Strength Training Program for High School Throwers

By Ray Wilks, USATF I

Ray Wilks, USATF I
Bridgeton High School

Weight in high school: 187 lbs.
Height in high school: 6' 1"

High School PR in the Shot Put: 64' 5"
High School PR in the Discus: 189' 10"

In high school, weight lifting was something that I did not do. I got by on raw ability. With a 12 lb. shot put, that was easy to do. However, with a 16 lb. shot put and heavier discus in college, I knew raw ability wasn't going to get the job done, especially arriving at college with a 205 lb. bench press and a 295 lb. squat.

Once in college, lifting at a high level allowed me to make the transition to heavier implements and continued success:

Collegiate PR in Shot Put: 61' 9"
Collegiate PR in Discus: 187'

I would like to share with you our lifting schedule at Bridgeton High School in Southern New Jersey. Weight lifting in high school can enhance your high school stats and allow for an easier transition from high school to college. I was fortunate to catch up quickly, eventually winning 7 Big East Titles in the Shot Put and earning 2 NCAA All American Certificates.

Here are some notes to consider regarding our program:

1. All core lifting is based off of percentages of our one rep max.
2. Although scheduling in high school can conflict, we try to lift 3 days a week doing one hard lift each day. The lifts that we do include:
Upper Body
Incline bench (core)
Military press (core)
Dumbbell press (secondary)
Light flat bench (secondary)

Lower body
Squat (core)
Leg curls (secondary)
Calf raises (secondary)

Total body
Power cleans
3. There are two different lifting schedules: Low percentage and High percentage
4. Low percentage work outs consist of a high number of reps at a low percentage of your max. The purpose of this is to build endurance in the muscle. We start our season off with this type of work out.
5. High percentage work outs consist of a low number reps at a high percentage of your max. The purpose of this is to build strength and mass.

The first workout is a low percentage weekly workout. Generally we follow this schedule for the first four weeks of the season before changing to the high percentage workout.

The second workout is our high percentage weekly workout. We follow this for the next 4 weeks of the season, then we go back to low percentage lifts leading up to the championship part of the season.
With infinity sets, make sure your athlete stop if their form starts to break down. With power cleans, we use a moderate, manageable weight as opposed to basic things off of a one rep max.

Good luck and if you have any questions, post them on the discussion board or email us at info@completetrackandfield.com.

Download the workout in PDF format here
Strength Training for High School Throwers


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