How to do a College Football Weight Training Program

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

With Football Season just around the corner, in fact it is practically here with college football starts this Saturday, September 1st. I wanted to discuss a football workout program that you would use in the weight room.

Step 2

Now training for football and training for Mr. Olympia are two total different things. Bodybuilding and Football are though both based on power and strength, the only difference is bodybuilding is more of a finesse thing. Football is built more on power, explosion and leverage.

Step 3

If you are a football player, typically, your upper body day will consist of flat bench, incline bench, lat pull-downs, rows, bent-over rows, things like that. Everything with football is explosion and power. So, all the exercises they are going to do are all power-building exercises that would involve lifting. You are not going to spend a different body part each day. Its more upper body one day, lower body the next. Off, upper body, then lower body the next.

Step 4

The question is: just different exercises for different body parts on those days. You are going to do weighted dips would be a favorite for triceps. You are not going to go nuts with biceps curls, because honest to God, I am going to tell you something: to all football players out there... bicep curls and working your biceps do absolutely nothing to help you on the football field.

Step 5

Really, what you need to focus on to be a good football player is your bench press, your squat, your deadlift, your power clean. All the four major Olympic lifts are what are going to give you the best chance of being a better football player. All the other stuff is basically so you don't look out of proportion and a little bit of strength and a little bit of definition or a little hypertrophy. That is the correct word - where you muscles grow. It is just so you add a little hypertrophy here and there to help strengthen, to help kind of compliment the major exercises.

Step 6

So, for example, if you are doing squats, which you will do... Any football workout program that is any good, will incorporate squats. They might also tell you to do three sets of 8 leg extensions to help compliment the squats by working your quadriceps with that exercise.

Step 7

For example, for upper body, would be, is if you were doing flat bench press, they might tell you to do tricep pulldowns, cable pulldowns. Not only because the bench press is hit your, chest, inner delts, and your triceps, but they want to hit more tris, they will tell you to do that. Those are just complimentary exercises in my opinion. What really matters are those three things.

Step 8

Typically a football weight training program will be four days of weight training and probably a day of speed training and as you get closer to regular season, you will do more speed training. And all that speed training involves is basically its all about sprints.

Step 9

Football is a game of stop, jog back, but during the play, you give 110%, so basically its a game of sprints and that's how you get into shape: by running sprints. Running a series of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50-yard sprints. That's really how you get into shape. Interval training is perfect for football as far as cardio is concerned.

Step 10

But back to the weights. Really, that is what it is based on. Its based on the four main power exercises. These exercises will give you the explosion and leverage you need to get under somebody. For example, if you are a defensive lineman, and you need to beat the left tackle if you are a defensive end, the explosion factor is going to be huge there.

Step 11

So, power cleans are going to come in handy as well. The second you get out of your stance, you give them a violent shove and a rip. That uses your bench press. That and get to the quarterback and knock the quarterback down. That is incorporating your bench press, your squat, your power clean, and your deadlift altogether because deadlifts will also train you to do power cleans because the starting position, where you are arched down, like this - where you start with a power clean- you are like that when you are doing a deadlift anyway. So, you see what I am saying? That will - it all kind of flows together. Football is a game of power and leverage. It is a game of explosion. It is not a game of finesse.

Step 12

To train for football, you have to train for power. Basically you have to throw all of the kind of finesse techniques out the window. This game is about brute strength. Put the women and children to bed and go out there and crack some skulls.

Step 13

And the only way you are going to do that is by power - like explosion, and just raw, brute strength. And the bench press will give you that with the upper body, just like the squat and the deadlift, will give you that in the lower body. And the power clean will kind of put all that together into one thing.

Step 14

Obviously, there is the lunges to compliment it. You have lat pulldowns, you have rows, you have close-grip bench press, all that compliments the four core exercises. But those things are the most important.

Step 15

The last thing I want to stress to you is abdominal training too - is important or football. And I am not talking about sculpting a six-pack to go to the beach on Memorial Day weekend to get the ladies. I am talking about hard. I am talking about core training that will really strengthen your midsection here. And this is for offensive, defensive linemen too as well. They need this especially.

Step 16

Core training will help you absorb blows better. To change direction better. That's the athletic purpose of working your abdominals. This is not the abdominals to get on the cover of Muscle & Fitness. This is the abdominals to survive to take shots on the football field to be able to withstand them. To be able to have that durability to last the entire season, going both ways in high school or going just one way if you are a college or NFL football player.

Step 17

You need to know how to - your midsection needs to be tough enough to absorb a blow, because you will get hit there. Because more often than not, when you are taught to tackle, you are taught to tackle form the chest to the waist. So, you are going to get hit there. You should be well-protected, you should be well-strengthened there. That way too, you do not get the wind knocked out of you. Its more of a protection thing than it is for sculpting.

Step 18

So, what I recommend there is - you want to go with heavy resistance. You want to do everything weighted. If you do cable pulldowns, cable crunches, you want to do them with as much weight as you possibly can without sacrificing form. I say stick with six reps. Everything, leg lifts you want to do them with weight in between your legs, so leg kickouts, you want to do like this. Anything you can with weight in between your legs.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

Remember, if you are a football player, remember, you want to get as much power as you possibly can, because that's what is going to make you good.

Stuff You'll Need

Suggested Further Reading

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Backyard Drills Football Edition $89.99

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When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I have trained for football several seasons.

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