T Nation

Losing Weight, Keeping Strength for Football



Wasn't sure where I should post this, so sorry if it's in the wrong forum.I need your guy's help with this. I wanna get to 215lbs for college football to become faster and play my position better (OLB going to a Strong Safety). Right now I'm 6'2 230lbs with 11-12%BF.

Current lifts -
Squat - 505lbs
Dead lift - 555lbs
Bench - 365lbs
Clean - 345lbs

Basically what I'm asking you is - How can I get to this desired goal without losing too much for football. I know most of my lifts will go down, But I don't know if I can handle more then 20lb loss for any of them. Thank you guys in advanced.


If a picture helps... Only one I have.


I don't see that you have 15lbs to lose. That would put you down around 5 or 6% bodyfat which could be tough to maintain and not effect athletic performance.

I can't really offer advice, since I haven't dieted down yet, but when I do, I will be following a carb cycling approach and keep my training the same as it has been to get where I am.

Do you think you will play that much better at 215? Is that a number that the coach gave you, or do you really feel like you are 15lbs overweight?


You're lean as shit. Don't try to lose anything, if you're being moved to SS then your coach knows you have the skills and ability right now. I guess you'll have to suffer through being a big, intimidating safety.


What level do you play at?


Alright guys, Thanks for your advice.

I play division 1. I'm 2nd string this year, and I will be getting rotated in a lot. This is 3rd year.

The coach said I should try and be 220lbs when the season starts, and I just know a lot of SS that play at 215lb, so I said hell I'll just go all the way with it, especially if I can hold my strength.

If I tear it up my last year, and I'm 6'2 215-220lb as a SS. I think I'll have a greater chance at the league. Who knows right now though...


Are you not fast enough? That is the only reason I would think that the coach would want you to lose weight because you are obviously strong and big and in football bigger is better. I don't really see where you would lose 10-15 lbs either. If you really need to lose it to improve your chances of getting a shot in the NFL (getting faster) then I would do it because that is a rare opportunity.

Are you guys really deep at the LB positions because I think you could add 15 lbs and still be lean much easier than lose 15 lbs?


Check out Taylor Mays from USC. I think he played SS at around 230. I would agree that you don't appear to have the fat to lose, and I don't know why you would want to cut muscle. Maybe focus your training on speed?


You guys hit the nail on the head. My speed is hurting me, but my strength is keeping me in the game. If I had both I'd be a force. I run a 40 in 4.6 right now. Want to get to a 4.5 ATLEAST. The league really only looks at 4.4 and lower for SS.

Ya the linebacker position is retarded deep, and I doubt Taylor Mays will still be playing SS in the league. I'm thinking they will put him down to OLB. Taylor Mays can also run a 40 in like 4.32... which is just nuts.


First, 6% bf is about right for a speedy strong safety.

Second, what kind of sprint traing are you doing? Overspeed and resistance, how is your reaction time? From your numbers and bodyweight/comp it seems you may already be strong enough and explosive enough to be running faster times than you are. You will get faster if you lean up gradually, might not need to say this.

Timing of your last true meal of the day can make a difference in bf %. No meals after 7pm is a good standard to follow assuming that you do not work an evening or night job. Loading up on broccoli or lettuce with your last meal instead of other carbs will help too.

Replacing some of your higher glycemic type carb intake with lower glycemic type carbs throughout the day should help as well. I am a huge fan of chickpeas. Remember that you will need adequate calories to keep up your strength and energy but as you get much leaner "some" of your strength may initially be sacrificed. It will come back when your body has a chance to acclimate to it's altered shell, however in your case the football season may hinder your strength gains anyway so I wouldnt worry too much if the power drops a little.

Are you positive that you are at 11-12% bf? you look a little leaner than that.

The first ten yards of the 40 yd is what makes or breaks you. Starts and reaction time are possible areas of focus for you to work on if you are not already. Do you train with people who run in the 4.4 range? I assume yes but training with them may help your time drop too especially in chase drills, you chase them they chase you.


I don't know much about speed training or how much you are doing but maybe you should emphasize it more. If you lose 10-15 lbs that will make you faster and you are able to improve your speed through technique and practice I don't see why you couldn't run a 4.4. If you could keep those strength numbers you would be highly competitive as far as physical capabilities.

The post above is good advice but I would drink a 50g protein shake (no carbs) before bed though.


Mays plays FS, and got timed at 4.28 I heard. But 4.6 is plenty fast for a big SS in the league. You lke at the combine times for safeties and you don't see many 4.4's. Reed Doughty ran 4.7+ coming out of a 1AA school, and still starts for Washington, playing FS. The strong safety from Oklahoma and the one from USC both ran like 4.8+ at the combine, and got drafted. Speed always helps, but if you can play and lay the wood you should be more than good, especially with that size.


Thanks for the great advice, ya I think I might be lower then 11%BF in that picture, but right now I'm probably around 9% with the workouts I'm doing. I'm not gonna change too much of my diet, but instead take your advice on that not eating before bed.


Ya, trust me. That's all I work on now. I skip a lot of weight sessions for straight speed and agility sessions.


I wish it were that easy... I strongly think that I'm pretty much capped out on my speed, unless I loose weight. I know you probably think I'm silly, but I've been battling pretty hard for that 4.4...



Maybe you should check into training at an NFL prepatory camp such as Tom Shaw, Chip Smith, or Defranco's. The first two somewhat apply "soviet" speed training methods. I believe that Smith has a book out and Defranco has a video.


Thanks for this. Seriously. I have been looking at it all day today, and I like what I see. Going to talk to my position coach about these methods.

Great advice.