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Far too often in sports, athletes are trained to do things in the weight room or practice field that are far different from the actually way they are going to play on the field of competition. Over the years, I have created a strength and conditioning program that is meant to go against this trend with every part of the entire training cycle being based on the latest S&C research. Here is an introduction to the plan that I have used at both the high school and collegiate level. Be sure to take a look at each individual phase for the specific exercises that we use and then check back for the second installment later this week that covers all of those activities in much greater detail.

Basic Concepts:

  • The program must be comprehensive in that it includes all aspects and facets of strength, power, speed change of direction, quickness, flexibility and anaerobic conditioning that are needed to develop an explosive, efficient football player.
  • The program must be functional in that it must only train energy systems, muscle fiber types and movement patterns that are in some way transferable to the playing field.
  • The program must be consistent and ongoing with no long lapses between training cycles. Accurate records should be kept.
  • The program must be research and science based and not controlled by fad methodology.

Training Concepts:

Football training should include the following considerations:
  1. Fast-twitch Muscle Fiber Development
  2. ATP-PC Energy system
  3. Work-Rest Ratios/Glycogen Repletion
  4. Total Volume
  5. Compensatory Acceleration
  6. Glycogen Repletion
  7. Muscle Hydration

Training Targets:

  • Absolute Strength
  • Explosive Power
  • Linear Speed Mechanics
  • Acceleration/ Deceleration
  • Change of Direction
  • Foot Quickness
  • Flexibility
  • Core Stability
  • Metabolic Conditioning
  • Lean Mass Gain
  • Body Fat Reduction
  • Injury Prevention
  • Mental Toughness
  • Confidence
Part 1 of this series laid out the basic principle and schedule that our teams use to train for optimal performance on the field of play. This section will go into more depth what we include in the different parts of the training regiment.

Prioritizing Phases: NOTE: All aspects are trained year around, however phases have specific goals as priorities. Flexibility, Core Stability, Injury Prevention, Mental Toughness and Confidence are constant priorities.

  • Phase I: Absolute Strength, Lean Mass Gain, COD, FQ
  • Phase II: Absolute Strength, Lean Mass Gain COD, FQ, Linear Speed Mechanics
  • Phase III: Explosive Power, Accel/Decel, LS Mech, FQ, Metabolic Cond.
  • Phase IV: Explosive Power, Accel/Decel, COD, FQ, Metabolic Cond.

Linear Speed Development: (Speed = Stride Rate X Stride Length)

  • Start Phase
  • Acceleration Phase
  • Velocity Phase

Change of Direction

Programmed Agility:
  1. Pro Shuttle
  2. W-Run
  3. 3 Cone
  4. Short Shuttle
Reactionary Agility
  1. Come to Balance Series
  2. Mimic Drills

Acceleration/Deceleration:

  • Come to Balance
  • Stop/Starts

Plyometric Training:

Ground Based Series
  1. Bounding
  2. Skipping
  3. Jumping
  4. Hopping
Apparatus Enhanced
  1. Boxes
  2. Hurdles
  3. Cones

Metabolic Conditioning:

  • Interval Sprint Training (300, 200, 100, 50 )
  • Speed Endurance Sprinting ( 40, 30, 20 ) 4 Quarters

Foot Quickness:

Ladders
  1. High Knee Rapid Fire
  2. Lateral HK Rapid Fire
  3. Icky Shuffle
  4. In and Outs

Flexibility:

  • Dynamic Stretching
  • Static Stretch
  • PNF Stretching

Strength Training Models:

  • Progression
  • Static
  • Speed

Explosive Power:

  • Compensatory Acceleration
  • Plyometrics
  • Linear Speed Mechanics

Lean Mass Gain / Bodyfat Reduction:

  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Interval Training vs. Steady State Aerobics

Core Lifts:

  • Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Cleans
  • Snatch

Auxiliary Lifts:

  • Step Ups
  • Leg Press
  • Lunges
  • Stiff Leg DL
  • Inclines
  • DB Bench Press
  • Pushdowns
  • Pulldowns
  • BB/DB Rows
  • Power Shrugs
  • Shoulder Circuit
  • Split Jerk
  • Clean Pulls
I get a lot of inquiries about how I train my athletes and one of the most asked questions is "what is the difference between progression, static and speed training models and how do they work?" (Many of the basics of these concepts were covered in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series)

I will attempt to briefly, yet clearly answer that question in the next couple of paragraphs. Hopefully this will clear up any confusion or misconceptions.

