T Nation

Intervals for NFL

I recently came in possession of a NFL’s interval running routine. I was just wondering what yall thought of the routine especially CT. Thanks!

Level 1:
2 minute rest
3x200- 1:3 Rest between
3 minute rest
6x100- 1:3 Rest between
3 minute rest
8x80- 1:3 Rest between
3 minute rest
6x60- 1:3 Rest between

Level 2:
1 x 200
2 minute rest
8x100- 1:3 Rest between
3 minute rest
6x60- 1:3 Rest between
2 minute rest
6x40- 1:3 Rest between
2 minute rest
6x20- 1:3 Rest between
1.5 minute rest
6x10- No rest between

There are 2 more levels but thats all I am going to post for now. Thanks for any help!

I don’t like these programs, here’s why:

I don’t think “interval running” at such long distances would be very effective for NFL players. Don’t get me wrong, HIIT running is excellent for fat loss, but if you read any of Charlie Francis’ stuff you’ll notice he uses a lot higher ratios for sprint work than 1:3. With that many sets, I don’t care what kind of condition you are in, you’ll fatigue and end up not running nearly as fast as you should be with your short yard work. What does that mean? More chance for injury and less chance of improving your short distance speed, which is necessary for NFL players.

Keep in mind that NFL players are training for optimal athletic performance, not for body composition changes. Putting a lineman on one of these interval programs would be counterproductive to his play on the field.

i would die on the spot if i attempted such a routine.

I agree. I wouldn’t even put a wide reciever on such long intervals. I MIGHT do it if losing large amounts of bodyfat quickly would help a players performance, but I feel this should be handled through dietary manipulations anyway.

A friend of mine went to a pre season NFL training camp to watch the session,which was being taken by a well known Strength Coach.
Basically this guy had the Lineman using the same running programme as the Wide Receiver,and just about killed the poor Lineman!.
Having looked at that Programme posted,it includes a total of 24 sprints.That is way too much to be able to work on improving speed.
Sure it will get you fit,but at that level you need fitness specific to your position.

during my football playing days (two years ago) I had a brief stint with the Philadelphia Eagles (remember those days Coach D?), anyways one time for conditioning in the offseason we ran intervals with walk rest amounting to the same distance ran, which went like this:


As you can imagine, luckily I was in tremendous shape from college football, track, Renegade training specially, and of course boxing. So, for me it was definately tough on my legs but breathing wise I was fine, recovered fairly quickly compared to most guys. Some guys were puking, jogging the final 4-5 distances. It was terrible, I have never seen men whine and cry the way they were. It was by far the toughest thing I ever had to do, I actually tried hoping to not get cut.

Da Boxer

I am sorry I forgot to post who this training program was meant to help. This interval program was designed for defensive backs. Also another miscinception that I saw was that this was a sprint interval, this is a running program, hence the ratios.

I have the HIIT workout for the defensive backs too and they usually total around 12 sprints and are more based on things such as 15,20,30 yard sprints because that is what they will need.

This program is for the off-season workout to get them into shape and ready for camp.

Where did ya find that, Junior?

I would say it doesn’t look bad for a “conditioning” workout. The 1:3 work:rest is correct. I will give the first workout a shot on Saturday!

I received this information from a friend who personally trained with some high profile athletes in the NFL and other major sports. I was able to receive tons of information about nutrition, plometrics, lifting exercises and splits, intervals, and agility drills that all goes on in the NFL today.

As for this running routine, I tried it out yesterday and found it a lot more difficult than my usual HIIT workout. I really liked this routine so I thought other people would too. Hopefully Kelly you enjoyed it as much as I did. Tell me what you think on Saturday!

I’m gonna try it tonight when I go do my running.

Well, why not…

I’ll give this a shot as well.
A few questions for kelly and renegade:

  • what % or intensity will you guys use for the runs?
  • exactly what does 1:3 rest mean?
    • a minute and a half rest?
    • or 3 times the amount of run time for rest?

thanks and looks like hell,
Da Boxer

I will use it as a tempo protocol ala Charlie Francis with speed about 70% of max. Intervals ran above 70% without full recovery are too slow to do anything positive for speed yet too intense to recover from quickly. The volume of the level 1 is at the high end of what could be called a tempo workout at around 3000 m. The 1:3 I’m sure means rest 3X as long as work so a stopwatch is probably essential.

Kelly is absolutely right on everything she said. The intensity is fine, just try to make sure you are not slowing down too drastically throughout the intervals. The does mean rest 3 times as long as you run.

This is obviously a sprint training program. However, it’s hard to judge it’s efficacy considering each program’s individual differences according to position and specificities of the athlete.
I’m not sure if you’re familiar with most running programs used in athletics, but there are 3 specific types of sprint and endurance training. Of course, that is not universal. Your particular sprint program is often prescribed for increasing lactate tolerance. The purpose being to increase the buffering capacity in muscles/blood and improve pain tolerance to acidosis. It would also help maintain a fast lactate production before the decline in ph reduces the rate. Because of the 1:3 work:relief ratio, acidosis occurs rapidly. Sets are usually performed as fast as possible (these are rough), which would be a RPE of probably 9-10 (Borg scale for those familiar).
It depends on position, but (for example) a running back would probably use this type of sprint training (amongst others) throughout the training year, but perhaps focusing more on lactate production and power sprints as he progresses.
If you’re looking for more info on this stuff, a great book (and inexpensive) is “Sports Speed” (Dintiman, Ward) by Human Kinetics. You can usually pick one up for only 10-15 bucks. As a T-Mag reader, you’ll have more than enough of a science basis to understand the “geeky” parts. Hope that helps.

When is this being used in the season?

Could you please post levels 3 and 4?

I maybe wrong, but I think this is one of the routines used in early training camp to make sure certain players are in shape.

I did the running last night, and I was a doofus. Instead of going 70% I was going 100… and by the end of the 4 100 meters, I was about dead. Great program for conditioning I think, I’ll probably be using it twice a week. I’m looking to try out for an AFL team when I’m in good enough shape.

I’d be interested in seeing level 3 and 4. I’d also be interested in Kelly’s advice/reaction to it after Saturday. Kelly has been around here giving out good advice for what seems like forever.

The type of condition needed to complete these workouts efficiently is NOT required for most NFL players. That being said, I don’t see a big reason to use this “conditioning” program to get players in shape. Drills, football practice and extra max sprints would be better suited for athletic performance.

The problem is that a lot of the players let themselves get out of shape in the off season and coaches have to do something to bring them back to normal. I’ve seen some college football off-season running programs and this seems to be the case. I don’t understand how a lineman can be on the same program as a receiver.