T Nation

Exercises For Soccer?

My roommate is a small, very agile soccer player. I think he’d do well with about 15-20 pounds on him, but I can understand how he’s ambivalent about the idea. I was just wondering what a decent workout for a soccer player would be; I’m pretty sure glutes, quads, hamstrings and abdominals would be key. He’s got no lifting experience.
I know he’ll gain at least 5 pounds just by lifting and eating enough, and he could definitely gain more if he wanted to.
Any specific workout suggestions?

Repost of one of my older posts:

Im a diehard soccer player who also weightlifts and eats like a bodybuilder (though I don’t bodybuild, I see mass and strength gains as bonuses, not goals. Soccer is my only priority). I also happen to be a goalie, and have been juggling lifting and soccer for the last year. Instead of going through everything that I’ve done, I’ve instead created a compilation of the best material you’ll need to both become an excellent athelete and continue to make size and strength gains. I assume that your team practices 5-6 times a week for at least an hour each, in addition to games. If so, it will be necessary to reduce the volume slightly. To better get an idea of how much to reduce it by, I’d suggest asking Chad Waterbury over at T-Nation, as he’s the genius behind most of these programs. Now, on to the programs:

Training: Yes, soccer is a lower-body dominant sport, but it’s stupid to assume that you don’t train your legs as a result of this. If anything, emphasis must be placed on the lower body to ensure optimal capability. Depending on the position you play, your strength training will either focuse on anaerobic capability and power/speed-strength generation, or anaerobic-aerobic endurance, speed-strength, and muscular endurace. The first type of training is much more geared towards mass gains than traditional soccer training, while the second usually ensures a low bf% year-round. Finally, it’s a waste to worry about the minute. Almost all of us here are still beginners, so a basic, fullbody workout is best, as the main priority here is to establish a solid physical foundation.

For the above reasons, the best program to start with would be Big Boy Basics:
I’d most likely cut the training volume in half for all days to prevent burnout during soccer season.

In addition to this, special attention must be given to footwork. Rope training helped me tremendously with both boosting my speed and agility and giving me more control over my feet. The best beginner program out there has to be Renegade Rope Training:
I’d simply do some rope training on off days once or twice a week.

Finally, stretching is imperative. Any good program will do, though I reccomend Hardcore Stretching:

Nutrition: Simply put, John Berardi is the man. Your constant activity will demand constant eating, so Massive Eating is perfect for this:

Now, I must point out that this will only make you a better athelete, soccer specific skills only improve when playing soccer. For this reason, your number one priority is soccer practice, everything else comes second. However, if you follow the general guidelines and put in the effort, you’ll reap awsome rewards. And yes, I know it’s alot of reading, but it’s worth it. All of the stuff I posted can be applied to regular bodybuilding as well, so you’ll be better for it in the long run.

I’m a longtime soccer player and have recently gotten into coaching.

The first response makes a lot of good points, but I want to add a couple things…

many soccer players are not receptive to weight training because they feel that it is either not useful to them, or even worse, is detrimental to them and will slow them down. that said, you’ve got to break through that mental block to get a soccer player to commit to a lifting program.

also, I think most soccer players could stand to do some serious upper body work, because the value of the upper body in soccer is greatly underappreciated. especially in the case of a small, agile player like your friend, adding size and strength up top will only make him better, because it will make him very hard to push off the ball. if he has the natural gifts that smaller, quicker players possess, he can only stand to benefit by adding some size to his frame and becoming an even peskier player.