Keep in mind that I am not trying to make this a laboratory seminar on physiology, so this will be in layman’s terms!

Static means that, following warmups, each set is done at the same percentage (weight). For example if we were doing squats @ 76% Static for 5x5, then after warmups we would load 76% of our max and do 5 sets of 5 with that weight. In other words 25 total reps at 76%. Obviously, work/rest ratios are important so that the muscles’ glycogen is restored and each set is as strong as the first set.

Progression means that each set will get progressively heavier. For example if we were doing squats @ 76% Progression, then each set would get progressively heavier until we reached 76% of our max for the final set of ever how many reps were prescribed. We use a progression chart which I developed so that we do not have to go look up a % of our max on each set. The progression chart is based off of 6 total sets, each getting progressively heavier. With progression, the warmups are built in.

Again work/rest ratios are vital, although progression at 76% is way less total volume than static at 76%. So in this instance, the static day would be a heavier day and the progression day would be lighter in terms of total amount of weight lifted.

Total volume is the number of total reps X the amount of weight lifted. 200lbs for a set of 5 would be 1,000 lbs. If you did 5 sets of 5 that would be 5,000 lbs. total volume......get it? Volume control is paramount in training athletes effectively while not overtraining them.

Speed days are when the weight is greatly reduced to between 60 and 70% for BP and 50-60% for low box squats. The emphasis is placed on bar speed throughout the entire range of movement, which is always an emphasis. However with the lighter percentages, the weight should be traveling at much higher rate of speed. We do multiple sets, anywhere from 8 to 12 , with each set consisting of only 2-3 reps with much lower work/rest ratios. Why would this be of any benefit?

There are two ways to develop fast twitch muscle fiber capability. One is to push a maximal weight. If every muscle does not fire, the weight will not budge. The other way is to push a sub-maximal weight as fast as possible. In other words, push 250 like it is 315. This is why speed sets legitimately work for increasing power output.

However if you have not built absolute strength first, then you still will not be generating much power by doing speed sets because there will not be very much strength to transfer into power. Therefore it is vital that you train your athletes in phases.

Monday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Programmed Agility/ Ladders
  4. Lower Body

Tuesday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Apparatus Enhanced Plyos
  4. Upper Body

Wednesday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Linear Speed Mechanics
  4. Platform

Thursday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Acceleration/Deceleration
  4. Lower Body

Friday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Ground Based Plyos
  4. Upper Body

Additional Resources:

Click here for more Strength and Conditioning Coaching Resources.

Monday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Linear Speed Mechanics/ Apparatus Enhanced Plyos
  4. Rack Training : Progression/Static

Tuesday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Programmed Agility/ Ladders
  4. Platform Training: Progression

Wednesday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Metabolic Conditioning

Thursday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Linear Speed Mechanics
  4. Rack Training: Static/Progression

Friday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Acceleration/Deceleration and Ground Based Plyos
  4. Platform Training: Static

Additional Resources:

Click here for more Strength and Conditioning Coaching Resources.

Monday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Acceleration/ Deceleration and Apparatus Enhanced Plyos
  4. Rack Training: Progression
  5. Football Skill Development

Tuesday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Metabolic Conditioning
  4. Platform Training: Static
  5. Football Skill Development

Wednesday:

  • Skill and Combo Players: 7on 7
  • OL/DL: Skill Development

Thursday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Programmed Agility/ Ground Based Plyos
  4. Rack Training: Speed
  5. Football Skill Development

Friday:

  • Off

Additional Resources:

Click here for more Strength and Conditioning Coaching Resources.

Monday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Programmed Agility/Ladders
  4. Rack Training: Speed

Tuesday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Apparatus Enhanced Plyos
  4. Platform Training: Progression

Wednesday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Metabolic Conditioning

Thursday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Acceleration/Deceleration
  4. Rack Training: Speed

Friday:

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. Core Training
  3. Ground Based Plyos
  4. Platform Training: Static

 

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