T Nation

Off-Season Football Training

I am going to start training with a 17 year old kid that is a football player. I was thinking that Poliquin’s “Training With Maximal Weights” from issue 1 would be a good program to follow. Since I’ve never trained for football, I just wanted some thoughts on what would be the best way to train. He is currently 215 lbs and I think a reasonable 3 month goal for him is 225-227 lbs. Thanks in advance.

Sounds like he is in his Senior year and you are training him for the summer. Putting on weight is not everything. Make sure he is in good shape when he goes into 2 a days. The Poliquin training sounds fine but I would concentrate a lot on his diet making sure that he is eating plenty of protein and getting enough calories if he is going to be doing a lot of cardio too. Remember strength punishes but SPEED KILLS.

What position does he play? My biggest regret from my football training days is that I didn’t spend enough time on speed work and explosive lifting movements. Depending on his position, mass and max strength work will only take him so far.

He is going into his senior year and is definitely getting a D-1 scholarship. He plays defensive line, but I’m not sure he will play there in college. Anyways, since he just ended spring practice I thought focusing on the weights for the next 5-6 weeks would be the thing to do, then start adding in more agility/footwork training.

BMJ, that sounds reasonable to me. Playing DL, adding some size and strength will probably help him.

I played D-1 ball so I can tell you, the biggest difference from HS is the speed of the game. It’s good to see most everyone has focused on the speed aspect. I would focus on lifts that translate to the field… Power Cleans, Squats, Snatch… explosive type movements. Also work on his balance. Hope that small amount of info helps.

Bruscar, what do you mean by balance? If you could elaborate a little on that I’d appreciate it.

Sprints, sprints, sprints, agility work, form running, sprints, did I say sprints?

Also, work on explosive movements like the clean (but make sure you have a good coach for this), speed bench, jump squat, super cat (jumping machine), lots of calf work, lots of neck and trap work. stick with the large compound movements and don’t worry about curls, extensions, etc…but do work on abs, lower back, and lots of forearm and grip strength

im in the same position… and fullback… make sure his speed gets worked on… where is he thinking of going? im going to play for michigan state… instead of wrestling

He needs to stick to the basics using cleans where applicable.

All of his training should be functional based. Feet on the ground in three demensions. Work on the explosiveness and acceleration. I too played D 1 ball and the difference between college and HS is definitly the speed. When I started implementing the swiss ball into my training I felt a huge transfer over to the playing field. After one arm pressing the 120’s for sets of ten some punk ass DB better get out the way cause the Swoll is rollin though. Ah makes me want to play again.

Thanks for your responses guys.

A limiting factor right now is he just found out he has a couple of stress fractures in his foot, so we have to work around that. I would think he should be able to do cleans, squats, etc. though.

Spencer, he hasn’t decided where and hasn’t had any official offers yet. He is just finishing his junior year. Anyway, he had 22 schools show up his last week of spring practice, so this kid is pretty good.

BMJ, by balance I mean, make sure he can control his weight while moving. Work on his stabilizer muscles. Bigswol is right on the money with functional based lifts that work in three dimensions. Football isn’t played lying on a bench, if that makes sense, and not to discount the bench press. Wait, that almost rhymes… anyway spencer nadolsky will be at an advantage having wrestled. Wrestling is all about balance and manipulating your body in awkward situations. Swiss ball and medicine ball work will help him with balance. I hope, that makes more sense.

When i was going into my senior year, i used a modified Bill Starr program. I did the heavy squats on Monday and Friday and did Power Cleans on Wednesday. The volume is pretty low so he should be able to that workload. Copies of his program are pretty easy to find. I just picked one exercise per body part on each day. Like Mondays I did Squats, Bench, Chins. Wednesday i did Cleans,Dips,Lunges. Fridays were Squats,Incline,Chins. I went from 245 to right at 252 over the summer. But i did dedicate myself to it fully that summer. I ate every 2 hours and avoided anything else strenuous. I did do some agility work after i lifted. In our competition right before practice, i benched 345, cleaned 325, and squated 500. I also ran a 4.92 40 and had the most box jumps for time on the team. If your wondering why i didnt play college ball with those numbers its because im only 5’11"(barely).

Goldberg, I take back any jabs I have ever taken at you for cheerleading. From the sounds of those numbers, you could pinch off my head and poop down my neck. Anyways, thanks for the post, I may give that a try after we finish the 5x5 right now. We did squats today and I can’t imagine doing power cleans and lunges with only one day off, though. How many sets per workout are we talking here?