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Powerlifter in High School

Hi, i’m a 16 year old aspiring powerlifter. I’m six feet and weight 170 pounds. During the summer I trained very hard at a local gym, I achieved a 400 pound deadlift, a 280 pound squat (rock bottom, could probably get 320 or so at parallel).

For my first senior year of high school, I decided to take strength training as a class. I figured it would be a free period where I could do my workouts and continue making strength gains. But ever since the beginning of the class, the “Strength Coach” won,t fucking leave me alone and insists I follow his workout routines like the other kids (i’m one of the only people with strength training experience in the class). These workout usually consists of 3 x 10, or volume training garbage like that. Also, we are not alound to deadlift or to do over head presses. I’ll post some examples of the workouts below.

Last week’s Back and biceps workout:
Lat pull down: 3 x 10
Machine Row: 3 x 10
Hammer Curl: 3 x 10
Concentration Curl: 3 x 10
Barbell Curl: 2 x 20

Volume training For chest (this ones from about 3 weeks ago)
Bench press: 10 x 15
Machine flyes: 10 x 15
Tricep pulldown: 10 x 15

Also, every thursday we have to do slow cardio around the soccer field wich is totally useless.

All in all, This class which I thought was going to be beneficial to my goals has turned into a nightmare. All my lifts have gone down, ( I tried deadlifting yesterday when we had a supply teacher, maxed out at 325 >.>). This has runied my hopes of going to a powerlifting meet this year, and it will probably take several months to get back to my previous levels once this class is over in june.

I know this entire thread might semm like a rant, which it is I suppose. But I wanted to ask if you guys had any advice, I’ve tried talking to the coach about my goal and my training program but he simply won’t listen and insists that deadlifting while make me cripped by the age of 25. I really don’t know what to do, and I honestly feel like dropping out of the class.

Thanks in advance, any adive is appreciated,


Dedicate a day just to doing arms. Bicep curls, concentration curls, cable curls, hammer curls, and wrist curls would be my suggestion.

If your grade doesn’t depend on it, halfass his workouts (which it sounds like it would be easy to do since they’re garbage) and then go do your own thing.

If not, suck it up and tough it out till June. The good news is that your lifts will go back up pretty quickly once you start strength training again. Think of this as more of a mass phase, which will make you a bit bigger so you can potentially handle even heavier weights when you start up again.

Really sucks to be in your situation though man…

You’re a 16 year old high school senior?

10 sets of 15???

[quote]VTBalla34 wrote:
If your grade doesn’t depend on it, halfass his workouts (which it sounds like it would be easy to do since they’re garbage) and then go do your own thing.[/quote]

This. Honestly, the extra volume will probably help you, and high frequency training is fucking awesome anyway. There’s little reason you cannot do something off on your own.

[quote]BigDBigD wrote:
You’re a 16 year old high school senior?[/quote]
I was 16 as a senior in high school…

Get your parents mad about it and have them bitch to the teacher and the principal and everyone. My mom is a school teacher; they don’t have any power whatsoever, and a lot of principals will bend like blades of grass to the whims of parents. For the most part I always hated people whose parents did that, but in this case the teacher is in the wrong.

Dude… I’m going to go against the grain here and say embrace it.

There are worse things than taking a semester to soley work on volume. You’re 170 right now… Make your new goal 200. Make you goal 10 sets of 10 on squats with 225. Work your ass off, and use as heavy a weight as you can, and get as strong as you can in those rep ranges.

You won’t be able to hit your max lifts right away, you’ll need to peak to get back there, but if you work hard enough and follow your coaches advice, you’ll have a wonderful base and tons of new mass when you get back to lifting heavy.

Powerlifting isn’t all about hitting big numbers, to really hit your potential you’ll need to be at least 242 at 6 foot. At least. this is a good time to start working on it, this is a great time to gain 20 lbs. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

I’d also advise you one other thing, you now have a coach, you may not agree with everything he’s saying, but you have a coach. I would advise you to memorize this phrase “Sorry sir, but do you mind me asking why?”

Make “Why?” your new favorite word, suck as much knowledge out of this guy as you can, it doesn’t matter if you agree with it or not, but see his point of view. In general, seek to understand what he’s saying, then seek to be understood. If you get on his good side, and show you’re a level headed smart young man, who loves powerlifting, I’m sure you’ll get to take some heavier weights.

But think about it from his side, he’s got a 16 year old with crazy amounts of strength, and not much experience, and the kid has a itch to lift heavy… I’m sure he see’s one thing and one thing only, an injury waiting to happen. He’s holding you back because he doesn’t want to get his own ass fired, or in serious shit, but also he doesn’t want you to get hurt.

I don’t believe for a second you’ll be hurt, but he doesn’t know that yet. Show him, prove yourself and earn his trust, seek to understand his methods. Hone your technique with lighter weights, make it perfect, ask for feedback constantly, sincerely say thank you every time he give you feedback, no matter what he says, don’t ever get defensive, ask WHY?

You’ve got a great opportunity right now, seize it.

How the fuck do you go from a 400 DL PR to a 325 DL.

I thought an added conditioning class in my schedule would affect my progress. All it did was get me sore for 2 weeks or so and then I was back on track. It’s not that complicated, maybe you’re overthinking it and being more negative than positive.

I know it seems hindering at first. But if you’re eating enough and taking the necessary time to do recovery and mobility, these little workouts that you’re doing at school shouldn’t be hurting your real sessions by that much, in fact, they should be helping you increase your work capacity.

Lots of real life people don’t JUST LIFT. They have jobs, manual labor jobs. But yet they still kick ass in the gym. It’s a matter of perspective. Your body will adapt, just get your head back to where it needs to be.