What is the right workout app for high school strength and conditioning? We break down the 5 keys for a high school strength and conditioning app. In addition, we highlight schools across the country using a strength and conditioning app for PE and athletics.
The Unique Needs of High School Strength and Conditioning
If you have ever been in a high school weight room, you know the unique nature of high school strength and conditioning. High school students come with a wide range of experiences, abilities, and fitness goals. And hopefully, many high school students are showing up to the weight room!
First and foremost, many high school students are athletes looking for a workout program that improves athletic performance. To make things more complicated, at the high school level, athletes are often playing multiple sports and are either in-season or off-season at varying times. And beyond student-athletes, some students don’t play sports and are merely looking to improve their personal fitness level.
In addition to differing fitness goals, many young students have never been in a weight room or taken part in a strength training program before. At the same time, junior and senior varsity athletes are participating in advanced training programs.
And with all of these factors at play, there is also rarely a certified strength and conditioning coach or professional managing all this. In fact, only about 10-15% of high schools report having a full-time certified strength coach. Because of this, many high school teachers and sports coaches are given the charge to run the high school strength and conditioning program.
Finding The Right Strength and Conditioning App
With all of the unique demands at the high school level, schools search for a comprehensive strength and conditioning app. The goal is to have one solution for everything from PE classes to before and after school workouts.
But with a growing market of fitness apps and weightlifting apps, it can be hard to know what is the right fit for high schools. For example, a quick search of the best fitness apps will often return results for the best apps for personal fitness and training plans. But these fitness apps are not geared toward a high school audience.
If you get a bit more specific and search for a strength and conditioning app, there are still endless options to explore. But it is important to note that not all strength and conditioning apps are equal. For example, many strength and conditioning apps are geared toward colleges or adult training.
Lastly, many weightlifting apps will advertise and market as a sport specific training solution. But if the goal is to help enhance the strength and conditioning program for the whole school, we should consider what it is we are looking for in a strength and conditioning app. (More here on sport specfic training as it relates to high school athletes.)
5 Keys For A High School Strength and Conditioning App
The unique needs of high school strength and conditioning require unique solutions. At PLT4M, we have been building and evolving a comprehensive strength and conditioning app that over 1,000 schools nationwide utilize. Every workout program and feature within the PLT4M app is intended to benefit middle and high schools.
More importantly, we drive every decision from a constant feedback loop from our teachers, coaches, and students across the country. As a bonus, our team comprises former teachers and current coaches who are directly involved in the world of high school physical education and athletics.
So whether you are a certified strength coach, PE teacher, sports coach, or some combination of the three, here are the 5 keys for a high school strength and conditioning app:
Trusted Training Programs
Exercise Video Demonstrations
Data & Tracking
1) Workout Delivery and Personalized Training
Before diving into the weeds of what a strength and conditioning app can do, let’s start with one of the primary functions: workout delivery.
For years, teachers and coaches have tried everything from excel spreadsheets and printed cards to writing a daily workout plan on a whiteboard. And while these methods work in the short term, they can become a cumbersome and time-consuming effort for any teacher or coach. In addition, it can be confusing and disjointed for students.
Kyle Barth, a teacher and coach at Milwaukee Lutheran High School in Wisconsin, describes what the simple addition of a workout delivery did for his groups and classes,
“The efficiency of being able to distribute training programs complete with weights used, percentages of 1RM, customized descriptions or notes, etc. for many different groups of kids or teams has been a blessing. Students and coaches alike can access everything they need to work through a training session.”
2) Program Management – Structure & Flexibility
Let’s take a step back from workout delivery and talk about managing the training plans needed for students and athletes at the high school level. High school strength training is about having the right balance of structure and flexibility.
For example, Steve Wagner, a teacher and coach at Riley County High School in Kansas, felt like he was constantly juggling his plan with the changing schedules of different students and athletes. So while he had a big-picture plan of workouts, he was able to adjust and adapt on the fly based on a student’s needs,
“There are all sorts of different games and competitions throughout the week and semester for student-athletes. So with PLT4M, students can pick when to lift, stretch, or recover, based on their unique schedule.”
3) Trusted Training Programs
Planning and programming for all the different groups at the high school level can be a lot! Even if you are a certified strength and conditioning coach, you only have so much time to plan and program all the different workout programs.
