Question for Big Martin

Big Martin

When using the tier system for football players, what is your rotation for max effort Lower and ME Total work? Do you do the full back squat often? I saw your post on ME rotations for upper and I was wanting your thoughts on the others as well, if you have time. Thanks BM.


for football is is compeltelty diffirent…i use diffirent tiers for diffirent periods of the year…we do no real max effort work for football…we use pripellins chart and keep the reps in certain phases for certain aspects…i can show you my program i use tonight …i have to go to work right now…so when i get back tonight i can show you a typical off season program…bm

That would be great…Thanks.

Could show me the same prgram Big Martin! Thanks a lot!

I’d love to see what BM is doing for football too.

If you don’t mind put me on that list to view your program.


add me into it big man, please please please. i yearn to know more

Big Martin- Could you also add me to that list too please? I would really appreciate it. T-mag should let you write an article on it in an upcoming issue, so everybody can see it since it seems a lot of people are interested in it.

could you add me to the list as well. thanks a lot!

add me too pretty pretty please

all right guys wow…what we do is very basic to the individual and the position and the level…i tell you right now i work with primary high school and division 2-3 players in my area…i got most my ideas from other people…when more and more players started approaching me i just kept reading everything i could by joe keen, coach x, coach davies, ct, cw, loui simmons, poliquin, tom myleski, defranco and have just mashed it all toghether to fit the caliber of players i work with…now 99% of the football players i work with lack 3 basic things…

  1. a base of muscle mass, football is a brutal sport and size is very important…and while most of the kids are bigger than normal people they lack muscle mass in crucial areas, 1. back of the legs, 2. upper back…3. abdominal mass…they all though come out of high school with huge biceps and pecs and average quads…

  2. posterior chains are usually non exsistent…in fact i have seen ton of divison 2 players i work with who can push press near 300 pounds yet have trouble doing a single glute ham raise or 5 reps of blue band good mornings…

  3. they let themselves get out of shape…espicially high school kids who make up a lot of my buisness…they belive the bench press and the powerclean and jogging laps around the track for 6 straight months is all they need…its a shame there coaches think the same thing…

realizing this and dependent on the athlete…and most important the amount of time i get with the athlete…wich is usually 6-12 weeks…and usually only 9-10 weeks during the summer months with my local college kids…i have to find a way to adress these needs…i need to find a way to build mass, strength, conditioning, bring up work capacity, and provide there weak areas with enough extra work to bring them up to par…so taking this into account i dont have a lot of time to worry about things like barbell speed and training with maximal weights which are the best and most needed aspects of the westside powerlifting program…but the most important aspect of westside i keep in wich is the conjugate method of rotating exersices this will allow me to give the player a ton of volume to up his work capacity while not frying his cns…but in all actuallity i am going to have him overacheive for the first 2 weeks of the program until he can adapt and bring his work capacity up to par…

so if i only had 8-12 weeks with athletes here is what i do…i use bodypart tiers of total body, lower body, upper body wich all have a exersices pool of around 10 movements and rotate these through 3 emphasis’s - priority, major, minor, each of these 3 emphasis have a set waved % pattern and rep scheme that i have found best to add msucle and strength to athletes in the fastest and shortest time possibile…it is from personal experence but follows pripeillins table…each work out begins with a 10-15 minute active gpp warm up just like mine in my training log…i like to hit there upper back, post chain, and abs for high-medium reps low intensity supersets just like i do…each work out is concluded with 2 sets of 8-12 reps of vertical or horizontal pulling and either vertical or horizontal pushing…these sets should be medium intensity…conditioning is on 2 non-lifting days a week and it consists of gpp-strongman work for 15 minutes of active warm up and then 2 circuits of -3-4 gpp-strongman movements for time for 25-35 minutes these strongman and gpp moves are also rotated conjugately and all done with varied intensities …

so here is how i set up the weightroom program…

here are the exersice pools for each bodypart tier…

total body- power clean, power clean standing on 2 inch box, hang clean, hang clean from deck, hang clean off pins, traiditional deadlift, traditional deadlift standing on 2 inch box, sumo deadlift, sumo deadlift standing on 2 inch box, snatch grip deadlift, snatch grip deadlift standing on 2 inch box, rack pulls varied heights, power shrug from floor, power shrug from pins)

