T Nation

Going Out for Semi Pro-Football

 So here's the deal I'm 22. 5'9.5" 152 to 155 lbs. Not the best athlete but I know if I keep putting in the work it will come. Their starting a new Semi Pro team and I thought you what are my chances. Couldn't hurt right. I played basketball in high school (JV highest level). Got lazy and dicked around with the talent I had.

I know I'm an idiot in hindsight I never shoulda been so consumed with the green if ya feel me. I been workin on getting back into shape and wanting to work on getting faster. I found with deadlifts I been getting a ton more explosive so I'm not worried bout that.

Would like to bulk up and take this seriously as I got youth on my side and don't want to squander my talent you know the whole regrets thing. Can't afford a "Gem" membership and only a small Weider bench with about 300 lbs in plates.

My younger bro(20) was the stud in football that I know I shoulda been if I woulda kept my head outta trouble. Here's my program. Just for the record I circuit train to cut down program time. Harder to stay focused cuz I workout alone.

Upper body
Reverse Curl-5*10
Inclined bench-5*7
Over head tricep extension-5*10
Bent over row-5*10
Shrugs with straight bar-5*15

Lower Body
Warmup- Jump Rope 5 min.
Leg Extension-5*10
Lying Leg Curls-5*10
Wrist Curls-5*20

Going to take Sundays off. I know this seems like alot deadlifting 3x a week but you know I thought it couldn't hurt. Don't get much cardio in but am looking to get fit to run if you know what I mean. I eat a ton so am already gaining.

I take German creatine by Biotest and Grow! Whey. Ideally I would like to be 165 to 170 by Feb. since practice starts in Jan. I'm going out for either defensive back or Wide Reciever.

Unfortunately I don't know my 40 time but I'm guessing its around a 4.6 so would like to shave some time there too. Also any advice as far as good agility and speed exercises would be helpful. Let me know what you think in all honesty too.


Well the semi-pro team in my area is just a bunch of old guys who think they are bad for playing "semi-pro" football. If that is the same type of thing your team is then your chances are really good, because as far as I know everyone makes the team, but you have to pay.

Its not worth it in my opinion, as there is as much of a chance of injury as in real football, but no coverage; meaning if you get seriously injured your mcfucked. But that is just my point of view.


I don't know what you're asking by all this, bud.

What do you want to know?


What he said.

Basically you're just paying more than likely a mismanaged, understaffed, talentless team to let you play. Not worth it IMO.


Yeah it does look like I will have to pay. Its not expensive but this is going to be a new team in our area. First season and all. Was interested in the critique of my program. What you think?


Dude,,,seriously....if the team is any thing close to decent you are looking at a lot of Post HS and College players who need more action.

You played Basketball? You don't know your 40 time but you think its 4.6? Please, 4.6 is phenomenal. You also said you are not a good athelete.

I've played against these semi pro teams with my alumni team and it's no joke. If you don't know the football psychology, technique, terms and strategy, you're pissing in the wind and telling yourself its rainin'.

On the other hand, you may have fun at least or find out for yourself if it's for you! Do you have full medical coverage?


I was exposed to football alot when I was younger just bounced around too much to get serious about it. 4.6 aint that fast. I'm 22 man. My junior yr. in high school we were a 1st. year school with no seniors and had sophmores running 4.4s not just 1 either right around 6-7. I'm not freakishly fast but I am pretty quick. If the majority of these guys are in older which it does seem so then I ain't crappin bricks. Thanks for the info though.


Why the fuck, aren't you doing any Plyometrics (from what I could make out from your rambling article you don't do any). They are sport specific exercises, for improving power and strentgh. Ask me what your trying to achive and I will tell you how to add and change your program and nutrition.


4.6 is pretty good speed, and no offense but I highly doubt you had 6+ sophmores runnin 4.4's, sounds like the coach timed it wrong.


At 150 lbs and being 'exposed' to football and going against men who have played many years and who have experience, you'll get jacked up man.

If you don't know what it's like to strap it on, then I don't care how fast one claims to be, it's unlikely you'll play much or even have much fun.

The guys are 'older'? What's that? a 32 YO will absolutely be as tough if not tougher than a 22 YO. It's unlikey you'll have many 30 plus guys.

I'm just saying, before you waste $$ you need to get real about your true chances here.


I hadn't thought about plyo's. Basically I want to get faster in my sprint and vertical. Never had the highest vertical. Have noticed a significant change since I added deadlifts to the workout. Guessing at my current weight makes a difference. TBE what you recommending as far as plyo's go? Daltron, man I only wish I would played football at that school. Texas school were football rules. Them kids were freaks. One of my classmates, 2003 benched 400 plus and squated 500. No joke we got spanked though compared with the competition.


