbalance in my hamstrings since tearing one in football and then playing literally the entire season without it healing.

I now know that our coaches were total fucktards when it came to the weight room. Over time, I've fixed the imbalances they gave me.

Damn I'm bitter...

And no, I'm not just mad because the coach hated me and I never got to play. I was always a starter and a pretty decent football player.


I personally gained a lot from playing football in high school. I was lucky enough to avoid injuries, and we had a really great trainer who taught us so much about training, including how to perform olympic lifts.

My brother is a bit younger than me and is new to weight training. He never played sports in high school (I'm not counting bowling). And even though he loves lifting, he is still developing that "base strength" and has to look out for injuries especially for his shoulders.

Broadly speaking, lots of young men need positive figures in their lives, and need to learn how to work with others. In football especially, you have to depend on your teammates no matter how talented you are individually. You have to lead sometimes and follow other times, and that is a good life lesson.

BUT...there are plenty of jackass high school coaches who ruin the entire experience for kids by being ignorant, over-competitive, delusional, and making kids play hurt. So there is another side to the argument.

I have friends who say they would never let their kids play football. If I had kids, I wouldn't let them play full-contact until high school, and I would make sure they understand the risks of injury.


Playing football was the turning point in my life. Without it I would not be who I am today. I basically went from complete bitch to total stud (relatively speaking) in my first 4 years of football. I learned toughness, hard work, and how to get respect from people. I shudder to think what my life would be like now if I hadn't learned those things at that age.

EDIT: I did not realize this was "how did high school sports help you with weight training".

I'd say they really didn't. I would have lifted anyhow, and I didn't lift with the team (because the weight room at our HS was shit and our coaches had no fucking clue) so it really didn't change anything with regards to my current training.


For me personally I was a rower in high school which I think has lead to a predisposition for my body to build weight/strength in my legs/back very easily compared to others as well as compared to my other muscle groups (chest is miserably hard for me to build). It's also made my squat technique a bit in shambles due to the fact that in rowing you don't row with an arch, and your hips are at a much different angle. I squat like I row and can good morning more than I squat. I still think it helped much more than it's hurting due to the mental toughness I gained from rowing.


It was the reason I started lifting. Was hooked within a few weeks. Never looked back.

Of course the programs was flawed and the coaches dumb as shit, basically bench all day with some curls and maybe some lat pull-downs or T-bars.
At least there was competition and a focus on strength. I would have hated to start out in a public gym and become one of these phony tuff commercial gym meat heads who can db press over 9,000 but couldn't run a mile, set a tackle or load some heavy ass stones.


For myself, Yes Nards was an important childhood experience, taught me many life lessons.

1 work as a team

2 losing is part of life

3 not giving up when you are tired, and that not everyone can play football, Baseball, basketball etc

4 RESPECT other people, no matter how big, fast or bad ass you think you are there is someone out there better

Now I was not part of the social high school circle jock, geek, dope head etc. I was in honor classes, always was reading novels in between classes and kind of hung out with everyone. I can see how certain sports cause a clique that causes entitlement etc. I just wasnt raised that way.

As far as lifting we had some very progressive coaches for the late 80's, we did box jumps, pulled railroad ties, did the big 4 lifts and power cleans. That was what started me with the love of lifting.


I was a triathlete and road racer as a child, but had to start lifting weights when I was on swim team in high school. I didn't get a lot of coaching at the time, but it was where I started figuring out that weights are more fun than cardio.


I pesonally and passionately hated school sports and did everything i could in my last year to bunk off sports on a friday afternoon.

Mind you..(english) school sport was dominated by soccer and rugby (winter) and tennis /cricket (summer) and i still think that they are the biggest wastes of time and effort known to man--i fact i would go so far as saying that i detest english soccer and the overpaid prima-donnas that play it.

It was only when i left school that i started to enjoy the alternative 'sports' --for me, rock climbing ,that i really started to enjoy the physical game at all. It was an enormous surprise to me when i became a half decent climber.

Now...40 years after the event i have to wonder just how many of those football 'stars' of my school days are doing anything remotely athletic--in fact i bet that now in my fifties i could out run,out lift and out 'endurance' any of them.

Rant over...



Im 22 and all the guys I played sports with are terribly out of shape (the ones that didnt play college ball or semi pro).


basically what everyone else has already said.... and people who didnt play sports in highschool were usually nerds lol.