T Nation

Football Conditioning

What are some of the best drills to improve anareobic endurance for a football player?

Full out sprints with short recovery or agility drills with less than 100% recovery?

I’ve read up a little bit on the Charlie Francis system but at times I wonder if tempos are the best way to go to build endurance for football.

At the same time, Tom Mylanski made a mention of how the new Browns S&C coach was training the wrong energy systems for football players by running 300 yd shuttles as fast as possible.

I just wanted to get some others on conditioning for football players and how to make sure you are training the proper energy systems for the sport.

While I am not training specifically for football, I have been doing a program designed for football players (big focus on strength and explosiveness). It’s the John Davies Renegade Training for Football which I am a big fan of. Check out his site, shoot him an e-mail and he would be more than happy to talk to you.


  • Return with honor.

Anyone got anything else to add?

When I was back in football I got in incredible anaerobic shape from using Bigger Faster Stronger’s sprint workout.

i’ve done shorter sprints with short rest periods in the past, but what position are they? You could use various cone drills by positions, as the distances covered in a game vary greatly.(db’s and wr’s run alot further in a game than a center or noseguard) I have used sled pushes/pulls and truck pushes with my linemen to condition them. Not the most scientific but they go into camp able to come off the ball hard and block for four quarters. I mix it up though, Davies’ program is excellent but I had to cut it back for myself when I did it. It took me awhile at 6’4" 330 to get accustomed to the volume of running.


i think agility drills are best left for agility training, since you’re working on more of a skill there. otherwise, sprints would be the way to go…sorry, though, i don’t know of any good progmas to reccomend.


For our football program we use a combination of both agility and sprint endurance. I feel that agility work if it is circut trained works very well for me as far as building agility. I dont think that it helps my endurance to much. For endurance i prefer to do sprints of various lengths on different days.

MON: 8 100 yard sprints with recovery of walking back to the start.

WED: 4 200 yard sprints walking back to the start for recovery

FRI: 12 40 yard sprints with the recovery of walking back

It is pretty intense and gets me in great shape for the season.

300 yard shuttle isn’t very applicable to football even though a lot of programs use them to test conditioning. what you could do is shorten the shuttles and run them faster. i used to do 100 yard shuttles at 25 yards with a 3:1 work to rest ratio. worked really well plus it also helped me pass the 300 yard shuttle test. one thing to make sure when conditioning is to save it for after speed/agility work and either run faster or shorten rest times, never both. good luck