At a CrossFit Kids Trainer Course, Todd Widman of HQ Seminar Staff discusses how teen weightlifting should be structured for safety and efficacy.
“This is a by-invitation-only class. I want you moving fast and hard with moderate loads long before the game is trying to move as much as possible,” Widman says. He looks for mental maturity in the teens and the ability to move well before he allows them to lift heavy.
To add weightlifting to teen programming, Widman focuses on two movements (deadlift/sumo deadlift or back squat) twice a week an hour before the regular CrossFit Teens class. Each teen is encouraged to find a 3-, 5- or 7-rep max.
Why deadlift and back squat?
“You cannot parallel with any other movement the amount of weight you could push or pull with those two,” Widman says. “I want them to get as much adaptation as possible in the least amount of time.”
He adds” “Getting stronger in these two will get you stronger in everything else.”
Widman goes over class structure and rules of lifting he implements with his teens to keep them safe. According to him, the goal isn’t always setting a new PR. Instead, sometimes the teens need to spend the workout mobilizing or back off and practice with a 20-rep max. He only prescribes a 1-rep-max for sports-specific needs.
“By making it an invitation only, it’s the cool thing to do,” Widman says. “It becomes a very serious, very awesome thing, and the next thing you know, it explodes because it’s fantastic.”
Video by Again Faster.
Additional reading: Throwing Down the Gauntlet by Hilary Achauer, published Nov. 19, 2011.