Stay the Course with BFS
The proven way to achieve unified success in any athletic program
Reprint from August 2014
When it comes to strength coaching programs in college football, the best way to describe most of them is by a children’s game: follow the leader.
Whatever the best college teams do, other teams are sure to follow. Currently, there is a big interest in what Florida State is doing; before that, it was Alabama, and before that, Auburn and Florida. It didn’t matter if the championship game was won by three touchdowns or a field goal, strength coaches want to know what the winners have been doing so they can improve their own programs. Perhaps the answer turns out to be strongman training, or suspension training, or maybe doing special running drills in sand.
Austin Ryf was our 2010 BFS High School Male Athlete of the Year. Shown here when he began the BFS Total Program as a freshman, and as a senior, when he earned many postseason honors in multiple sports and excelled academically.
Not to take anything away from the coaches who developed these championship teams, but at the college level, there are many factors that contribute to success on the gridiron – or for that matter, any other sport. One obvious one is having superior facilities that attract the more talented athletes. Further, while strength coaches can make a big difference in the success of any sports program, sometimes the stars align over a team of gifted athletes who demonstrate that “talent prevails.”
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At the high school level the playing field is more level, as schools are categorized according to the size of the student body. Another major difference is that most athletes at the high school level are multisport athletes – with the result that the strength and conditioning programs used at the college level (which are characterized by long off-seasons) are not practical in grades 9-12. Further, training methods that are appropriate at the high school level may not be appropriate at the middle school or even elementary school level. BFS understands these differences.
The BFS Total Program was developed nearly four decades ago by coaches with successful careers at both the high school and collegiate level. The BFS Total Program is flexible and can be used by single-sport athletes, even at the college level. The program proved especially effective in the high school environment, and Coach Shepard even developed a variation for athletes at the middle and elementary school level called the Readiness Program.
One key tenet of the BFS Total Program is that a successful athletic fitness program requires balance. Bench presses are performed in the strength section of the BFS program, but not so much that it takes away time from power cleans or other valuable lifts. BFS makes athletes stronger and more powerful in the weight room, but it is not designed to train powerlifters or Olympic lifters. Likewise, while the BFS program includes many training methods used by track and field athletes, such as plyometrics and repeat sprints, it is not a track and field workout. Again, the key is balance.
BFS also offers many educational resources that teach coaches how to implement the BFS Total Program, including clinics, certifications, print publications and an online learning center. Here are the basic components of the BFS Total Program:
BFS Core Lifts
BFS Auxiliary Lifts
Finally, and this is one aspect of the BFS Total Program that sets it apart from all others, is the concept of unification. BFS believes that all sports programs offered at a school should adhere to the same basic training philosophy. This approach reduces teaching time and personality conflicts, and improves athletic performance.
“When coaches adopt the BFS system, all athletes perform the same basic program throughout the entire school year and during the summer. Confusion disappears, coaches enjoy a spirit of teamwork with their colleagues, and athletes more easily achieve their goals.”
As a leader, you naturally want the best training program for your athletes. With nearly 40 years of proven success, BFS is that program.