So you are over the age of 35 and you want to throw as far as possible as a masters shot put, discus, hammer, weight, or javelin thrower. You might have thrown when you are in college and are picking the implements back up after 15 years of not competing. Maybe you are a throws zealot and have been training your entire life? Or maybe you have never even thrown before and you are looking into getting started into one of the best pastimes any strength-oriented person can get into? The only problem is you don't know how best to train your body to become as strong and powerful as possible while not getting carried away and hurting yourself.
We are going to break down how masters throwers should strength train, what the priorities should be in the weight room, and how to ultimately throw as far as possible no matter what age you are!
One of the most important aspects of masters training is to TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. It doesn't matter how impressive numbers you have in the weight room or how fast you can move a barbell if you end up getting injured while training and aren't even healthy enough to throw. This means having a proper warm up and focusing on mobility in order to maintain joint integrity and improve your overall movement.
Why can't Eddie Hall throw anywhere near as far as his strength numbers would suggest he could throw? Because he does not have mobility specific to the throw. You can be the strongest person in the world, but if you are too tight to move well and hit deep positions, you will not be able to maximize your distance.
Using mobility exercises that target the ankles, hips, thoracic spine, and shoulders will make a drastic difference when you are making technical changes in the circle. Spect at least 15 minutes before training using mobility to warm up, and 15 minutes after training or before bed to target any tight or sore spots, you will quickly notice improvements in your movement and throws.
The greatest aspect of training with bands is that they adapt to you. You can use bands for heavy resistance that won't risk injury and bodybuilding movements. You can use them to train plyometrics and mobility. Also they are a perfect way to simulate throws and feel out your technique without putting extra stress on your body.
For example banded standing throws allow you to feel tension through the body to the throwing arm the entire way through the finish of the throw. Using banded resistance in drills helps to improve mind-muscle connection much faster than bodyweight drills.
We all have busy lives, and most likely your life is much busier now than it was back when you were training in high school or college. Unfortunately on top of being busy, your body can't recover as fast as it could when you were younger. These factors make planning out your lifting and throwing sessions much more crucial. First, figure out how many days a week you can throw and how many days you can lift. Make sure you plan your throwing sessions on days that you are feeling fresh. Since throwing far and improving technique is the goal, make sure you are feeling your best for those sessions. Making technical improvements in your throw is much easier when you are feeling good and fresh than when you are sore from a tough lifting session the day before.
Before you shake your head "I know... I know... I know..." think of it this way. If you are eating well and thus staying healthy and feeling good, you will be able to throw even LONGER and break those 80 and 90-year-old masters records! But seriously, eating well will not only make you feel better and train at a higher intensity, but it will improve your joint health and recovery allowing you to train more frequently as well! Throws training is an incredible way to stay active, so don't waste it by pounding junk food daily.
Make your workouts simple so that you are only doing the things necessary to throw far, and not adding filler or unnecessary exercises that will only wear your body down and increase the risk of injury. So what should you do in a workout?
Mobility to warm up for the lift
Power or strength movement to develop explosiveness and absolute strength
Bodybuilding movements to build muscle mass
Make your strength training session 45 minutes so that you have more time to develop your throws and get mobility work in.
So you are focusing on your mobility, using bands, planning your training sessions out, eating well, and crushing simple strength workouts. What else can get you to throw far consistently? Listen to your body. Don't be afraid to call an audible on your training or workout if you are feeling something you shouldn't. If you are feeling good, push the intensity higher, but if you are feeling sluggish and tight, focus on your movement rather than the result.
If you don't know where to start with your throws training in the circle or in the weightroom, check out our Masters Throws Training Program where we will tell you everything you need to do to execute the best training possible.
"Our aim is to provide concise and concrete education and training on the throws, helping coaches and athletes learn what they need to do to succeed and become champions."
- Dane and Trevor