T Nation

Getting Fit for Soccer & Gaining Muscle


#1

iv been training for a few months now after getting a 4 day split on here and got some really good gains. however the new football (soccer) season has started and i;ve felt a tiny bit lathargic due to the weight/muscle gain and lack of cardio during bulk. my goals are to build muscle and a well defined body but not too big in order to still play football. anyway i feel i now need to add a few medium/long distance runs in order to raise my fitness levels back to where they were pre bulk. can anyone advise me on how i should go about this in so i can get 'fit' but still gain muscle. thank you


#2

Have you actually READ anything on this site yet…?

I wouldn’t even bother running, go for sled pulls and hammer swings with some farmers walks and tire flipping instead…


#3

Whats more important to you atm? Soccer or getting bigger? If its soccer then your going to have to sacrifice, and actually run. Try to still lift as heavy as you can to preserve muscle and obviously at this point your nutrition is going to be the most important part.


#4

thanks liv92 for the reply. i take it im more likely to get tonned rather than big by running??


#5

Running is a form of physical preparedness. It has little to do with “bulking” or “toning”, that’s where your diet comes in. What’s stopping you from gaining more muscle other than some preconcieved notion that “big=slow”?


#6

Doing cardio doesn’t mean you can’t get big. It just means you’re using more calories and you need to make up for it in your diet. The “strongman cardio” and I use that term loosely, that has been suggested before isn’t bad, but what you are gonna do during games is actual running.

Long bouts (45-60 min) of low intensity cardio do use a lot of calories.
If you want to try and go with both goals you should do 20-30 seconds sprints/accelerations with a minute or so of jogging for a total time of 20 minutes or less, 2x a week after leg day.
It’s more specific to what you do in games, and doesn’t burn so much calories that you couldn’t make it up with your diet.

PS: don’t use the term toned/toning. It really doesn’t mean anything. There’s only two goals that matter in body composition/physical look: building muscle and losing fat.


#7

ok thanks for the advice. if im not mistaken doesnt wat you’ve suggested supposedly burn more fat??


#8

Being muscular doesnt mean your sport should suffer, look at running backs in american football, quick, strong and MUSCULAR!

Sprinters are the same, very muscular, lean and fastest people on the planet!


#9

[quote]smiffy983 wrote:
Being muscular doesnt mean your sport should suffer, look at running backs in american football, quick, strong and MUSCULAR!

Sprinters are the same, very muscular, lean and fastest people on the planet![/quote]

I agree with your viewpoint but just to add: Soccer tends to be a lot more aerobic than either football or sprinting. On a full-sized pitch the game can be broken down into long periods of jogging interspersed with quick, sometimes all-out, sprints. Muscular size and strength take a back seat to endurance.
Despite this, I think its quite possible to hold on to, even build muscle while training for soccer. It’ll depend on how the OP organises his training, recovery and diet. To the OP: you’re gonna need to eat a lot to make up the caloric deficit in soccer practice. Also be wary of exceeding your recovery ability, give your body, especially the legs, the rest they need.


#10

I play football anywhere up to 4 times a week and hit the gym min 3 times so I know your situation. the 1st thing I would say is sprint drills sprint drills sprint drills. Theres no point being able to run all day if it takes you all day to get there, you need to be fast over a few yards at least so anerobic fitness is your main target.

As far as getting bigger do any routine you like for upper body but for lower body be careful of over training, never do legs if the feel tired. I found deadlifts have made me impossible to push off the ball even when marking guys 30/40 lbs heavier than me, after seeing thiery henry doing them i started snatches and added about 6 inches to my verticle jump. your priority should be sprints though. what position do you play?


#11

centre midfield


#12

ok you’re probably in the position most prone to over training considering the amount of ground you have to cover in a game. Id still stand by what I said, as a yardstick to ensure against over training your lower body I’d suggest timing youself in a series of sprints, say 10 20 and 40 yards. if your times ever start going backwards then you know its time to ease up.

Im doin wsbsb for a change at the moment and I find it doesnt tire me out for matches or training, I might be stiff to start with but never tired or weak including last night when playing a polish team that looked like they shouldve been playing rugby! :slight_smile:


#13

Sounds like you’re gonna have your work cut out with these goals, I used to play centre back and that was enough running.

Have a read on defranco’s site and try incorporating some of the box jumps and vertical jump training. This should keep you agile and strong relative to your weight.


#14

id be more than happy with the cover model look to be honest


#15

check this out john
www.elitefts.com/documents/soccer_strength.htm
www.elitefts.com/documents/football_training.htm
the latter is football training but a lot of principles apply.