Play BIG as the Little Guy

Play BIG as the Little Guy

Christian has been playing lacrosse since he was in 1st Grade and competitively since 5th. He has always been one of the smaller kids on the team and had to learn to play with the “big boys” all the way through elite club lacrosse and then into high school. We always knew he would grow and told him that if he played big as little guy, that when the growth came he would be ready.

Last Spring he played Varsity Lacrosse as a sophomore at Mountain Vista and was 5’ 5” and 120 lbs. Despite getting muscled out of ground ball by stronger kids he was able to lead the team in assists and make 2nd Team All-Conference in 2013. By the end of summer, he had grown to 5’10” and was hovering around 135 lbs despite a busy summer schedule. We tried to get him to work out and gain weight, but his schedule and typical teenage diet (McDonalds, Subway and Qdoba) wasn’t cutting it.

Jake Herman, Mountain Vista’s New Head Lacrosse Coach, came in this summer and brought a whole new dimension to the school. We were presented with a scheduled Weight Training Program, that never existed before and a consultative nutritional resource in Bryan Cash from Max Muscle South Metro. Jake recommended to Christian that he set up an appointment to get a consultation with Bryan to understand the program. When we met with Bryan, he walked us through the program and what it entailed; changing diets, being scheduled understanding calorie intake and the fact that you need to be disciplined and focused.

We discussed this as a family and agreed that the whole family would change our family diets to mirror or be similar to Christian’s customized plan in order to support his goal. We did not take this lightly, this required his mother to plan, shop, prepare and cook for not only Christian, but the other family members. Bryan asked Christian about his likes and dislikes regarding foods and created a tailored plan that included, current weights and measurements along with a shopping list and recipes for the meals that would provide him with the necessary calorie intakes and when to eat each item.

As we began, the program seemed a bit much and was initially difficult to alter our current habits. Eating more calories at approximately 3,000 planned out calories, which would then be built up to almost 4,000 calories, was harder than expected. Christian and his mother persevered because we had a goal of 15 lbs in three months.

As Fall Ball started, we already began to see the benefits of the three times a week workouts on how he looked on the 130412_Var_Thunder_Ridge_162-(ZF-7478-86273-1-001)field, a little quicker and more confident. However, you could see that he still needed more mass to be a more aggressive player. Understanding that you have to build a strong house with good building blocks over time. We went to our first weigh in and were excited to find out that Christian had added 4.8 lbs and dropped his body fat down to 7.1% from 7.3%. So that meant he gained over 5 lbs of lean muscle mass. The next check-ins had him up another 3 and 2.8 pounds. We then started to see a difference in his play on the field, more power when running, quicker and faster shots, more groundballs and a rise in his confidence and resulting “field presence”.

And then Fall Break happened and truly made an epiphany on what the lack of focus and fast food will do to you! On his third weigh in, we were a bit concerned because his mother had been out of town, no workouts at school and Christian was Glenwood Springs at a DECA event. This created an opportunity for him to return to his past ways of eating. Surprisingly instead of losing or not gaining weight, he gained over five pounds. We thought that was a welcomed surprise…until he got his body fat measured at 8.9%! In just two weeks of “letting life” get in the way he had gained about four pounds of fat! However, on his frame who could tell the difference. Although he had, with two weeks to go, met his goal weight he saw what good weight gain is versus just adding weight for the sake of adding weight.

So with the right commitment from our family, the resources and plan from Max Muscle and the new weightlifting program brought into the school, it is possible to build yourself a better athlete while educating him on healthier decisions that he can use the rest of his life.

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