Strength Training for High School Athletes

Posted by Chad A. Drehle on Aug 17, 2017 12:00:20 PM


Programming Made Easy in 10 Simple Steps! 

There isn’t a day that goes by that someone isn't going tell you how they used to do this or that, or  "have you ever...." and even "what you should do is".  Be confident in your philosophy and keep it simple - progress is made through consistency.  

Programming is the simplest thing on your plate when it comes to real scope of your job, keep it that way.  Focus on technique, building relationships, creating your culture and safety.  You can't build a program with your head in the programming.

Programming Made Easy 

(Assumes a 12 month training regime)

Step 1: Periodization

 Choose your cycle length based on your schedule, the experience of your group and                                how frequently you wish to test.

Step 2: Foundational Lifts

Upper Body Lower Body Olympic Lifts
  1. Bench Press
  2. Incline Press
  3. Military Press
  4. Bent Over Row
  1. Front Squat
  2. Back Squat
  3. RDL & Hinging
  4. Dead Lift
  1. Hang Clean
  2. Power Clean
  3. Push Press
  4. Snatch

Step 3: Progressions

Squat Progression

Press Progression

Clean Progression

Dead Lift Progression


Dumbbell Press

Set up and Posture

Rack Pull

Front Squat

Bench Press

Jump Shrug


Back Squat

Incline Press

High Pull

Kettle Swing Hip Hinge

Overhead Lunges

Military Press

Receiving the Bar

Kettle Elevated Retrieve

Overhead Squat


Receiving the Bar w Squat

Barbell Floor Retrieve

Step 4: Schedule

If you have class & after school workouts I recommend a 4 day schedule.            





OFF or Make up

                      Step 5: Frequency                             





Back Squat

Hang Clean

Back Squat

Hang Clean

Bench Press

Press Variation

Bench Press

Squat Variation

Clean Variation

Squat Variation

Clean Variation

Press Variation

4-6 Auxiliary Lifts

4-6 Auxiliary Lifts

Dead Lift

4-6 Auxiliary Lifts



4-6 Auxiliary Lifts


Step 6: Program

You can easily modify and build your own group training program by following a chart like Prepilin's Chart, shown below. It allows the idea of open architecture with an outline or parameters to follow, keeping it flexible. There are many options out there but always know where your kids are and keep it simple.

% of 1RM

 Reps per    Set

Optimal Total Reps

Range of Total Reps

Rest Periods






45-75 sec






60-90 sec






75-120 sec






90-180 sec

Max Strength

Step 7: Data & Results

Data is your validation, post/share it with everyone. Make sure to test frequently, consistently and accurately.  Data allows you to display leader boards, create competition and establish a culture.

There is great weight room software out there, using it can save you the headache and heartache of managing hundreds of spreadsheets or even losing a jump drive.   

I chose Rack Performance because of its unique features such as; roster manager, data storage, weight room timing system (if you’re in a classroom setting this is a must), analytical reporting, test results and profiles for your athletes.  

A tool like Rack Performance can make you a better trainer and coach!  Why? Because you can hit play and spend your time focusing on technique, building relationships, monitoring the safety of your athletes, easily spy a slacker or group out of sync and it sets the tempo/rest periods so you can keep eyes on the athlete's ability to handle the load and recovery. 


Step 8: Set Goals – Create A Culture

 Lifting weights and gaining a base level of strength lays a solid foundation for athletic movement and skill development.  To me it’s pretty simple. Train your body to compete and your skill to dominate. They are not mutually exclusive.  Skill is not the only part of the equation and strength training knows no sport. Strength is strength.  Keep it simple or you’ll wish you had.  I try to stay humble and understand my role is not to treat them like college athletes, but to manage their loads, teach technique and develop their athletic engine. 

2017 Goals

2017 Results

Bench Press = 15-25% Gain


Back Squat = 15-25% Gain


Hang Clean = 15-75% Gain


Bench Press = 15-25% Gain


Back Squat = 15-25% Gain



 Step 9: Athletic Performance




Agility Ladders

Ground Force Production

Sled Push Pulls


Speed Mechanics

Jump Progressions

Cone Drills

Proper Cycle

Long Response-Absorption

6”Mini Hurdle Drills

Arm Drive

Medium Response-Slight recoil/rhythm

5-10-5 Shuttle

Stride Length (wicket)

Short Response-Continuous Stretch Reflex

L Cone

Velocity (game speed)

Short Multiple Response – Max Recoil




Step 10: Social Media

Keep it simple. Instagram allows for 60 second videos. You can use this platform to echo proper technique, highlight PRs and motivate you athletes. Twitter is very manageable and easy to use as well. These are both tools that we've used at Waynesville to help us engage with our athletes. Kids love to share the success of their peers and that grows a following within your community which increases buy-in.

 If you would like to see an example of 6 weeks of my programming for this fall, simply click the "GET FREE WORKOUTS" button below you will then be prompted to register for a free trial of Rack Performance. The workouts will be located in the Chad Drehle's 6 Week Program folder.



About the Author


Chad Drehle will be entering his 12th year as a coach and his third year as Head Strength and Conditioning Head Coach. Much of his coaching career has been under his brother Brad Drehle. Highlighted by their tenure at Blair Oaks (MO) where they amassed a 97-22 record, 7 Conference Titles, 8 District Titles, 6 Quarter Finals, 5 Semi-Finals, 2 State Runner Ups and 1 State Championship.

As a former athlete himself, Coach Chad Drehle is in both the Hastings College and Bishop O'Hara High School Athletic Hall of Fames. Playing both football and track throughout his education, he was the 1995 NAIA National High Jump Champion.

Chad comes with several training certifications including personal, group, Under Armour Sports Performance as well as holding the USAW Sports Performance certification.  Chad has been a business owner and was General Manager of Core Athletic, a 10,000 sq foot cross fit and performance training facility in Kansas City.  Chad helped plan, implement and direct the “Tiger Performance Training” program training all athletes male and female year round, under one program.  Since his time at Waynesville participation numbers have jumped from 65 to 250 and are expected to grow well over 300 this school year.  In addition Chad also started a Power Lifting Club that competed in its first meet placing 8th in the State in the Boys Division and 12th in the Women’s.   In 2016-2017 school year Chad’s program met or exceed his 15-25% gains in Bench, Squat and Clean with the Boys ending the year on a 21% average gain per lift/per athlete and the females 19% average.

Topics: Programming, Strength Program Management


Chad Drehle's 6 week program

Sign up below and register for a free trial of Rack Performance to receive 6 weeks of Waynesville High School (MO) Strength Coach, Chad Drehle's fall 2017 first quarter programming. All workouts can be customized to fit within your program.

  • Enter name, email, school and state
  • Register for your free trial of Rack Performance
  • Find workouts in the Chad Drehle's 6 Week Program folder

* Current Rack Performance subscribers interested in workouts please contact us by email at


Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts