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What Was Your Lifting Like in High School?


#1

Hey, Highschool sophomore here! What was your lifting like (or did you not lift?) in highschool? I had just enrolled in a new Highschool (rocking 'dem AP and honors classes, without wanting to kill myself from IB), and went to the weightroom.

It was body day, so I started off with overhead presses. All of the bars/racks were being used, so I asked to work in with a guy who was squatting. I look at the bar, and it was 100 pounds total that he was squatting, and I pressed it as a warm up. Then I kept going, and at 155 (or 175) someone comes up to me and high fives me thinking I got a PR, then I kept working up to 190. (poor guy I was working in with just decided to do a different exercise)

So, that made me think: How much is the average high schooler lifting? I was in the room with sophomores-juniors (might have been one senior in there), and I was the biggest guy in there by a lot. Everyone in general (even the coaches) were impressed by my lifting.

So anyway, what was everyone's lifting like in highschool? What did you lift, and what was your programming like? I've been running some type of conjugate training during all of high school (with occasional specialization programs like coan/phillipi or smolov just for some fun).

Also, this was not a bragging post. There are quite a few people even on just this site who are stronger than me. Don't be an asshole, and say I was bragging; it was just to compare my lifting to what I saw.


#2

Good on you…

I didn’t start lifting until I was in my early 20s, and then I walked away from strength training for over 8 years. Do NOT make the same mistake. I got fat, lazy, sloppy and sick. Find a routine you enjoy, have fun, track your progress to make consistent gains, dial in your nutrition, and stick with it for life.

That having been said, since I teach high school history, I use their weight room for free after school 4x/week. We have a full facility with three squat racks, six flat bench stations, one incline bb station, an array of DBs up to 75 lbs only, kettlebells </= 35 lbs, dip station, calf machine, E-Z bars, all of the standard machine stations, pull up bars mounted on the wall, along with some cardio equipment. It’s all free for my use!

I usually lift with the football, baseball, wrestling, track & field, and soccer players, or at least share equipment with them. Sometimes I will help some kids with form. It has been my observation, consistently, that the average high school athlete/lifter comes in and does the minimal amount necessary to keep his or her coach happy. Most of these guys spend more time socializing and using their devices than getting actual work done. I am by no means the strongest or leanest guy on this site, but I have made great gains since sticking with consistent lifting when I returned last year. I am almost 35 years-old and I’ve had several coaches tell me I get more done than almost any of the kids working out in the weight room. It shouldn’t be that way at all, especially at their age, so I’m not bragging. I just go in and get work done, I have goals, and hopefully you are doing the same! As a side observation, an increasing number of “athletes” are carrying around too much body fat for their age (i.e., 30+ lbs).


#3

My friends who were into sports and athletics kept pressuring me to go to the after school open gym time. I continued to be stubborn as fuck and outright refused until I eventually caved in and went once.

All I can remember is trying to squat (probably just the bar) and getting nowhere. The football coach came over, told me I can’t rotate my feet out at all (lol). I tried to point my toes completely straight and proceed to squat, but I’m quite sure that whatever I did weren’t squats and that crippled war veterans could definitely do a better job than I was doing. My friends continued to harass me into going with them, but I was firm that “I just don’t like it and it’s not for me”.

Several years later I started lifting and now love it.

Guess your friends sometimes know you better than yourself?

I remember my friend benching 220 – maybe for reps? – and quite a few people thought it was cool/a big deal. So at least at my school, there weren’t that many freaks of strength I guess. This was like 12 years ago though, so quite before the internet could proliferate the lifting culture and also deliver well written instructions and programs.


#4

Cool thread idea. And good for you OP on getting ahead of the game so to speak. I hope both my boys, ages 13 and 10 now, will find an interest in weight training early on. I was in a weight training class in my 10th, 11th, and 12th grade years. I’m 39 now, so I don’t remember a lot of what we did. But I do seem to recall that most of my squats were probably quarter or half squats at best. I was more interested in benching, and the first time I benched 225 it was like the best thing ever lol.


#5

I did a lot of benching, curls, lat pulldowns and chin ups. Zero leg work, because running took care of that of course.

