The last 8 weeks was spent working with a select group of Teens two days a week for our Teen Program. The goal was to not only increase their fitness during this time, but to instill the idea of Mechanics – Consistency – Intensity.
In other words: master the mechanics and technique of the movements. Consistently deliver those mechanics during warm-ups and strengths. And then, and only then, do you introduce ‘intensity’ in forms of volume or load.
Coach Vanessa created two workout tests for week 1 that would be re-tested in week 8. One of the lifts we utilize to test someone’s progression in fitness is the traditional Deadlift. After drilling the form and safety of the movement, we allowed the Teens to have a few sets of 5 Deadlifts in a row. The idea was to increase weight across the sets, to see the power output of the teens. In order to add weight to their bar, they needed Coach Vanessa’s approval.
Here are the results of a few of the Teens:
AD: his focus was on securing his back angle during the deadlift. More often than not, younger athletes we see will have a harder time engaging what we call the Posterior Chain (all the muscles and systems that run along the backside of a person). In other words, most Teens come to us with stronger quads, than hamstrings and glutes. Coach Vanessa worked with him closely, providing some additional strengthening work to help. He saw his Deadlift weight go from set 1 was 45lb, set 2 was 50lb, set 3 was 60lb during week 1, to set 1 was 75lb, set 2 was 85lb and set 3 was 105lb during week 8! What an improvement!
WR was another Teen who saw big improvement, not just in the numbers on paper, but his body awareness as well. Week 1 WR set 1 was 35lb, set 2 was 45lb and set 3 was 55lb. Coming into Week 8, WR set 1 was 75lb, set 2 and set 3 were 80lb (note here Coach Vanessa recognized WR form did not warrant adding weight for his last set).
Not just the Lifts; Body weight
We also wanted to record the Teen’s ability to move their own body through space and time – how could they conduct themselves in a safe manor and execute bodyweight movements simultaneously.
Coach Vanessa chose four movements for a max rep test: air squat, push-up, sit-up and hanging knee raise. Each of these movements was continuously drilled into the classes over the eight weeks. If we saw a ‘fault’ or flaw in the movement, Coach Vanessa provided accessory work as well.
For example: one of the teen’s heels lifted off the ground as he descended into a squat (essentially disengaging his posterior chain – see above reference). A few accessory movements provided to him during class and this Teen saw a big change come week 8. Every single one of his squats, his heels were glue to the ground – a HUGE change. He saw his max reps in two minutes increase across all four movements:
Air Squat: 35 to 85 reps. Push-ups: 25 to 31 reps. Sit-ups: 37 to 45 reps. Hanging Knee Raise: 55 to 85 reps. Great job AB!
WR saw an increase in his max reps: Air Squats from 52 to 72. Push-ups from 35 to 37. Sit-ups from 40 to 51. And hanging knee raise from 25 to 30.
CM saw an increase in his max reps as well: Sit-ups went from 3 to 41 and his hanging knee raises went from 35 to 50!
At the end of the day, no matter the increase in work capacity we saw, all of the teens walked away feeling stronger and more confident in their abilities.
Body Composition Changes
During week 1 we had the Teens use the “InBody Body Composition” Scanner to see where their bodies started. There is a lot of information that is provided through this scan, but the most important we were looking at was their Skeletal Muscle Mass (SMM) and their Body Fat (as well as Percent Body Fat %BF). This could be broken down to their segmental lean mass as well – how lean (how much muscle) did each segment of their bodies have?
By having access to their amazing data, we were able to track not only their successes, but where we could provide more help (their weaknesses). If there was a glaring imbalance from their left to right leg in terms of lean mass, we could address that during the warm-ups in class.
Overall our focus was to ensure the muscle mass for each of the teens either increased, or at least stayed the same. If the body fat percent decreased then that was great. We all know most body composition changes happen because of the nutritionally-related changes, not just internal fitness at the gym.
Here were some highlighted successes:
- CM saw an increase in his MUSCLE by almost 2.6lb and a decrease in 0.6% body fat.
- AD stayed steady at his muscle mass, and had a 2.9lb DECREASE in BODY FAT – which is almost 2.1% for him!
- WR saw both an INCREASE in his MUSCLE mass by 0.5lb, AND a 1.2% DECREASE in his BODY FAT – that’s 3.26lb in 8 weeks!
We are so proud of the teens we had with us over the 8 weeks. We have another four week session starting up tomorrow, Tuesday November 10! If you are interested in signing up for all 8 classes, or just 4 of them, please reach out to us ASAP as there is a registration cap and we are 75% of the way there!
-Coach Amanda & Teen Coach Vanessa