T Nation


I am training for high school football, i play on the line and my goal is to gain mass and strength, but i still need effort endurance to play the entire game
my question is, would i benefit from doing sled dragging instead of cardio for endurance? I am afraid that cardio will take away from my gains in mass and strength.

Read the interview with Coach Davies at T-mag. He addressed that topic. It’s called ‘gun for hire’

Your best bet is to gain endurance in the energy system you use during your sport. For you this will be anaerobic threshold training. You don’t need any special equipment to do this…simply do something high intensity for about 30 seconds to 1 minute (running, cycling, sprinting, jumping rope, or any activity you can think of) after 1 minute rest 1 minute and repeat. Each week build upon the number of repetitions your doing. For a football player like yourself a great way to do this is a modified version of Fred Hatfields 3 minute drills. In a 3 minute drill you do agility drills such as sprint forward 40 yards, backward 40 yards, shuffle to the right, shuffle to the left, jump up and down, get down on all 4’s and hop back up again etc. until you’ve gone for 3 minutes…then you rest a pre-determined amount of time and repeat. When you can do 10 3 minute drills with only a minutes rest in between sets you’ll be in plenty good shape for an offensive lineman. You could also go the track and sprint 220’s or 400’s with a 30 second walk in between sprints.

One last idea…I got this one from Charles Poliquin and have used it myself. Find a sandbag or heavy bag that weights between 70-100 lbs. Find a bench about as high as the tailgate of a truck to set it on. ( I use the hyperextension bench at my gym). Now just roll it off on the floor and pick it back up and set it down then knock it off on the floor again…keep doing this until you’ve picked it off the floor and set it up on the bench 50 times. This is a real killer. Time yourself each time you do it and don’t do more then a couple of sets in a workout. The advantage in training this way for a lineman is your constantly bending down and gripping and grabbing…using your muscles and endurance in such a way that is conducive to developing the skills needed for your position. hope this helps

hold off on training for endurance for a month or so (not all together, but minamalize it). It is hard for the body to adapt to many different things at once.

Since you play on the line your endurance needs are much different than a skill position player. On average, a play will last like 5 seconds, and as a lineman you probably won’t move more than 10 yards. So think in terms of specificity, make sure to train endurance for a lineman not for a skill position. I would recommend doing short EXPLOSIVE sprints out of your stance (3 point or 4). Work on 5, 10, and 15 yrd distances. There is no need for a lineman to fun much farther than that. Give yourself about 30-40 seconds between sprints, since that is about your average rest between plays. Mix in some cone drills, because football isn’t played in a straight line, and you need good foot speed. On top of this, sled dragging would be a great addition, make sure your getting your rest and recovery. Assuming your season starts mid-August you probably don’t need to worry about your endurance for about another month. I would say mid-July start working on it seriously, but work on your sled drags now as part of your strength training (refer to Dave Tate’s article). Hope that helps, work hard and kick ass!!…-Nick.

thanks, i like those suggestions, i will definitely toss them into my training