T Nation

Getting Strong For Football

hey im a senior high schooler getting ready to play college football in the fall. Im 6’8 278 and my max bench is 370, max squat is 440 and max dead is 475. im trying to find a routine to get as strong as possible, and im tired of the same bodybuilding routines that ive been doing for the past 4 years in high school. i also want to put on weight, since im going to be a lineman

Run sprints. You’re plenty big, but make sure you’re not slow by the time the season starts. On the field, it doesn’t matter how much you can lift if you can’t catch someone. Like the QB. Speed is the essence of war. You can’t be too fast. You can get too big to where the extra size isn’t helping, but you can never ever be too fast. I think that if football players put as much emphasison sprints as they do on lifting weights they would be alot better athletes. I’m sure you’ve heard about Polamalu, how he only does sprints and med ball work, sure, he’s a DB, but if you’re big AND fast, thats alot more scary than being just big and strong.

thanks for the tip. ive been running consisently but since my high school had such a poor strength and conditioning program i never learned how often or how many sprints be doing. plus with the weightlifting i dont wanna go out and pull a ham cuz im sprinting to much. what would be a good weekly sprint program to do

check out joe defranco and his west side for skinny bastards routine.


good luck…

he also has some good speed and agility stuff for football

Google Kelly Baggett as well, his website higher-faster-sports.com I believe has a shitload of football speed training info.

A lot of your speed work should be predicated around pretty much jump squats, sprinting, and strengthening your posterior chain.

Good luck.

Here is the Kelly B article that he is talking about:

Read part 2 too, so that you can put it all together. But, continue to get stronger for sure.

I know this is for football but try New Zealands rugby beep test. It will help when your in 2 minute offence or defence. Also don’t forget your sled pulls and oly lifts.

Cheers Rick

If you know where you’re going to school next year, get in touch with the football team’s strength coach and find out what he recommends. As long as you’re not going to Penn State, you probably won’t go wrong taking that route.

Also, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to learn the olympic lifts, or at least cleans; those help with the explosive power you’ll need for football.

And one thing I wish I’d done back in HS when I was playing O-line (though it was at about 100 pounds less than you are), which I assume you do at your size . . . push around some trucks, SUVs, or minivans. Just get someone to put the vehicle and neutral adn steer; it’s a hell of workout, and simulates pushing around heavy ass linemen better than anything I can think of off the top of my head.

I’d be careful with running sprints. That is a very basic exercise prescription, and it does not mimic what you do on the field. How often do you see a lineman in a full-sprint pursuit? Never. If as a lineman you sprint you will find yourself over pursuing, usually lineman run fast but with much smaller steps than would consitute a sprint.

I dont think it is very representitive of what you have to do. Shuttle drills where you are exploding and pursuing for a short distance before quickly changing direction are better for your position. Also, there are alot of issues with a 6 foot 8 person sprinting I and most of the people on this site are not qualified/experienced enough to deal with.

Also, working some complex training in probably wouldnt hurt, theres a recent article about it in the archives.

thanks for the tips guys. one of the main things i have to work on is getting lower, since im pretty tall its hard to get as low as the opposing lineman, im pretty fast for my size, but i need to work on my explosion. im gonna try that car push thing out, it sounds pretty good

Don’t forget “Westside for Skinny Bastards II” – he specifically talks about how to mix in speed training with it. Football players are used as the examples of success.


Ditton on the vehicle push. Alstott (Tampa) used it to develop power in his college days. His workout was as follows:

One guy gets in a jeep and cranks the radio. The other pushes the jeep 100 yards. The first 30 you get it going, then you build up as much speed as possible. Do 8 reps of this. Another workout is to tie two Ford Bronco tires onto a 12 to 15 foot rope, then attach the rope to a weight belt. Sprint 40 yards. 20 reps.

Best of luck, guys!

I’d also say the same for the truck pushing, that would be great.

A little off topic, but I’ll ask anyway. Why is PSU so stupid with it’s football strength training program when Zatsiorsky is a faculty member? It is just mind-boggling to me???!!!