It’s crazy that there is more great information on training out there than at any other time, yet it seems that people are doing more dumb shit in gyms than ever before! Maybe there is too much information, maybe people are getting paralysis by analysis, maybe everyone is looking for “the next big thing” and a shortcut, maybe it’s just a bunch of wussies and hard work has become extinct or it could just be that someone you trust is giving you crappy advice. Wouldn’t be the first time something like that happened. 

This is happening in every population but I want to focus on the “wandering souls” of high school athletics….

I feel like most high school athletes are stuck in the matrix and when they get introduced and presented with the “real” way of training, they have a choice to take the red pill or the blue pill. Needless to say that some take the red pill and get on board and take their performance to the next level, while some pick the blue pill and keep doing quarter squats, bicep curls and thousands of crunches to get that baywatch body. Whether they are scared to make the change because of the truth that it takes hard work or because they are so engulfed with the belief that bodybuilding training is the truth….I don’t know….. and dont care! I know that the one’s that get on board, dedicate themselves to the program and step through the doors of Hocevar Performance will get on some of that Neo shit in them! Ok, maybe no dodging bullets, but dominating the competition - guaranteed.

Matrix Red Pill/Blue Pill

Your choice

I may not be Morpheus and you probably won’t see any of that green shit but I can definitely give you some pointers as far as mistakes that I’ve made and mistakes I see high school athletes make. Pick up the phone and come to the real world:

Forget Bodybuilding! It is incredible that the training from the 70 and 80’s bodybuilding era is still considered relevant, not only that, it seems like its the staple of many high school athletes. This type of training has almost no application to athletics and improving performance. If you are worried about the striations in your medial delt more than outrunning your opponent, physically abusing the guy that is guarding you and possibly earning yourself a college scholarship, then you need to just play intramural sports and stay in the Matrix.

Train You Whole Body, Especially Things You Don’t Like To. Most kids tend to skip the most “bang for the buck” exercises, but some high school athletes do have the general idea about training the right way. A lot of times the issue is that they will do the exercises they like the most or are best at, which means there will be an imbalance, creating more chance of an injury and hurting the athletes performance. Most athletes tend to ignore the hamstrings, glutes, low back (and “core” training….crunches and situps don’t count), upper back. Love the exercises you hate (and if not then just do them damn it) and you’ll get better.

Train You Core. This goes back to doing the things you hate. No one likes doing planks, glute hams, resisting rotation exercises, etc. because they just don’t give you the burn like crunches and sit ups. But there is a problem when you are a safety and you can’t hold a good plank for 20 seconds and your core is the biggest leak in your body. This may be one of the things that will make the biggest difference in your performance. As you bring up this weakness you will get stronger and better at your sport.

Not as fun as an alley oop

Form IS Crucial. Every high school athlete squats 500 lbs nowadays, until they have to go to parallel that is. I’ve seen the 1/8 squat go down and even those have shitty form. Drop the ego, perfect technique and the weight will follow. What you will notice is that when you start focusing on doing things right along with going hard, is that all of a sudden you will be 3 steps ahead. Do yourself a favour, take the weight of the bar and do it right.

Work On Mobility/Flexibility. This is one of those things that just seem to look very wussy like but I can gurantee you improving mobility and flexibilty (in certain areas) will show instant improvement in movement, speed and general feeling. When the athletes actually do it and see what it does for them it quickly becomes something they like doing.


Working on mobility can do great things for you…

Play Other Sports. Oooohhhh, I’m not telling you to specialize in a sport, even in high school! Seriously, if you want to be a better athlete then play more than one sport as it will tap into the potential of your bodies physiological skills. Not only that it will relax you and take your mind of the sport you are “specializing” in. While playing in the European basketball leagues we would play soccer to warm up or take our minds of all the basketball practice (you’ve never seen a happier bunch of ball players).

More Isn’t Better, Better is Better. Some high school athletes train 7 days a week and do plyo’s 4x a week, etc, because they think more is better. Most will take a step back because their body will exceed it’s recovery capability. Focus on quality and intensity in training rather than thinking the more you do the better you will perform.

Nutrition - Yes, Supplements - Maybe. Every high school athlete that trains takes supplemets but not every high school athlete that trains has good nutrition. Here’s something that might sound crazy….supplements won’t do shit if you have crappy nutritional habits! Get your nutrition straight first and then supplemet that with the the supplements that matter, protein (workout shakes), multivitamin, fish oil and maybe a Spike here and there :)

How To Get Big? I might have to put this one under FAQ’s on my site because everyone asks the dam question so much. My answer - eat. Seriously though, “I eat all the time” really means I have one big meal a day where I eat a lot. Focus on your nutrition as much as you focus on your training and eat whole unprocessed food with a lot more protein than you are taking in right now (4-6 meals a day) and you will see how you are not “cursed” when it comes to putting on muscle.

Buy a Prowler. You want to get android conditioning, get a Prowler, push it high, push it low, drag it, repeat many times. Enough said!

Flu anyone?

Include Strongman Training. It has a functional carryover to sport, its chaotic, it gives you the mental edge, builds camraderie and it makes you a fucking beast! You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to.

Shut the Hell Up and Get Started! The sooner you get in the gym and apply these points the faster you will get on track and impove performance. As much as it’s important to read and learn, it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t take action on it. If you have the greatest program but don’t actually do it or just run through the motions, you’ll still get crushed by the guy that has a mediocore program but just kills it every time he steps in the gym, think about that.

So even though I may not be able to help you see this…..


Take the advice and you may be able to do this…..

James White

What advice do you have for all the athletes taking the red pill? Let’s get some more tips going and help the people get out of the Matrix of training!


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