Weightlifting Class in High School?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Oblivian, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. Oblivian

    Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    Since I have moved back to my hometown, I read the paper each morning to see if any of my high school buddies have been arrested. As I read the sports page, I saw that my old weightlifting teacher is retiring. It got me to thinking how he was the man that really got me into weightlifting. While I was the skateboarder/stoner in high school, I still was able to earn the weightlifting award my senior year through his guidance. As I read threads here, I realize that a lot of people weren't lucky enough to have a weightlifting class in high school. How many of you were lucky enough to have the class? How was it?
    In my class, the teacher focused on squats, power cleans, and bench press. Sadly, we never did deadlifts. To this day, my deadlift is very weak. I do remember the teacher making fun of people that did curls all day as well. I remember doing the peg board and being introduced to burpees. I ended up taking the class my junior year and I actually had it twice in a day my senior year. He actually had me on a conditioning program for one class and a strength program on the other.
    I just figured I'd share and see if anyone else had any good stories. I wish I would have kept going as strong when I entered college. The sauce got ahold of me...
     
  2. We had a program but it was just for football, we followed the 'Bigger, Faster, Stronger' program. It was basically squats, bench press, trap bar deadlifts, power cleans and a couple other things, but the best part of that program was my introduction to plyometrics, and god damn did I love that.
     
  3. zop

    zop <img src="http://img240.imageshack.us/img240/7201/

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    Thats awesome. We had a class in high school, but from what I've heard it sounds like a lot of bodybuilding. I still wish I was in it though.

    lol at reading the newspaper to see if your friends got arrested.
     
  4. flak

    flak Guest

    This is going back a ways. I started high school in 1976 (graduated in '80). The first couple years, everybody had to take a physical education class every day. Seems to me that the first semester in ninth grade we all had to take a conditioning class, which was really more of a survey of everything the school offered, and in later semesters we got to pick what class we'd do.

    One of the things we did in the survey class was a couple weeks' worth of weightlifting. I liked it, because it was an individual sport, so you didn't rely on other people. More importantly, to me, other people didn't rely on me so there was less chance of being laughed at, yelled at, etc. I was a fat, nerdy, unathletic kid.

    So when the time came to pick our classes, I took weight lifting for a couple of semesters.

    Here's what I remember, 30 years after the fact...

    The school had a designated weight room, maybe 30 feet x 20 feet, concrete floor and walls, with a big wooden board up high on the back wall with the school lifting records for (I think) bench and clean and jerk, most of the records set by football players.

    The room had two or three home-made platforms with some kind of cushioning material a couple inches thick, covered by carpet, a couple of bench racks with benches, an old Universal machine, multiple Oly and standard bars and a zillion plates -- some York Olys and some rusty old standards. There were a few fixed-weight dumbbells, I think, but nothing very heavy.

    In the class we mostly did bench press, some SOHP, some clean and jerk (always split clean and split jerk), and a little squatting. I don't remember any deadlifts, snatches, Zercher stuff, etc. We were also free to use the Universal machine -- leg presses were very popular, because (of course) you could put up a zillion pounds.

    The classes weren't very structured, which I liked. So long as we kept busy, the coaches didn't hassle us. The down side was, there wasn't a lot of incentive to progress. I don't recall any efforts to record poundages/reps/sets/whatever -- you just tried to remember what you did last time and went from there.

    The students were mostly boys, with a few girls here and there. As I recall, it was mainly smaller, younger guys and some unathletic upperclassmen. I'm guessing that most of the athletes didn't take the class because they were already lifting as part of their team activities. I know the football team lifted, and I expect some of the other boys' athletic teams did as well.

    The coaches were two guys, one of whom was the wrestling team coach, the other was (I think) a defensive coach for the football team -- he was damn strong. I saw him bench something like 405 once, though I couldn't swear to the weight.

    It seems to me the coaches made a decent effort to teach everybody clean and jerk, and did some form correction on bench press, but for the most part we were on our own. A typical class was mostly benching -- groups of three or four guys crowded around the bench, taking turns lifting and then spotting each other. The big goal for us smaller guys was to bench 135. As I recall, there wasn't a lot of interest in 1RM, people mostly tried to do more and more reps with the same weight, usually going to failure every set.

    If you weren't in a group that was benching you might get with a couple of other people and do SOHP, or do leg presses on the Uni machine. I think we did curls and dumbbell kickbacks once in awhile.

    Clean and jerk was my best lift. I weighed probably 140 and I was able to C&J 135 lbs. without any problem. I don't think I ever tried for more, though. I was satisfied to keep doing 135.

    We also had a weight lifting team. I'm sorry now that I didn't try out, because it's a sport that smaller guys can excel at. A couple of my classmates joined up and did well. It wasn't a hugely popular sport, but it was respected. I can remember hearing info about meet results as part of the morning announcements. I'm not sure if our school was a major player in the statewide HS lifting scene, but we routinely did well in other sports so I'm guessing we did okay.

    That's about all I remember now.
     
  5. wvboy

    wvboy Brown Belt

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    That's exactly what my high school weightlifting class was like. One day a week we would do a cardio session with sprints on the track, jump roping, burpees, etc.
     
