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Programming for Young Athletes Part 2: WOD Breakdown by Zach Even-Esh - CrossFit Journal

In Coaching, CrossFit, Kids, Videos

March 05, 2011

Video Article

Zach Even-Esh, owner of the affiliate Underground Strength Gym, has found success training young athletes. His programming is tailored to help sport-specific young athletes step up their game.

In Part 2 of the series, Even-Esh describes a typical day’s programming. The training session begins with a stand-alone lift, but one programmed with young athletes in mind.

“We can’t give these kids too much down time,” he says.

In addition to losing concentration and growing bored while waiting, the kids won’t develop the traits Even-Esh seeks to cultivate if they’re standing around.

“We want strength-endurance, power-endurance. We want what CrossFit does. We want heightened work capacity,” he says.

On this full-body training day, the next task is pulling, including mixed body-weight pulling using different grips, equipment and variations. For movements like pulling, Even-Esh emphasizes sub-maximal effort, which he says “keeps the technique in check.” He also focuses on mobility during the training session and keeps recovery in mind with his choice of movements.

Next, Even-Esh includes movements to attack an athlete’s weaknesses, such as unilateral leg work. After a challenging final element like a kettlebell complex, the end of the workout is open for independent extra work.

“There’s like a mental edge that these kids get by doing extra,” he says.

12min 51sec

Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 149 by Justin Judkins, originally aired Dec. 8, 2010.

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10 Comments on “Programming for Young Athletes Part 2: WOD Breakdown”


wrote …

Infinitely useful! Thanks so much.


wrote …

Thanks Zach. I am grateful for the knowledge you share about the Underground Strength Gym methodologies. I have incorporated a lot of your methods in my young athlete training and the results are tremendous. This video is really informational and it helps to get your insight on the "why" behind the workout method. Al


wrote …

Thanks Zach Always love to hear your spin on training,coaching and life as always great info.


wrote …

Love it. Thanks!


wrote …

Great job Zach....I am a new reader to CFJ and own my own "small box" facility. Our training methods mirror much of what I saw but we have mostly small group adult training. I learned a lot from your video and plan to utilize much from it in our program. Just wondering, is Underground Strength Gym a Crossfit affilate?
Just curious, Zach mentioned "Crossfit" style workouts.


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

Thnx for all the props guys, glad every1 enjoyed and learned :)

@Gary Larrison, Yes Sir, CF Affiliate!!


wrote …

great video, love to see a coach who is as thoughtful with his programming as you are. Most impressive thing about the video to me is your admission to not be an expert on O lifting.

Too many coaches have taken a weekend "matchbook" certification on Olympic lifting and claim to be experts. I have a couple of those certs, started O lifting 10 years ago, been doing it weekly for last 3 years and I learn new things all the time through my own training. In only the last 3 months could I honestly say I was decent at the jerk and I've been doing that movement twice to 4x a month for 3 years!!

So refreshing to see a coach/person who is so humble and honest. I wish you and your clients the best.


wrote …

I coach High School Wrestling and have been using Zack's programs for a couple of years now.
The guys great. I love the fact that crossfit is now tapping into his resources. It makes me feel I was heading in the right direction when I did the same.


replied to comment from Zach Even - Esh

I've been following your methods for about a year or so now, via Facebook, and your site.

Always great to see new stuff from you that really covers the training and methods behind it that you put your athletes through. Wish I lived closer to Edison or I'd come by to see it all in person.


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

U guys r 2 kind 4 the comments! BIG time honored 2 be part of the journal, it's a VERY BIG deal 4 me and I try to give my best!

@Katherine, where do U coach, would love to hear how you're doing!!!??


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