In working with high school athletes in my area, one challenge I’ve found is convincing coaches that it’s important to lift hard in-season. It’s a message that BFS has been preaching for the past 40 years.
Take the example of track and field, specifically high school sports where I live. There is the indoor season, the outdoor season, and in the summer the sport can continue with amateur competitions run by the AAU and USTAF. Let’s break down the outdoor season.
First, there are the dual meets, held on Saturday, which have schools compete against a neighboring school in their division. These are important, so coaches don’t want their athletes to be lifting hard later in the week – if at all. Usually there are four of these.
On the weekends where there is no dual meet, there are invitational meets that allow athletes in lower division schools to compete against tougher competitions – these are especially important for athletes in the lower divisions as they draw attention of the schools offering scholarships. So it’s important to back of training on the weeks those competitions are held.
As the season progresses you have the state championships, multiple-state championships, and then national championships. All of these competitions are important, so again, the athletes need to back off the heavy iron during the weeks those competitions are held. Often, coaches will not do any weight training during those weeks.
The problem here is that by attempting to peak for all these competitions, you can’t reach the highest peak for the most important competitions. The best an athlete can do is maintain whatever strength they developed before the season started. What’s the answer?
I came across an article written by BFS founder Dr. Greg Shepard more than 30 years ago. He shared the following advice about in-season training, advice that BFS still promotes today:
1. Train just twice a week
2. Train for just 30 minutes
3. Do the BFS Core lifts and no more than two auxiliary lifts
4. Follow the BFS Set-Rep Program
5. Progress! Don’t be satisfied with maintaining.
On that last point, Coach Shepard said that it’s important for high school athletes not to follow the training systems of college athletes. “The philosophy of maintaining in college is acceptable, but it is loaded with big problems at the high school levels. A college athlete normally plays only one sport. If a high school athlete plays multiple sports, what is he or she going to do – maintain all year? Let your competition do that. Don’t be satisfied with maintaining. Get going! It’s fun to get stronger. You’ll play better, feel better and be more confident.”
Kim Goss, MS
Editor in Chief, BFS magazine
You Decide How you want to run the Program
The BFS Total Program is a proven path to athletic excellence. Over 40 years thousands of teams have improved thier records and won districts, divisions and championships after implementing the Total Program.
Boys, girls, soccer, football, volleyball or track - it does not matter, running faster and jumping higher will improve your winning chances. And strength training and conditioning will build your speed and power. The BFS Total Program provides a clear system of record keeping so you know that the training done in the weight room is translating to results on the field of play.
The BFS Advantage
BFS has the advantage of working directly with high school coaches and teachers for 40 years and understands the constraints for time student athletes have. Consequently we know of no other progam that can successfully improve every athlete and student on your team or in your class. With this progam every athlete, every player will break at least 8 personal records in strength and performance EVERY WEEK!
Athletes Fill-Out a Form Using Current Core and Auxiliary Lifts
Enter the Lifts into the Computer, which Calculates the Precise Weights for Each Set and Creates Individual, Sport-Specific Workouts. At the Beginning of Each Week Simply Print Out the Athlete’s BFS Set-Rep Program Weekly Workout Schedule. Athletes Scores can be Updated at Any Time, or the Program Will Automatically Increase the Difficulty Level of the Workout
The 40 year book anniversary of the BFS Sets and Rep has seen the Set Rep Log book grow to speed and performance records to help you keep and break records every week.
The Set Rep Log Book is a 40 Page Record Keeping Book, for All Athletes, Regardless of Sport. Complete Instructions and 24 Full Pages to Record: Sets and Reps Personal Records Times and Much More Designed to Last One Year
Moving from paper Set Rep Log Books to the web based, electronic Set Rep Log App is facilitated by a trio of video tutorials that introduce the App to Administrators, Coaches and Athletes.