  6. ThinkGreen

    ThinkGreen Der Übermensch

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    I had weight lifting senior year but all I did was decline bench, curls, tricep pressdown, and DB shrugs. *sighs
     
  7. Vedic

    Vedic Purple Belt

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    My weightlifting coach in high school, to this day has been and always will be my biggest influence in fitness.He preached, chin ups, hang cleans, squats, HIIT etc, looking back he gave me the most amazing foundation for lifting and fitness. Curls etc were not a part of the rouitine. Would always tell us to eat our veggies, eggs, nuts, fruits etc. I went back and saw him two years ago after I got back from Iraq the last time. Still one of the three coolest people I ever met. I thanked him for teaching me so much, and he thanked me for my service. Good memories. My coach was the shit.
     
  8. Donut62

    Donut62 Black Belt

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    Same here. We did the full BFS routine, dot drills and all. When I went to college for the first few years I stopped lifting at all, which I regret, because I learned a ton from those lifting sessions and it's probably one of the few things about high school I fondly recall.
     
  9. ThinkGreen

    ThinkGreen Der Übermensch

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    My dad graduated in '80 as well. Were you born in 1962?
     
  10. Vedic

    Vedic Purple Belt

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    I loved the dot drill in high school. I am putting one in our weight room at the climbing gym actually.
     
  11. Donut62

    Donut62 Black Belt

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    I have one marked on the basement floor with duct tape right now, lol. Whenever I actually practice it I always feel better on my feet.
     
  12. Keith Wassung

    Keith Wassung <img src="http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/4586/

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    That brings back a lot of memories. Our original high school weightroom was a bench and some non-olympic plates along with a universal machine. They were house in a long building that had once been a military barracks. (Our school was an old air force nuclear missile base--they still had underground tunnels and they had filled in most of the silos-they had built a new school building, but they used a lot of the old air force buildings for various office space and things like that--remind me to tell you about the nuclear detonators we once found in a closet) The barracks was a long structure-at one end was our wrestling room and at the other end was an empty room that would one day be of the of the best weightrooms of any high school in Nebraska ( at that time) in the center was the locker room, bathrooms, etc, which we did not use as we had lockers/showers in the main building) the weights were set up in the backroom area, pretty much next to the urinals. That is how we began.

    You guys who had good coaches are very lucky, back then we had nothing--few books, no videos no internet, etc. I was able to find guys that lifted at a gym in nearby town and I would go to this gym on weekends and lift and watch what they did--found out later that some of them were world record holders.

    In later years, I managed to sneak into the South Stadium strength complex at the University of Nebraska and lift with the players--I was only 16-17 at the time, and I could hold my own with most of the guys--except of course the really elite lifters. I learned to clean from an Iranian exchange student, he weighed about 130lbs and spoke very little English, but he taught me very well--began with a broomstick and progressed to a bar.

    Once we got the weightroom built, I can remember going to basketball games at my school and some of my friends would start "trash talking" with students from the other school-in sort of a friendly way--nothing violent and more then once, 8-10 of us would sneak over the weightroom, open a window in the back, crawl through the window and then go into the dark gym for an impromptu lifting contest or some sort of bet/challenge.

    There is a certain 'aroma" that is found in good gyms, its very similar to the smell you get from a wrestling or MMA workout facility. Its a combination of dried sweat, blood, urine, grease, orange atomic balm ointment ( remember that crap) and just plain old human determination. That smell has faded in most modern training facilities and I miss it.
     
  13. andrewbc

    andrewbc Purple Belt

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    i had a 3 week unit in gym class every year, but the two bull dykes that were employed by my school to teach us phys ed taught us bodybuilding
     
  14. flak

    flak Guest

    Yup.
     
  15. rEmY

    rEmY Needs to eat more

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    In HS I was told not to lift weights as they would make me slow (I was an XC runner).
     
  16. mariospoiry

    mariospoiry Guest

    I had a weighlifting program in high school, all the rugby players did. I went to private school, the bloke who the school hired was very good and obviously new his stuff. Funny how you mention curls our trainer had most of us on a simple mass building routing to start with but it was so funny how pretty much everyone added curls onto their own routine(including myself), unbeknownst to the trainer just to have massive arms and impress the ladies!

    We really did go the whole hog, we had our school meals changed and everything.
     
  17. Goat Meal

    Goat Meal Shhh Belt

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    I hated weight lifting class. When I picked it, I thought there'd be other weaklings like me in there, but nope. I remember feeling real self conscious and dreaded going.
     
  18. Oblivian

    Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    Some good stuff in here. I also remember eating 2 lunch trays every day after weightlifting class. There were already curl monkeys at that young of an age.
    One reason our high school had such a good weight room was because of the air base close by. Although the air base is abandoned now, the money granted to that high school provided enough to have a great weight room, pool, tennis courts, and computer labs. Not bad for a high school of only 2,500 students in the middle of nowheresville, Indiana.
     
  19. That's exactly how it went for me as well. Did you guys do the box jumps too? One of the best days ever was when I finally cleared the final big box without touching it. I had many a bruised shins before doing it over the years, but it was so worth it.
     
  20. Kimuraa

    Kimuraa Orange Belt

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    At my school we had "Foods & Fitness", where we alternate between baking cookies and lifting weights every other day. The class was basically letting a group of kids walk around the gym, maybe curl a couple 5lb weights, and then sit on the yoga mats. For the rare few (like myself) who actually tried it was just like an hour at the gym, the teacher didn't do anything.
     

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