T Nation

Post-Football Goals?


Hey all. For those of you who have played football, you know what occurrs during football season to your body. Mine is in that current beat down, soft state. This leads me to two questions:

  1. How long should I take before jumping into intense weight training again?

  2. I have some excess body fat I would like to get ride of, but also feel as if my muscles have deflated over the season. Should I look to cut that excess fat before I start bulking again, or work to get myself back to where I was muscle wise before worrying about that??


The sooner you start working out hard, the sooner you are gonna see changes. If I were you i'd start doing my cardio and stuff to lose the fat now while you're still in good shape from football, and also get onto a good offseason lifting program.


The first question I would obviously have is whether or not you play another sport. That will definitly change your goals for lifting. Additionally, what position you play determines what your goals for lifting will be. What are your specific goals for this offseason and what do you think your current weaknesses are?


I used to do shot put but no longer participate. I play defensive line but am a rush end, so fat isn't my friend like it is for some. I have no problems gaining muscle/size, it's the cutting that is hard for me. I'm thinking I should be cutting now rather than later so when I bulk I can gain more muscle than lean fat. Does that sound about right?


You should definitly cut later rather than now, for two main reasons.

  1. First and most imporantly, a body with a lot of muscle will have a much higher resting metabolic rate in general. Therefore, once you gain more muscle, if you decide you need to lose some fat it will be easier.
  2. Its definitly difficult to gain muscle while you are "cutting."

Your best strategy would be to focus on getting as freaky strong as possible and getting slabs of muscle on your body. Then when summer rolls around, take that raw strength and muscle you've accumulated, add some speed and power work and focus on getting in shape and explosive. You'd be amazed at how quickly you can melt off some extra weight once you start intense energy systems work. It might look something like this:

[Now until April]
Monday- Max Effort Upper Body
Wednesday- Max Effort Lower Body
Friday- Repetition Effort Upper Body
Saturday- Dynamic Effort Lower Body

[April until July]
Monday- Total Body Power Day
Wednesday- Total Body Strength Day
Friday- Total Body Power or Repitition Day
Saturday- GPP/Strongman Training

Monday- Energy Systems Work (Linear Speed)
Tuesday- Total Body Repetiton Day (moderate intensity)
Wednesday- GPP Training
Thursday- Energy Systems Work (Straight Line Speed)
Friday- Total Body Strength Day
Saturday- This could be up to you. I'd imagine your school tests the 40. This could be a good day to work on starting technique and such. If you are not overtrained this could be a good day for more GPP work.

I'd be glad to outline that program a little more if you are interested.


That workout sounds great. I'm not so much worried about my athletic ability right now (I'm home from school for a month) as I am into not being a disgusting pig. I never have a problem being ready for football when the season rolls around, I am just wondering whats the most effective way to shed fat/gain muscle since its very hard to do both at the same time, and the two are generally seperated. Also, I understand the theory behind muscle memory, but is there any time that your muscles "forget"? FOr instance, I haven't lifted in nearly 8 weeks because of a broken hand (i had to wear a cast to play and because of the way it was made, I couldn't lift). Am I in danger of having that "memory" disappear if I don't lift heavily immediately, or can I work on cutting for a month and then getting bigger again?


I don't think that you're in any danger of losing muscle to that extent. I couldn't lift legs for 6 months due to knee surgery, and now i'm almost as strong as I was before.
I'm just wondering, but are you in college or HS.


old football players never die....they just fail to score!


I guess my question to you would be how much attention do you pay to your diet? I generally think that, for athletes, diet should control your body composition. If you are worried about being overweight, start focusing a little more on your diet. What is it like right now?


Jtrinsey, that split looks pretty solid. I am curious though, to what the days would look like inside themselves. I figure that your 4 Day split would look pretty much like a Westside week, but it's the 3 day split I would like to see. What would you total body power, strengh, and repitition days look like (lifts, setsxreps). Thanks


I play college ball. I pay close attention to my diet out of season, but my in season attention is sorely lacking. Out of season I do quite well, but for some reason I slack greatly during the year. My guess is that football, as most of you know, is completely miserable for the line positions, and only really fun on Saturdays, and food makes it less miserable :slight_smile: That is one of the reasons I am so soft right now, is that my diet in season was not where it needed to be.


Jtrinsey, any word on the makeup of some of those days.


Yeah my bad...

There's two main reasons I prefer a 3-day split over a 4-day split for athletes.

