Lacrosse Training Program Critique?

Hello everyone. Wanted to share my offseason lacrosse training program. If anyone with credibility can critique that would be great. I will probably start a log once the program is critiqued. I’ve done previous logs on here, but I’m just going to start a new one. I’m 16 years old, sophomore, and play Defense and LSM. The program is based on Charlie Francis’s high/low system, Joe Kenn’s tier system, and some of Joe Defranco’s books. Here’s the program:

General Weekly Template:

Sunday: OFF
Monday: OFF
Tuesday: Speed + Strength/Power (High)
Wednesday: Technique/Endurance + Recovery (Low)
Thursday: Speed + Strength/Power (High)
Friday: Technique/Endurance + Recovery (Low)
Saturday: Agility + Strength/Power (High)

Example “High” day workout:

  1. Speed Work (sprint, resisted sprints, skipping/bounding). Full recovery between reps. OR Agility Drills/Games (Cat&Mouse drills, 1v1 2v1 2v2 drills, MB volleyball) All drills must contain a reactionary component.

  2. Power Exercise: Choose from Total Body Power (Heavy MB Throws), Lower Body Power (Jumps), or Upper Body Power (Explosive Pushups & Seated/Kneeling MB Throws.

  3. Max Effort Exercise: Choose from Total Body Lift (Deadlifts, Cleans, Push Presses/Jerks), Lower Body Lift (Squats), or Upper Body Lift (Bench Presses)

  4. Assistance Work: Choose from DB Pressing/Pushups, Pullups/Rows, Quad-dominant unilateral, Posterior chain, Core, Upper Back, Grip/Carry, Arms. Choose NO MORE than 5 of these options per workout.

Example “Low” day workout (Everything on this day MUST be low intensity in order to recover in 24 hours):

  1. Wall Ball

  2. Short Range Shooting/Finishing

  3. Extensive Tempo Intervals (consisting of forward running, backpedaling, shuffling, crossover running, drop stepping, calisthenics). Staying out of a lactic state to keep it low intensity.

  4. Foam Rolling

Sometimes I’ll do some more wall ball on “OFF days” as well. Let me know what you guys think.

I haven’t ever played lacrosse, so I can’t comment a ton on it, but I’d guess the training needed for it would be similar to rugby, football, and maybe even soccer (which I have played). Probably for any sport, really.

My buddy played lacrosse in high school, did well, and also was a pretty decent running back in football (playing in college right now). His training consisted mostly of squats, Olympic lifts, and various presses. I think that’s all that an athlete really needs, strength wise.

I’d just do a 5/3/1 program. Try something like this:

Monday: OFF (because you already have it off)
Tuesday: Squat & Bench
Wednesday: Recovery (ex: Airdyne biking for 30 min. & mobility work)
Thursday: Deadlift & Power Clean
Friday: Recovery (ex: see above example ^^)
Saturday: Front Squat & Overhead Press
Sunday: OFF (again, because you already have it off)

Not much experience in speed work - I did track in high school but I don’t know how to tell someone else to program their’s.

Power movements? Jim Wendler (creator of 5/3/1) always recommends jumps and/or throws as a “warmup” before your main lifts. There you go.

Max Effort movements? You do two big barbell movements a day. There you go.

Assistance work? I don’t think you need up to 5 assistance movements a day…pick a couple quality ones and get good at them.

You can superset your benching with DB rows, and superset your overhead pressing with chinups, so there’s that (back/biceps).

Until you’re deadlifting or cleaning like 400+ lbs or something, I personally think doing those two movements + rows/chinups is good enough for grip. This is just me.

I think lunges/split squats (quad dominant unilateral) have their place, but the squats, front squats, and cleans are probably ok for now. You’ll be fine. Add in some lunges for high reps at the end if you want, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

Do some GHR’s and an ab movement as part of your warmup. Like 2-4x8 and 2-4x15-20, respectively. I recently started this and feel great. There’s posterior chain and abs.

Do some band pull-aparts between all your warmup sets of benching and pressing, and do it as part of your warmup too.

Find somewhere to throw in some pushups. If you’re benching, you should be doing pushups. (I think.) They’re a great movement.

Your low day looks fine. You’re basically just practicing technique at a low intensity and foam rolling? That should be ok.

Don’t make it too complicated. Warmup with jumps/throws, get strong at a few big barbell movements, add in a few necessary assistance movements, and just be consistent.

jshaving, thanks for your reply. Yeah the physical demands of lacrosse are pretty much the same to those other sports you mentioned. I’m not to familiar with the 5/3/1 program so ill look into it. Thanks again.

Ok let me know what you think of this based on your advice (not including speed&power work and using 3x5 method from starting strength rather than 5/3/1):

Back Squat 3x5
Incline Bench 3x5
Grip work 4 sets (optional considering your advice)
Pullups/Chinups 4x8-12
Abs 3x10-20

Trap Bar Deadlift 3x5
Clean & Press 5x3
Weighted Pushups/Dips 4x8-12
Chest Supported Row 4x8-12
Abs 3x10-20

Front Squat 3x5
Flat Bench 3x5
Posterior chain 4x8-12 (unfortunately I don’t have a ghr machine so these will be things like back extensions, rdls, etc.)
Pullups/Chinups 4x8-12
Abs 3x10-20

Doing pull aparts between pressing movements as you suggested. Thanks for any feedback.

Starting Strength is an ok program, for beginners. The problem with it is that at some point, every set just becomes full of grinding reps, and you’re barely squeezing them out. You’re testing yourself, not training yourself, and pretty soon you just stop being able to do it.

So if you are still at a point where each workout is done with a fair amount of ease, it’s ok. You want to focus on bar speed - if it’s moving fast, and your form isn’t breaking down, you’re ok. When you start slowing down and really struggling each workout, it’s time to switch. Struggling and feeling like crap makes people feel good mentally - “Hey, I just worked really hard!” but it doesn’t do much to help you. You want to always be moving quickly, especially as an athlete. Your strength needs to be shown quickly, and powerfully. Not slowly.

You don’t need to do a 5/3/1 program, but you should read Jim Wendler’s articles on here, and on his website. He’s a great coach, especially for young athletes. I recently bought one of his books, and after slowly reading less than half of it, have learned more about training than I have in almost a year.

Anyway, onto your current program.

For the most part, looks good.

Back/front squats, and trapbar deadlifts are all fine. Awesome movements. As I said, just pay attention to how your bar speed and form gets as the weights get heavier.

Incline bench, clean & press, and bench press…I personally would drop the incline bench and do the overhead press in its place. Then I’d just do cleans on their own. The reason why is just that the weight you can press will always limit the weight you can clean. You can progress faster on cleans if you do them alone. But this isn’t a huge deal. Up to you.

Chinups, pushups/dips, rows, and some posterior chain movement are all fine. You listed back extensions and RDL’s - there are many options but I’d pick one of those - they’re both really good. Something you can do is superset your rows with your benching, and chinups with pressing. And then do those band pull-aparts while you rest. This just saves some time.

Abs are also fine. Do whatever you want.

Looks pretty good man. Just have a plan in place for progression when you start to slow down on your main lifts. (I’m obviously partial to 5/3/1 but there are many others out there.) Eat, drink water, sleep, do mobility and recovery, and you should be good!

Awesome advice! Thanks so much.

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