Managing Mixed Bag Weight Training Classes

One of the biggest challenges for high school weight training classes is managing the diverse needs of students stepping inside the weight room. At Cordova High School, weight training classes have upwards of 50 students in a single class period. Chris Tamez, PE teacher and strength coach, describes the mixed bag of students at Cordova,


“In each class, there are in-season, off-season, and general population students that require different training programs and workouts throughout the school year.”


And while this mixed bag of students makes managing classes more challenging, Chris says that he wouldn’t have it any other way,


“As a working-class community, if students aren’t in-season playing sports, they are heading off to work after school. Our weight training classes allow over 90% of our student-athletes to train during the school day.”


With such a significant impact on student fitness, Cordova High School has set out to make the most of weight training classes during the school day. We look inside the weight room to see how Cordova manages mixed-bag weight training classes.

Cordova students working out in weight training classes.
Students at Cordova High School lifting during weight training classes.

Multiple Groups – One Mission 


While a wide range of different groups are inside a Cordova weight training class, Chris looks to establish a clear mission with everyone, 


“It is no surprise that most high school students want to load up the bar and max out as much as possible. So it is important to explain the purpose of what we are doing and why we are doing it a certain way.” 


Although this takes time, Chris says that he works to build trust and relationships in class so that students can see the big picture, 


“The students are starting to see the long-term approach and the importance of building the complete picture in the weight room to see progress and improvement.” 


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Effectively Training Multiple Groups At Once 


With a clear mission, Chris sets out to structure workouts for the different groups within Cordova weight training classes. Beyond just in-season, off-season, and general population groups, students also have varying experiences in the weight room. Chris has to manage all of these different factors to train students effectively. 


Starting each semester, Chris reviews and focuses on core lifts that are the program’s foundation. Over time, Cordova students get confident and comfortable, which leads to them becoming more independent when working out, 


“We focus on movement mechanics and form with our four core lifts of squat, deadlift, bench, and overhead press. Getting these basics down helps make everything easier in the long run.” 


From here, Chris can begin to differentiate training plans for the different groups of students in class. To help manage these groups and deliver workouts, Cordova uses technology to maximize the experience for students in weight training classes. 

Technology’s Role Managing Mixed Bag Weight Training Classes 


To help manage the mixed bag classes, Cordova utilizes PLT4M to deliver workouts and training plans. Chris explains how PLT4M has helped to support the mixed bag weight training classes, 


“The biggest thing with PLT4M is that I can effectively train multiple groups at once in a busy 50-student class.” 


With PLT4M, students come to class with cell phones to access and log workouts. Chris highlights the power of technology for weight training classes, 


“It streamlines our approach to make the most out of a short class period. And because the app personalizes the weights, every student has an individualized workout with a click of a button.” 


PLT4M displayed on Iphone featuring workout view.
Students can log workouts on any phone or device with PLT4M.

Key Takeaways on Cordova Weight Training Classes 


Cordova High School has embraced the weight room during the school day. Students thrive in a class structured to meet everyone’s individual needs. Chris highlights the notable progress that is coming from the weight training classes, 


“All of our students are seeing significant progress in the weight room. And our student-athletes are seeing the hard work translate to their sports.” 


And as Cordova continues growing the weight training classes, Chris is hopeful for more positives to come, 


“We know that change takes time. But we are starting to see new levels of buy-in and engagement from students that will only continue to grow over time.” 


As more schools look to structure successful weight training classes with a mixed bag of students, Cordova shows the power of planning, technology, and excellent teaching. 


image oh student squatting and a phone with graph

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