So while with an app like PLT4M you can create and write all your training plans with the workout builder, it doesn’t mean you have to! With PLT4M, you can access a wide variety of training plans that you can use “as is” or treat as a starting point to edit or adjust. PLT4M has everything from bodyweight workouts for beginners to in-season and off-season training programs for athletes (and everything in between).
Keith Recker, a football coach and teacher at Van Wert High School in Ohio, saw PLT4 M’s programs as one of the biggest reasons to get a strength and conditioning app. Past just winning the first state championship in program history, Keith saw the benefits of turning to PLT4 M’s workout plans,
“We have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of injuries, and that is a credit to using professionally designed programs. Having a long-term plan in the weight room has allowed more athletes to reap the benefits on and off the field.”
4) Exercise Video Demonstrations
One of the best ways to enhance the strength and conditioning app experience is the integration of video demonstrations.
When learning new exercises, video demonstrations can help break down important form and technique tips. For Blake Roberts, strength coach and PE teacher at Owensboro High school, he sees the PLT4M exercise library as a major key to success of teaching and bringing new students into the weight room,
“The weight room can be intimidating, especially for some of our female student-athletes. The instructional videos give students a straightforward mental checklist for proper form and technique.”
And in addition to introducing new exercises, having a complete exercise library at students’ disposal can help to maximize efficiency in the weight room. For example, with a quick demonstration video, students don’t need to come to a screeching halt when they forget a particular exercise or movement. (See more about PLT4M’s exercise library of over 3,000 instructional videos.)
5) Data & Tracking
With the addition of a strength and conditioning app comes the ability to enhance training through data and tracking. Students can set specific goals around their personalized weights and progress. Coaches and teachers can use data to help motivate students, inform decisions, and make a case for strength and conditioning to administrators.
At Wayland Union High School, Justin Sherrod sees the new addition of data and tracking as one of the biggest advantages of PLT4M’s strength and conditioning app. Every Wayland Union High School student has a 1-to-1 device or can use their phone to access workouts. Because of the technology and insights provided, Justin sees the impacts it has on student engagement in class,
“It has changed the culture in the weight room and classes. Students are excited for each other, whether it is a student who just started adding weight to the bar and gets a personal best or one of our most experienced lifters hitting a big number.”
Key Takeaways on the PLT4M Strength and Conditioning App
The most important thing about a strength and conditioning app is that it makes life easier, not harder. The best apps know how to balance cutting-edge technology with simplicity.
At PLT4M, we have worked to make getting different workout routines to students simple and easy. From there, we have developed a wide range of data and tracking insights that teachers and coaches want while avoiding an overload of unnecessary information cluttering the strength and conditioning app.
As a result, PLT4M is the most popular strength and conditioning app for high school. Over 1,000 schools across the country are powering PE and athletics with the PLT4M strength and conditioning app.
Want to give PLT4M a try? As a thank you for reading this entire article, we would be happy to offer you a free trial. So reach out to set up a quick consultation and explore a free trial that will allow you to try PLT4M with your group of students!
Is PLT4M free or does it cost money?
PLT4M is a yearly subscription. Each PLT4M subscription includes every program and every feature we offer. No navigation complex plans that nickel and dime you. Price is based solely on the number of students who will need access.
And while you might be in search of free apps or a free version, we encourage you to reach out and learn more about PLT4M. Because PLT4M works exclusively with schools, we are affordable and work with you to obtain funding through different funding streams and grant options when necessary. See more on pricing.
Is PLT4M a monthly subscription or a yearly subscription?
PLT4M is a yearly subscription. We know many of the best workout apps offer a monthly subscription, but because we work exclusively with high schools, we provide a year-round service.
Does PLT4M only have strength and conditioning workouts?
No, PLT4M has a wide range of workout programs. The best workout for a student is one they are interested in doing. That means we want students to explore everything from strength and conditioning to yoga, pilates, dance, boxing, bootcamp, and more! Check out all the options for high school pe lesson plans and content offerings at PLT4M.
Does PLT4M track heart rate data?
The PLT4M app doesn’t currently track heart rate data. However, there are many apps made specifically for heart rate tracking and insights. Everything from apple fitness to Polar can give students and fitness coaches insights on heart rate data.
In the future, PLT4M plans on being able to integrate data from other heart rate apps.