Having size and strength is extremely important for anyone looking to take the next step in their athletic career. Making the jump from high school to college or, I would say, from good to great largely depends on your size, strength, and conditioning. The basics of sport and crucial skill development is usually taught by our coaches. Many times building the perfect body for the specific sport is left out. I think there is also a time and place for putting on size and strength. Athletes need to wait until they are fully developed physically…for men this is usually around 17-19. They need to spend some time in the weight room doing initial strength and core muscular development, which is a different post on its own. They need to decide to commit to a program and adopt all the components…nothing can be left out (it won’t work if you don’t eat right). Here a

re some of the essential components to building size and strength.
1) Hit the weights HEAVY! The only way to get bigger is to lift bigger. A ‘Get Bigger’ program should keep its reps and sets around 4-6 reps and 4-6 sets for every exercise. The most important thing to consider here is safety. A spotter is ALWAYS needed for lifting in this way. I recommend the last two reps of every set to be fully guided by a spotter. Don’t worry if it seems like he or she is doing all the work…that means you have the right weight. When you can get all 4-6 reps on your own…increase the weight!
2) Eat like a big boy! This doesn’t mean huge fast food meals every time you feel hunger. This means eating for a purpose. Eat clean but eat to fuel those muscles you are punishing. Your diet should resemble a 6 meal per day plan and your caloric intake should be around where you want it to be when you reach your goal weight. Eat foods high in protein, eat carbs for energy, and eat clean healthy fats.
3) Power lifting! One of the most useful series of exercises for putting on muscle is power lifting. Have someone show you the proper technique for these exercises though as they can take a huge toll on your body if not done properly. You NEED to do the snatch, deadlift, squat, bench press, clean and jerk, overhead squat, and hang cleans. These exercises work the entire body and force you to get stronger. Do them proper and do them heavy…
4) Sleep. Sleeping is when we do our muscle building. Growth hormone works its butt off to help repair your body when you are sleeping…give it a chance. Get 8-10 hours a night.
5) Supplement: PROTEIN POWDER. Protein powder before and after each workout. Your body will be asking for it, you should listen.
6) Don’t forget about cardio…just because you want to get bigger and stronger doesn’t mean you want to be slower and less conditioned. Get your cardio in 2-3 times per week. Keep it at 30 minutes. Incline treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bike will do.
7) Your split. This is most likely the most controversial point. Some people will say work a different muscle each day…some say only do power lifting. Largely it depends on the person. Start out doing power lifting a couple times a week and add in a ‘chest, shoulder, tri’ and ‘back, bi’ split. Doing each workout twice per week. Keep the workouts at 45 min and work as hard as you can.
8) Rest between sets. Attack each set with everything you have. Like I said, to get bigger you need to lift bigger… I recommend taking 3-4 minutes between each set. Lift as hard as you can…then drink water while you are resting.
9) Warm up. Do not go to the gym amped and just jump onto the squat rack with 300 lbs sitting on your neck. 2-3 warm up sets for each exercise. Really understand your muscles and how they react to the weight. Give them a chance.
10) Keep track. If you don’t keep track of what weight you are doing you will never know if you are improving. You need to know your 1 rep max, your starting body weight, and your weight for each exercise. Do your 1 rep max again every 30 days. Track your results and fill me in on your accomplishments.