T Nation

leg strength and speed

I am a 28 yr old military veteran and Im going back to college to play intercollegiate football at a Division III school next year. I was an all-region player in high school, but since I graduated, I quit squatting and dead lifting due to a knee injury. Ive started squatting again, but I have lost almost all of my leg strength. This also affected my speed because to my surprise when I ran the 40 last month, I ran a 5.1 compared to a 4.7 in high school. I was very discouraged at first, but I know that I can gain my strength and speed back with hard work. 1) Does anybody have any tips or pointers on how to increase leg strength? Currently, I perform parrellel squats, step ups, Leg Presses and Calf raises, and Leg curls. Im going to start Box squatting after the new year as well. 2)Any pointers on incorportating a speed/plyo routine in coordination with a good leg workout? Im only 5’9 198, so speed is a must for me. Im still quick, just not good acceleration…well, okay, TERRIBLE acceleration! 3)My bodyfat level has risen a bit (around 18% compared to 11% in high school) and I am working to get that down. How often should I do cardio and is the stationary bike better than an elliptical machine? I know this is a very knowledgable forum and ALL HELP IS VERY APPRECIATED. I have 8 months before the season starts and I am ready to work hard to get back into football shape. Thanks again for any help offered! Good luck achieving your goals as well.

  1. As an athlete, your primary leg exercises should be squatting, and then anything which attacks the posterior chain. Your program sounds more like a bodybuilder’s program than an athlete’s. You might want to seriously consider splitting up your leg training as per Ian King and then incorporating deadlifts, olympics, and anything and everything else which attacks the posterior chain.

    2. I see you’re grouping speed work and plyometrics together, but be careful, they’re not nearly as related as most people think. Head on over to the forum at charliefrancis.com for more.

    3. I believe that sprinting, particularly in interval fashion, would be superior to any of those forms of steady state cardio equipment. Remember, you’re an athlete, so where should you be spending your time? On the elliptical machine or on the track? Interval sprinting will have the three-pronged bonus of addressing your limit speed, endurance and bodyfat issues simultaneously.

annihil8tor - what you are looking for is Coach Davies and anything Renegade training related. Read everything of his that you will find through the forum and the T-mag articles. After you have done that, buy his football training book. ALL of you answers will be there (power/speed/acceleration/dropping that bodyfat, etc). Best of luck and I hope you do Annihil8 this year. CR.

You’ll want to work on explosive movements. Jump squats and snatches look critical. In addition, increasing flexibility to increase foot stride will help.

Thanks for the help everybody. I really appreciate your willingness to help me. Thanks again.

Well, your body fat is a big deal by looking at your times from HS and now. Remember, force per avg. body weight is what dictates speed. How often have you been sprinting? What do your workouts look like? Contact me through Coach Davies site and we can discuss further.
We have just what the Doctor ordered at Renegade Training!

Dan Fichter- WGF