This month's issue includes a number of great stories - our Athlete Of The Year, Athletic Strength Training for Boxing and Keeping Track of Success. This excerpt explains how BFS is moving forward and giving Coaches all the tools they need to run the BFS Total Program in a modern weight room! Download the Full Magazine Here
With the advancement of technology and the push for integrated PE program, BFS set about developing an app for the BFS Set/Rep Log Book. Because the app is based on the web, BFS offers this software across any device or operating system with a web browser.
The BFS Set/Rep Logbook App keeps the simplicity of our Set-Rep Log Books while providing the management functions and portability of a phone app. Predefined weekly schedules are included with core and auxiliary lifts for all major high school sports.You can also customize your weekly schedule using any lift on any day, add any lifts you want from hundreds of included exercises.
Coaches or administrators will love this app, they can see the data on their teams and athletes at a glance. Data includes scores, records, and trends for athlete or team. Athletes enter their scores on their phone or tablet and see how many records they've broken.
Just like our Set-Rep Log Book, the app (supervised by the coaches) guides each athlete in which lifts to do, and how many sets and reps to do each week. The weight lifted for each set is determined by the individual athlete based on their past performance for that lift.
The BFS Set/Rep App keeps the simplicity of our Set-Rep Log Books while providing the management functions and portability of a phone app.
The BFS Total Program enables every athlete to make personal records, often several personal records, every single workout – even in-season. Whether you decide to use BFS Logbooks, the Beat the Computer Pro, or the BFS Set/Rep Logbook App, you now how the tools to set goals and achieve success.... Download the Full Magazine Here
There is no shortage of social media outlets that promise you the best athletic training system for young athletes. There are good programs, and there are some that are…well, not so good. What separates BFS from all of them is our 40-year history of success. That’s right – four decades!
Dr. Greg Shepard founded BFS in 1976, and his vision has been carried on by CEO Bob Rowbotham and his son, BFS President John Rowbotham. Joining them are a team of clinicians that include certified teachers and active coaches. These clinicians know the difference between the type of optimal training used by Olympians and professional athletes, and the reality of working in the school environment with multi-sport athletes.
The mission of Bigger Faster Stronger is to encourage positive changes in the lives of young people, and it does this through a three-tiered approach to meet the needs of athletes, coaches and school administrators.
For athletes and physical education students, we offer seminars and clinics on character education and athletic fitness training. For coaches and physical educators, we offer certification programs and continuing education materials that teach how to increase the safety and effectiveness of their sports and physical education programs through the concept of unification. For administrators and gym owners responsible for making equipment-purchasing decisions, we offer the highest-quality exercise equipment that fits any budget along with a knowledgeable sales staff to take them facilities from concept to completion.
One key to our long-term success is our emphasis on unification. Unification is the concept that all high school and middle school athletes will adhere to the same basic training philosophy. This means that all athletes, from football players to basketball players to swimmers, perform the same core weight training exercises, the same speed and agility exercises, and the same flexibility and plyometric exercises. Such organization improves athletic performance and reduces teaching time, as well as preventing many administrative hassles and personality conflicts.
One aspect of unification is our promotion of Six Absolutes, which are training principles that are amazingly effective in teaching perfect technique not only in the weightroom but also in any sport. One reason the BFS Six Absolutes are so effective is that they encourage all coaches to use the same terminology when teaching weight training and sport skills.
Another important part of our organization is the BFS Readiness Program. This is a complete strength and conditioning system designed for those who are not yet ready to engage in weight training programs performed by more physically mature athletes. The focus of the BFS Readiness Program is on developing perfect technique in all the basic components of athletic fitness, giving athletes a head start when they graduate to the BFS Total Program.
To help young people fulfill their potential in all areas of their life, BFS offers a character education program called Be an 11. This program is designed to inspire student-athletes to set worthy goals, both athletic and personal, and then help them develop action plans to achieve those goals. Along the way, they learn about the importance of making positive choices, maintaining their self- respect, and being team players and role models for others.
In the world of social networking, since 1980 Bigger Faster Stronger has been the official magazine of our company. A bimonthly, full-color print publication, BFS is full of inspirational success stories, advice from top coaches and sport scientists, and the latest information on liability and safety. BFS also has an outstanding website that answers all your questions about our programs and athletic training equipment, and also provides a link to the BFS Online Learning Center for the latest in multimedia education for strength and athletic fitness training.
