T Nation

College Soccer Workout?

I am currently part of a college soccer team. I realize that quickness and speed is a very important part of the game. I am a currently a freshman and one of the fastest/quickest players on the team, so I am not too worried about my speed, because I am sure it can at least be maintained throughout this proposed training cycle:

My coach gave a us a workout schedule, and it consists of full body workouts 3 days a week. He claims this stage is simply for gaining muscle mass (60-70% of max, 8-10 reps) and he wants a lot of protein intake. My question is, how long should I maintain such a workout schedule before I should start doing higher reps to lower body fat %. My essential goals are to become stronger, yes, but I also want to lower body fat % (especially around my abs). The entire workout is supposed to last for the rest of the college semester (late April), then throughout the summer I am basically on my own. So all in all, I have from now until the beginning of August to create some sort of workout cycle that will allow me to gain a good amount of (muscle) mass and then cut with high reps. I just need to know how to go about doing it. Any recommendations on how to help achieve my goals would be appreciated.

Thanks much,


First of all, let me give you one piece of advice. Higher reps are not going to help you “cut”. Your body fat percentage is going to be a function of your diet and your total caloric expenditure.

I think one of the best training systems for soccer players is the “hi-lo” system as designed by James Smith. In it, you will alternate high-intensity days with less intense days. High-intensity weight room days would be max effort lifting (under 5 reps with a weight very close to max) or dynamic effort lifting (olympic or other explosive lifts). Sprinting and plyometrics are other methods of high-intensity work. Low-intensity weight room work would be higher reps (12-20) stopping well short of failure to help facilitate recovery. Low-intensity energy systems work would be tempo running (running a tempo you could sustain for an hour for a set period of time, starting with 10 minutes and working up).

Here is what an off-season week might look like:

All lifting sessions are total body.

Monday AM- Sprint training
Monday PM- Max strength work
Tuesday- Tempo
Wednesday- Dynamic strength work
Thursday- Strength recovery work
Friday AM- Max strength work
Friday PM- Sprint training
Saturday- Tempo
Sunday- Off

Just something to get you thinking a little differently.

wow you’ve been registered on T-Nation for over 4 years…you’re almost as old as prof x.

anyways like the guy above me…it has everything to do with your diet.

I don’t know what ‘soccer’ coaches are like in the US, but friends of mine here in the UK who have played at a moderate level have picked up some plain retarded ideas from their coaches about strength training.

Generally I think they have a bit of catching up to do - I remember a couple of years back there was a big thing in the press about Steve Maclaren insisting his players have a recovery drink and meal together after a game - it was considered pretty groundbreaking! I was thinking, “well I do that as a matter of course and I’m not getting paid for my performance…”.

Anyway, I second the suggestion to check out James Smith’s articles and ideas at elitefts. He has a q&a section too which may be useful.