At 160, I was able to bench something like 250ish by the time I was a senior, although part of the reason I was so light was because I wasn’t training my legs, so I had no lower body mass.

No real routine. Just basically going into the weight room and training until I ran out of things to do. Though not the most efficient use of time, it did at least get me in the routine of going to the gym and helped me develop some basic strength and coordination.


#6

[quote]Destrength wrote:
What was your lifting like (or did you not lift?) in highschool?[/quote]
I think I started lifting around 17, when I was 6’2" and 170ish. I was on the poetry magazine and didn’t do any sports in school (just studied martial arts outside of school). At one point, I got called ‘lanky’ something like three times within two weeks and finally decided to train.

Routines were straight out of bodybuilding magazines and changed every few weeks. Took a ton of supplements instead of food (working at a GNC didn’t help). Turned down advice from bigger/smarter lifters because I was reading plenty of magazines and I “knew what I was doing”.

Basically plinked around with half-assed plans until I was well-out of high school, eventually got certified as a trainer and finally started getting things in line.

Ha, yeah that’s a double-edged “feel proud/feel like a dick” moment for sure. I had it happen once when I had a bar loaded and sitting on the rack, dude walks up between sets and asks to work in, he does a bunch of short-ROM shrugs then steps aside, I do snatch-grip high pulls while his eyes bug out.

Dan John probably has some of the most relevant insight and experience in this arena. Some of his standards were just posted in another thread:
"I’ve found that when a high school boy does over 200 pounds in the bench press, clean, and front squat, good things seem to happen. Here’s my “Big Blue Club,” the basic standard for being a Varsity athlete:

Power Clean: 205 pounds
Deadlift: 315 pounds
Back Squat: 255 pounds
Front Squat: 205 pounds
Standing Press: 115 pounds
One-Arm Bench: 70 pounds (5 right/5 left)
Power Clean & Jerk: 165 pounds
Bench Press: 205 pounds

This should be easy enough for the boy to do all in one training session. I also have standards for push-ups (45 in a minute), pull-ups (5 real ones), and horizontal rows (24 in a minute. I keep the feet on a bench so it doesn’t become a leg exercise)."


#7

Most people in the advanced weights class were football players(myself included) and other athletes. We had a routine that the class had to follow, that involved mostly compound exercises. We did a lot of bench, squats and power cleans. We also did a bit of push press and military.

All of the good football players were squatting 315-405 range. I put up 265 on power clean in the class which was the most in the school(3000 kids) at the time.

The goal for all football players was max 315 bench, 405 squat and 250 power clean. Some were able to achieve some of these numbers but I don’t know of anyone that hit all three by the time we graduated.

Depending on the season(football or wrestling) I was anywhere from 180-210 lbs.


#8

Mind blowing that high school kids in America are as strong as that.

We don’t have anything like that here in the UK. I guess it’s because you guys play American football and wrestle, whereas here it’s all just football (soccer).


#9

[quote]Yogi wrote:
Mind blowing that high school kids in America are as strong as that.

We don’t have anything like that here in the UK. I guess it’s because you guys play American football and wrestle, whereas here it’s all just football (soccer).[/quote]
I don’t want to start a internet-war, but how much does having a massive bench and squat actually help with playing any form of football???

tweet


#10

Nonexistent. I was a massive 5’11, 110 pounds at seventeen and had no one around to even suggest touching a barbell.


#11

I’m going back to ancient times–the 1950’s. There was NO weightlifting in my highschool then. In fact the “conventional” wisdom was weight training would make you “muscle bound.” During my freshman year in college, the college football coach threatened to kick anyone off the team that lifted weights. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since that ridiculous attitude.


#12

[quote]theBird wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
Mind blowing that high school kids in America are as strong as that.

We don’t have anything like that here in the UK. I guess it’s because you guys play American football and wrestle, whereas here it’s all just football (soccer).[/quote]
I don’t want to start a internet-war, but how much does having a massive bench and squat actually help with playing any form of football???

tweet[/quote]

Which movements do you think would be a better choice for American football?


