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Posted by Markus on

Pre-season gym program, for you!

Back to school, back to work. I’m excited for the passing of the seasons and that even this summer could come to an end. I look forward to a new season and plan on starting it by being fitter than ever. And I would like to share the training program with you so you can do the same.

So we’ve just started the preseason training here at the National Snowboard Academy, which includes strength training, acrobatics, coordination and cardio. As I wrote the strength program for the second graders (12th grade), I thought to myself: If I believe in this  program being one of the simplest ways to get my students stronger, why don’t I try it out for myself?

So I will. Starting today I will do the same strength program as my second graders and see where I end up in a couple of weeks. If you didn’t know it I’m a big fan of the KISS!-rule, which means Keep It Simple Stupid!, especially when strength training for sports. (You can read more about my views on strength training for snowboarding and sports here .) The program in itself is really simple and built up around two whole body sessions per week with quite moderate volume. This is because we do train a lot of other stuff during the weeks and adding extra volume in the gym would be detrimental for the quality of the other workouts. The aim for the program is getting stronger in the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift, so pretty standard powerlifting, just to keep it simple.

I started out by testing my max in the three lifts. I got a 135kg squat, a 95kg bench press and a 150kg deadlift. This is for evaluative purposes so I know if the program worked for me. You can start with a max if you want the opportunity to evaluate your progress. If you just want to try the program out you don’t have to.

If you are new to powerlifting you shouldn’t try to max out! This program is aimed towards intermediate lifters who know the proper technique. If you want to get proper technique, contact an educated trainer.

For the program, start out with weights around 70% of your max in the three powerlifting lifts and try to increase the weight a little each week. For the accessory lifts the percentage is less important, but you should be within 3-4 reps of failure. Try getting 48 hours of rest in between the two sessions and keep the quality of the sessions high. Good technique before adding weights.


The program:

(The set and reps are written in this manor: sets X reps)

Day one:                 

Warm up with open barbell

Overhead squats       3×5           (keep it light, this is for warmup and mobility)

Powerclean                 5×3           (light and fast, if you can’t clean you can do front squats)

Deadlift                       5×5            (main lift, keep it heavy)

Split squat                  4×5/per leg

Bench press                5×5             (main lift, keep it heavy)

Pull ups                        5×5            (add or remove weight so you can do 5×5)

Hanging legraises      3×10



Day two:

Warm up with open barbell

Overhead squats         3×5               (warm up and mobility, keep it light)

Powersnatch                5×3              (If you can’t snatch you can skip this, it’s for technique work)

Squat                             5×5               (main lift, keep it heavy)

Romanian deadlift      4×8

Bent over rows            3×8

Standing overhead press     3×8

Planche                         3×1 minute                    (superset with reverse planche)

Reverse planche (dry swimming) 3×1 minute      (superset with planche)



So, there you have it. A super simple strength training program that hopefully will get you stronger for the season. I’m not sure if there is enough volume in there if you are an experienced lifter. If so, you could probably do three sessions per week without being burnt out. I will try the original program out and see if I can hit my all time maxes later this autumn (Squat: 155kg, bench: 102,5kg, dead: 170kg).


Train hard, and take care.


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