1.) There's more time for recovery because you always are able to rest a full day between lifting days. Not always a huge deal, but I think it's important when you're doing a lot of explosive or max lifting that's tough on the CNS.

2.) You can do a GPP day that is a little more intense on the extra day you open up.

As for the total body days, I think this is a pretty good way to arrange them:

Total Body Hypertrophy:
-Lower Body, PChain-
Romanian Deadlift
3 x 10
-Upper Body Push-
Standing Barbell Military Press
3 x 10
-Upper Body Pull-
Barbell Bentover Row
3 x 10
-Lower Body, Quad-
Olympic-Style Back Squat
3 x 10

Total Body Strength
-Lower Body PChain-
Box Squats
warmup, 3 x 3
-Upper Body Push-
Close Grip Bench Press
warmup, 3 x 3
-Upper Body Pull-
Weighted Chin Ups
warmup, 3 x 5
-Lower Body Quad-
Front Squats
warmup, 3 x 5

Total Body Power
-Lower Body Dynamic Lift-
Power Cleans/Speed Squats
5 x 3
-Upper Body Dynamic Lift-
Speed Bench/Push Press
5 x 3
-Lower Body Ballistic Lift-
Jump Squats/Lunges
8 x 3
-Upper Body Ballistic Lift-
Med Ball Chest Pass for Distance/Bench Press Throws
8 x 3

Total Body Speed
-Lower Body Ballistic Lift-
Jump Squats/Lunges
8 x 3
-Upper Body Ballistic Lift-
Med Ball Chest Pass for Distance/Bench Press Throws
8 x 3
-Lower Body Plyomteric Lift-
Depth Jumps
5 x 5
-Upper Body Plyometric Lift-
Depth Push-Ups
5 x 5

I think that's a pretty good overall template. You can also add an extra workout at the end of each to address weakpoints. Isometrics are a good way to do that. Another good way to arrange this in a macrocycle is:

-Functional Hypertrophy Emphasis-
Monday: Repitition (4 x 8)
Wednesday: Strength (5 x 5)
Friday: Repitition (3 x 12)

-Absolute Strength Emphasis-
Monday: Strength (5 x 5)
Wednesday: Hypertrophy (3 x 10)
Friday: Strength (3 x 3)

-Relative Strength Emphasis-
Monday: Strength (5 x 5)
Wednseday: Power (5 x 3)
Friday: Strength (3 x 3)

-Strength-Speed Emphasis-
Monday: Power (3 x 5)
Wednesday: Strength (3 x 3)
Friday: Power (5 x 3)

-Speed-Strength Emphasis-
Monday: Power (3 x 5)
Wednesday: Speed
Friday: Power (5 x 3)

That's just a few templates I could think of right there. Let me know what you think.


So would you suggest the functional hypertrophy emphasis for me for the next couple of weeks? If so, is that the whole workout or are there other aspects to it?


Yes, those are the whole workouts. I think you'll be amazed at how dead you will be after doing the 4 main lifts with high intensity. I also like to use an isometric lift (either holds in place or pushing against an immovable object at 3 positions throughout the lift) at the end to bring up weaknesses. If your body handles volume well you can add an extra set in the hypertrophy phases (4 x 10 or 5 x 8 for example) to get some extra volume in there.

Here's how you might want to progress:

Week 1- Functional Hypertrophy Week
Week 2- Absolute Strength Week
Week 3- Functional Hypertrophy Week
Week 4- Relative Strength Week
Week 5- Active Recovery Week (moderate intensity, very low volume)
Week 6- Absolute Strength Week
Week 7- Relative Strength Week
Week 8- Absolute Strength Week
Week 9- Strength-Speed Week
Week 10- Active Recovery Week
Week 11- Functional Hypertrophy Week
Week 12- Absolute Strength Week
Week 13- Functional Strength Week
Week 14- Relative Strength Week
Week 15- Active Recovery Week
Week 16- Absolute Strength Week
Week 17- Strength-Speed Week
Week 18- Relative Strength Week
Week 19- Strength-Speed week
Week 20- Active Recovery
Week 21- Strength-Speed Week
Week 22- Speed-Strength Week
Week 23- Strength-Speed Week
Week 24- Speed-Strength Week
Week 25- Active Recovery Week
Week 26- Active Recovery Week with 1 or 2 intense field-speed sessions.

If you started that now, that would take you to early June, which is when I'd imagine that football camp would start? I think that is a pretty good way to structure it so that you build up a ton of strength during the first 4 or 5 months, then the last month is spent maintaining that strength while converting it to explosive speed and power.