Hey man,

Semi-pro is a blast. I'm 21 and just played my first season this summer. Same kind of deal, they started a team 5 mins from my hometown. I don't know why people were bad mouthing it, yes you do have to pay to play (including getting your own equipment), and the league doesn't cover you if you get hurt, but it's a chance to play a great game a little more.

My team was made up mostly of kids 20-25 and a handful of older guys (one 48 yr old). We did play some teams that were full of older guys though and I would much rather play 20 yr olds than 30 yr olds so don't think it'll be a breeze.

Weightlifting is weightlifting, definately stay with trying to get faster and stronger, but if you really want to play you should focus on learning the game. That is going to be a lot more helpful to you getting a spot than adding 20lbs to your deadlift and not having a clue what your doing out there will. I don't know if your were thinking of playing a corner or maybe a slot receiver, but whatever position you want to try to play, study up on it a bit. Maybe ask your brother to help you, or leave what position you want and some of the guys here who have/do play football still can try to help you.

This is getting long, but the point is, football is more complex than people who don't play give it credit for, so getting a feel of what you need to do before you go in will help immensely. And on my team we had a tall lanky kid who never played football who ended up taking a starting receiver spot by the end of the season-good athlete, just had to learn how to do the basics like run routes.

Whatever you decide, good luck with it.


dude, one you're gonna need more meat on your bones. Our frosh football players are bigger then you. I don't mean this as an insult but you're gonna need a hell of a lot of food. I would stick with 3 or 4 day weight training, with clean n jerk once a week and deadlift once or twice a week, and squatting twice a week. I would honestly say the best advice given here is DO PLYOS.


this has gotten my intrest piqued. i did not know something like this existed. i am in my senior year at college and it is to late to jump on now obviously, but i have never wanted to play as much as i do now. now i can do something once i get out of school... thanks for this entire thread....


Sorry, but you probably don't come anywhere near running a 4.6.

Straight legged deadlifts and plyometrics are great for increasing speed. Also work on your start. That's the most important part of your 40 time is how explosive your start is. Work on the first 10-20 yards.


5'6" 170lbs.

I survived and played well, but it an't no beginners game.

I just forund a picture from the game of me waiting my turn in the grinder.


The leauges are out there....


You are probably right. the 4.6 guys were the fastest on our team. Some coaches time a 40 AFTER the kid begins his start. It's best to whistle the start and hit the watch at the same time. The players reaction time to the snap or wistle is part of the timing. I'd bet the guy who claims he had 7-8 4.4 players on his team were timed incorrectly. I'd say a time could be off .5 of a second if the coach times with a snap count.

My time in the 10 yard start was among the top 5% on my team, but my 40 was upper-average at 4.9 or 40%. My speed on short runs from a starting position was my strength as an offensive player, but my inability to cover the 4.7 guys was obvious in defensive situations. Therfore I ended up being a better Outside linebacker than DB on defense, and a better short yardage inside and outside runner on offense. My ability to beat guys as a receiver was not good, but quick slants were good to throw to me.

He'll need to figure out the type of speed he has and then find a position to suite, but that will be hard at 5-9 170. That's an ok DB size, but if he's inexperienced, he better have 4.4 speed to compensate.


Plyometrics: For a start try just jumping form the floor, from a proper parallel squat position (Wait 4 seconds before each jump, so the tension in your muscles goes, and the jump you produce will be jump your raw explosive power) Jump as high as possible and make a mark in the wall, with a pencil or marker pen (try not to jump into the wall).

Try this 20 times, every jump form then counts as a bonus point, do it until you cannot do any more rarther than in sets and reps (this is usually best in plyo's but can sometimes easily cause injury)

do this every other day with other plyo's (make sure you warm up thoroughly if you are doing more than one ploy exercise) to get optimum gains from plyo's. See how you improve every week (or less)

Also add clean and jerks, dead-lifts, calf workouts, shoulder presses (military press e.t.c.) to your workouts. focus mainly on your fast twitch muscles (strength and power), but also some on your slow twitch (strength and endurance)

If you are still intrested and your coach has'nt given you a full workout then ask me.

Even so I would like to see what your plyometric workout your coach gives you (if they give you one), especially seeing as he apparently timed you wrong . just so he can get some redemption.


Deadlifts and straight legged deadlifts are the two weight bearing exercises that will improve your speed/start tremendously.

Jump squats would be pretty good too. Regular squats and box squats as well, obviously.

Also plenty of field work, with parachute and sled. Start by learning proper running form.

I wouldn't waste any time doing curls, wrist curls, leg extensions or hamstring curls (deadlifts will build up your hamstrings nicely). you're trying to build functional muscle, not bodybuild. I also wouldn't bench 3 times a week. 2 times a week is sufficient, unless you're a lineman or linebacker. You can deadlift twice a week and squat 2 or 3 times a week.