For strength training, athletes need free weights: power racks, benches, barbells, and dumbbells. For speed, must-haves included plyometric boxes, pulling sleds, and systems for measuring speed and jumping ability. At first, our single line of equipment was enough, as the focus was on providing high school coaches with quality equipment at the lowest price. Later, we expanded our products to serve the needs of all athletic and physical fitness programs. We have our highest quality D1 line, our heavy duty Elite line, the functional Varsity line, our bold Absolute Oval line, and most recently our BXI line that includes the racks, rigs and strongman training accessories to accommodate the popular “boot camp” workouts.
There’s a vast number of strength and conditioning programs available currently, and coaches no doubt will be exposed to many more programs during their careers. But with its proven track record that spans four decades, BFS stands apart as the leading company in helping young athletes succeed.
Heavy-duty equipment designed with your wallet in mind
At the high school level building winning programs in multiple sports requires a commitment to basic, heavy-duty weight training – and that means heavy-duty benches, squat racks, and free weight equipment. As a “made in the USA” manufacturer, for the past 38 years BFS has focused on making heavy-duty equipment that fits every budget. To do this, our manufacturing process has evolved to include four complete lines of equipment in a variety of steel gauges: Varsity, Elite, Absolute and D1.
The D1 line is top-of-the-line equipment, suitable for the best college, professional, and commercial weightrooms. Organizations with big budgets are looking for, premium D1 features such as chrome plating, pegs for band-resistance exercise, bench docking systems, and swivel handle chin-up attachments. One practical advantage of this highly versatile equipment is that athletes can perform a greater variety of exercises. On the esthetic side, a weightroom full of attractive equipment at the D1 level is a selling point often used by college or even high school recruiters to attract enrollees.
Because the D-1 line doesn’t fit into the typical high school budget, the most popular choices are the BFS Varsity and Elite lines. To see the differences between the Varsity and Elite lines, let’s take the power rack as an example.
The basic power rack is a rectangular structure with four vertical posts at the corners to increase its strength (as such, this type of rack is often referred to as a cage). This design is important because these units are often used for exercises that use a considerable amount of weight, such as box squats and partial deadlifts. Adjustable bar catches are located between the posts so users can perform partial movements; they can also be used as safety catches so users can perform lifts such as bench presses without fear of the weight dropping on them, of course, BFS recommends spotters when performing squats and bench presses.
The Varsity line consists of solid, 11 gauge no-frills equipment. In contrast, the Elite line’s 7 gauge, 8-foot power rack is a foot taller than the Varsity Squat cage and has four more inches of workspace; both lines feature weight holders to reduce the need for independent weight trees. For a high school with 400 students the Varsity rack will more than meet the needs of its athletes – and we can say this with confidence, as over 1,000 schools have purchased equipment from our Varsity line.
While the basic power rack remains a great tool for athletes, as the strength and conditioning field evolved, BFS developed additional variations of the power rack in both our Varsity and Elite lines to fulfill the needs of our customers. One such variation is the half rack.
The half rack has a smaller footprint than the traditional power rack, and as such can be easily combined with an 8-foot lifting platform to enable athletes to perform exercises such as power cleans and deadlifts. Let’s look at one of our most popular units: the Elite half rack with platform. This unit contains a 6- by 8-foot weightlifting platform for performing power cleans and deadlifts, and a vertical half rack for squats and overhead presses. Further, with an adjustable bench placed within the rack, users can perform bench presses and incline bench presses. Because all these lifts can be performed at the same station, athletes don’t have to deal with weightroom bottlenecks.
Many other configurations of these units are available, such as the dual Elite half rack with two platforms (or with none). With their efficiency and versatility, half racks are among our best sellers. To get serious about training, invest in equipment that has been proven to get the job done. Whether you choose the equipment that meets your needs best from our Varsity, Elite, or D1 line, these are the tools that make a championship weight room.