#13

[quote]theBird wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
Mind blowing that high school kids in America are as strong as that.

We don’t have anything like that here in the UK. I guess it’s because you guys play American football and wrestle, whereas here it’s all just football (soccer).[/quote]
I don’t want to start a internet-war, but how much does having a massive bench and squat actually help with playing any form of football???

tweet[/quote]

dude, you really can’t see how having a good squat would make you better at American football?


#14

Bench, crunches, and curls - duh. High school honies didn’t care about legs or back. It’s science.

Looking back, the strongest guys on the football team probably had around 1000 lb total ( squat,bench, dead)

Anyway, fast forward to today. My bench is somewhat decent because I’ve been doing it forever. Squat suck and I wish I had started on them in high school.


#15

I didn’t really lift in high school.

I ran both track and cross country, and we had access to the weight room during both sport seasons.

My first team (which wasn’t great – not bad, just not top 10 in the state) encouraged us to do some lifting, but gave us no instruction. This was Freshman year, so a friend and I spent a couple sessions just dicking around on equipment here and there. I think I benched the bar for a few reps, did some back extensions, and some weighted decline situps. I vaguely remember a full-body workout routine on a sheet of paper… but really I did no lifting.

My second team (which was in the top 5 in the state) also had gym access. This was actually a pretty nice gym; clean, lots of space, well maintained. I don’t remember any power cages though. The only barbells I remember were for bench pressing.

At the beginning of the season, the weight lifting (not weightlifting) coach gave us all a basic primer in the various pieces of equipment. Mostly I remember doing leg presses, leg extensions and leg curls. A few guys I know also did some arm work. We didn’t do this for long though, since the track coach discouraged us from doing anything to interfere with our running once the season started.

Given that we continued to have athletes setting state records, and the team continued to win track meet after track meet, I have no problem with that decision. Our actual training on the track was pretty tough.

Knowing what I know now, I probably would have spent the summer “off season” (which was cross country pre-season) doing some lifting, but I’d still defer to my coaches judgments in-season.


#16

I lifted weights with football till the 10th grade, when I got frustrated with our program and gave it up to play just basketball and tennis. Didn’t lift with basketball till we did so sporadically my senior year. We were capped at 315 with basketball, having gotten to that point as a sophomore for a few reps, I progressed to 3x10 with 315 as a senior on squats. OH pressed 135 for 3x8, that was the capped weight for that exercise, we didn’t bench with basketball but I was dong 205 as a 10th grader when I quit.

I remember it being a really big deal to get 135 on the bench before you got out of jr high. Deadlifting was only with football and only with a trap bar. Got 315 for 3x10 on that as well, no cap there that was just the weight my group was assigned. We were broken into similar strength groups so the weight would be fixed until the next group came through. I was in a middle of the pack group in football, the stronger group of WR/CB’s, and was on the stronger side for our basketball team.


#17

I didn’t start lifting until I was 20 and recovering from a broken wrist bone. I actually just went to my apartment gym and did leg stuff and extremely light arms (because of the wrist). Shortly after I moved and went to a real gym (golds). First day I benched 95lbs (maybe 10 reps can’t remember) as my max.


#18

At 16 years old and a sophmore I benched 355 pounds in the High School weightroom and still hold the record to this day as far as I am aware, that was 20 years ago. I only weighed 185.

I was squatting 425, and did a clean and jerk of 235 if I remember.

Now keep in mind, I went from a football intense program in the south to a small school in the midwest with only 32 people in the graduating class.

I would get a hall pass durring study hall and go straight to the weight room.


#19

[quote]theBird wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
Mind blowing that high school kids in America are as strong as that.

We don’t have anything like that here in the UK. I guess it’s because you guys play American football and wrestle, whereas here it’s all just football (soccer).[/quote]
I don’t want to start a internet-war, but how much does having a massive bench and squat actually help with playing any form of football???

tweet[/quote]

Is your speculation about the exercises having carryover at all, or the carryover from specializing them to be ‘massive?’


#20

I am so old that all we had to lift in high school was a piece of rebar attached to two boulders. And we had to walk bare foot in the snow to school. Up hill. Both ways.