T Nation

Offseason Football Conditioning

Not necessarily for football players only, but I was wondering what you guys do for conditioning during the offseason-mid preseason?

I had a small PCL strain on my last game, and running was excrutiating for a while, so as the pain went away I started road biking and taking spin classes when the weather was too shitty or I didn’t have enough time, and it did wonders to my knees and legs as a whole.

Has anyone resorted to anything other than jogging/sprinting for conditioning?

[quote]Brant2 wrote:
Has anyone resorted to anything other than jogging/sprinting for conditioning?[/quote]

Yes. Im a semi-pro football player and I use a roadbike for conditioning in the off-season, and I ride a bike 1-2 times a week in-season.

Still important to slowly incorporate running as the season gets closer. Take it slowly though, to get your body used to the impact. I like to use the “couch to 5km” program about 2 months before training starts to prepare for the increased impact.

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We’re talking American football? You should be focusing on getting stronger in the off season. If you’re in any type of decent shape you can easily get back in shape in 6 weeks.

[quote]Defekt wrote:
We’re talking American football? You should be focusing on getting stronger in the off season. If you’re in any type of decent shape you can easily get back in shape in 6 weeks. [/quote]

Yes, we are.

And what do you mean by “get back in shape”? I cut all my conditioning back in the 2010 offseason and I was a mess by the time practices returned, I realized it wasn’t really worth it since my strenght gains didn’t make up for the fact that I was a fat mess. Has this worked for you?

W I don’t play football but participate in MMA. I find that my conditioning dosn’t really go away if I don
t let myself become a fat mess. For me one workout a week at a high heart rate is enough to maintain my bodys ability to exert its self at a high heart rate if I am working on other aspects of fitness at the same time (power output) and focusing on my general health in the off season.

In the “off season” I focus on getting stronger and being healthy, when strong and healthy I have little difficulty getting back in “fight shape” persay.

I play high school level lacrosse.

For the past 2 off seasons i kinda say fuck off conditioning. I was in for a rude awakening when the season started. At the beginning of the offseason i recommend a long sprints (100yards or so) day and a couple of 1 mile + day. I would keep it around 2 conditioning sessions a week. In the preseason or 2-3 months before the season i would change to a speed day (lots of shorter sprints) and a longer sprint day (for conditioning purposes.

This is based on running. If you have a prowler or a big ole’ tire its a different story.

[quote]Defekt wrote:
W I don’t play football but participate in MMA. I find that my conditioning dosn’t really go away if I don
t let myself become a fat mess. For me one workout a week at a high heart rate is enough to maintain my bodys ability to exert its self at a high heart rate if I am working on other aspects of fitness at the same time (power output) and focusing on my general health in the off season.

In the “off season” I focus on getting stronger and being healthy, when strong and healthy I have little difficulty getting back in “fight shape” persay. [/quote]

I see how this could work for you, and to be honest this could work for me as well if not for one main reason - calorie consumption. I guess the main difference between football is MMA (please correct me if I’m wrong) is weight maintenance, since you guys have to be in certain weight classes and if you’re not planning to move up, you eventually have to look out for your calories so you don’t find yourself heavier than you want to be.

In football players are always trying to be bigger, and that plus the stress of multiple practices and weight sessions tend to lead to a higher calorie intake that can be handled easily if you maintain such level of exertion. Once practices take a break, and you take some time off of conditioning work, you find yourself eating MUCH more than needed. I don’t know if I made myself clear.

[quote]jtownlax wrote:
I play high school level lacrosse.

For the past 2 off seasons i kinda say fuck off conditioning. I was in for a rude awakening when the season started. At the beginning of the offseason i recommend a long sprints (100yards or so) day and a couple of 1 mile + day. I would keep it around 2 conditioning sessions a week. In the preseason or 2-3 months before the season i would change to a speed day (lots of shorter sprints) and a longer sprint day (for conditioning purposes.

This is based on running. If you have a prowler or a big ole’ tire its a different story.[/quote]

I did something similar to this last season and I was very pleased with the results… How do you pair it with your weight training routine?

Btw thanks for the input guys

My last year of college football I went from 250ish-272 all the while maintaining my conditioning level and gaining strength, my speed didnt exactly increase but that’s how it usually goes. My resistance training was formated in a way to help me keep a degree of conditioning while still getting stronger. As far as running for football I dont think you can beat sprinting. Change it up, I would do everything from 20yds to 300yds.

Going for mile runs might be good for lacrosse or soccer but I don’t see why anyone would do that for American football. Here’s what I would do: Lift first, then conditioning after. Sprints on Monday/Thursday, and agility ladder and jump rope work Tuesday/Friday. Wednesday off.

I am trying to come up with a conditioning plan for the offseason for both 2 day splits( am:cardio/agility and whatnot. Pm:lifting) or a all in 1 program. I have been doing strongman gpp for the last few months and it has done wonders for baseline conditioning. I am going to add the 6 sprints a day program into it(using prowler and tires, cause the park is way to far from me and my backyard is small) and see what that does.