lower body - (atg squat, power squat, power box squat with straight bar, camberd bar, safety squat bar, 10-12 inch low box squat with the various bars, lunges, split squats, step ups, good mornings both regular and suspended from chains with various bars,)

upper body- (bench press, close grip bench press, millitary press, push press, 1-2-3-4 board press, incline press, decline press, dumbell bench, dumbell incline, dumbell decline,)


priority- total body - 6 sets of 3 reps waved through %'s from 70-90% with set 6 being the hardest set for a near max triple at 90%…

major- lower body - 5x5 @ 80%

minor - upper body - 4x5 waved through %'s from 72-75%…

day 2

priority-lower body- 6 sets of 3 reps waved through %'s from 70-90% with set 6 being the hardest set for a near max triple at 90%…

major - upper body -5x5 @ 80%

minor - total Body - 4x5 waved through %'s from 72-75%

day 3

priority- upper body - 6 sets of 3 reps waved through %'s from 70-90% with set 6 being the hardest set for a near max triple at 90%…

major- total body - 5x5 @ 80%

minor- lower body 4x5 waved through %'s from 72-75%…

ok there it is thats what happens in the weight room for a 6-12 week phase…now please understand this, this is my basic program with some of my more experenced guys i have some very creative tiers that really work on speed strength, strength speed, and lactate training, …now i wil get tons of ?'s about why no speed work and stuff…but like i said i have a short time ot build a base and thats what i am after…you have to crawl before u walk…PLUS THE STRONGMAN-GPP CONDITIONING I DO TRANSLATES TO ON FEIL SPEED AND POWER MORE THAN ANY SPEED WORK I HAVE EVER SEEN…so it truly acts as a dynamic session…hope this helps…bm

I’m looking forward to this.

I also pretty much follow a 3x3 traditional but I like the way you have things set up to hit the weaknesses. Question…I understand how you would rotate the supplemental and major assistance lifts, but do you rotate the Foundation lift from each pool or keep the foundation constant and use the same lift each week? For example on TB emphasis, is Tier 1 always going to be the same lift or do you choose different lifts to represent the tier? If you choose different lifts, how often do you rotate them?

Very good information, BM. Your help is very beneficial to me and I really appreciate it.

We rotate exersices every workout…you have to very selective with the movements you pick…its the most important part of the program…so for a week of total body movements you would do this…

day 1 priority -total body - movement - power clean

day 2 minor- total body- movement- sumo deadlift

day 3 major - total body - snatch grip deadlift off 2 inch box…

see on these moveents you will vary the intensitys on the emphasis and you dont use close to the same amount of weight for all 3…you can sumo deadlift maybe 500 but only power clean 200 and the snatch grip dead is usually much lower than the sumoe dead…so the %'s based on how you rotated the exersices helped keep the cns fresh while working at top capacity…bm

Got it…thanks again.

Thanks a lot Big Martin.

Interesting stuff.

I do have a question for you that I will preface with a statement. I have found that rooks need a certain amount of consistency in their program primarily b/c of the time it takes for motor learning to occur and bilateral deficencies to be corrected. (Depending on the athlete, 6-12 weeks.)

Do you involve the same number of movements and rotate them with the same frequency for an athlete that is more or less weight training for the first time? If so, how are you addressing coordination/motion specific stabilization and bilateral deficiency?

If not, what are the compound movements you focus on out of the gate? Later.

Wow BM, T-mag should let you write an article.

Awesome, awesome stuff BM. I’m sure that your athletes do very well with a trainer like you. The best of luck to you and them.

Great post BM. Guys this is pretty much what I have been doing with the help from Big martin. I’m on my sixth week and feel great. I urge you all to give it a shot.
Question: BM, Instead of doing your gpp warmup as described above, I have been doing an active warmup similar to what Chad waterbury does in his Next Big Three program. I feel this has helped bring up my conditioning level (which was my main goal along with strength), and gets me warmed up for the session ahead.

Basically it would consist of three exercises like high knees, star jumps, burpees each for 30 sec and repeated for the desired amount of sets. What do you think about this type of warm up?