Understanding Competing Demands, Part Deux: A Sample Workout

On Wednesday, I touched on competing demands and how these will affect the quantity, and quality, of the training stressors appropriately applied to athletes and general fitness enthusiasts alike. I used myself as an example of making a major mistake in attempting to obliterate a great athlete while not understanding everything he was facing outside the gym walls of SAPT. You can read it here in case you missed it. Getting right to it, below is a sample lower body workout I may use with an athlete who is performing sprints and change-of-direction training with his or her sports team, throwing/hitting two days per week, and maybe getting in a lift or two under the watch of his high school coach. There are obviously countless scenarios that would affect the individualized programming of the specific athlete, but the one below should at least give you an idea.

A) Trap Bar Deadlift


1x3, then 1x3@90% weight used in set 1

B1) DB Split Squat ISO Hold B2) ½ Kneeling SA Cable or Band Row


2-3x5/side hold :5


C1) DL Hip Thrust, Back+Feet Elevated


C2) Sandbag Walkover C3) Side-Lying Wallslide with Slider

2x8 hold :5 2x6 2x8/side

D) Sledge Swings or EASY Prowler Push

2-3x10/side or 3 Trips

*Work up to one "heavy" set of three, and then do one more set of three at 90% of the last weight used. **Even though this session would be considered "lower body," I added this because I really feel people can't get enough horizontal pulling. Especially with the unilateral version you receive a bit of added core stability and thoracic mobility to boot. ***Your butt cheeks should feel like they're about to fall off the bone if you do these correctly.

B1) Split Squat ISO

B2) 1/2 Kneeling SA Band Row

C1) DL Hip Thrust, Back+Feet Elevated

C3) Side-Lying Wallslide with Slider

D) Sledge Swings

The above program will provide plenty training stimulus to elicit positive strength adaptations, while at the same time not fatiguing the athlete to the point of sending him or her backwards. Also, while I didn't list them, there would also be plenty of mobilization drills to help "undue" the crappy positioning and imbalances that the athlete accrues throughout the week.

With the trap bar deadlift, you'll receive a solid dose of work for the entire posterior chain while still giving the quads plenty stimuli (as the trap bar deadlift engages the quads a bit more than conventional deads), along with some healthy compressive stress (which the spine tends to handle better than shear stress).

The accessory work will hit most of the things that athletes fail to receive from their other spheres of training, namely:

  • Glute strength and endurance (which, unless you're first name is Don, and last name Juan, there's about a 110% chance you lack these)
  • Scapular retraction and depression
  • Serratus anterior work
  • The lateral subsystem (QL, adductor complex, and glute medius)
  • Light conditioning (with the sledge or prowler) that should "wake-up" the athlete more than anything as opposed to some insane glycolytic session

In all honesty, I tried to come up with a clever way to end this post but...I got nothin'.