Running Back Routine

I am a running back for an area sports team and need feedback with regards to my weights workouts. I do plyos, agility, acceleration, sprint drills two days per week and weights three. This is not a seriously competative team, I would just like to be able to perform well.

Squat 5x5
Stiff leg DL 5x5
Standing calf raises 5x5

Bench 5x5
Dips 5x5
Military Press 5x5

Powercleans 5x5
Weighted Chins 5x5
Barbell Curls 2x5

My main focus here is on strength and speed. Adding maybe 5-10 pounds(not really my main focus)would be nice too. After 4 weeks of this I plan on increasing the weights and doing 6x3 on all lifts that are now 5x5. Would this be too much?

This program looks good for a football player in season, it is not what I would have put toghether, but it will work to maintain strength, In-season is no time to change a program or anything, in the off season I would make some adjustments but this should be a good maitnance program…BIg Martin

Why is pretty much everything 5x5?? Power movements are best trained with multiple sets of lower reps (power cleans, snatches, Westside style box squats). In regards to cleans, Roman found the most successful lifters did reps in the 3-4 range for cleans, with multiple sets. I think you’d be better served by something like 6x3 for the cleans. The 5x5 system is fine, it’s just not a panacea.


I’m training for speed/power right now, basically for grappling. I’m doing 5x5 for a lot of exercises. You think I should switch to more sets/lower reps?


I’m not sully, but for power, I would definitely switch your 5x5 routine to something with a higher set/lower rep routine. I’ve done a 5x5 routine before (not ovt), and I felt the power and strength I got out of the program was minimal. Even though I’m training westside, my explosiveness, power, and strength have been going up very well using the techniques as mentioned.

I remember when I did my first power clean, I was only able to do 167lbs (which good form as well). Last week, after a de squat day, I was able to powerclean 231 with ease.


cool, thanks. I’m training for speed right now, and I’m trying very hard to gain more strength. Here’s a sample workout from tonight.

Power Cleans
barx5 warmup

135x5x3 went for a burst out of the bottom after a pause. I can squat 315x5 at last check.

135x5x3 sets went for speed again, as per a DE in westside.

Should I do more of a westside style and go for something like 10 sets of 2 reps each? BTW, I’ve never even tried 135 for power cleans. I had no trouble, but I had to dip under the bar more than with 95lbs. It felt good to do a wheel on each side!! I’m fairly sure I could get 155 or so for a few reps. Should I do this?

Thanks for the assistance, Landon.

SPE: If your goin for Power then you should try push-jerks. I love em. You could replace military press with them.

I’m having some people do a oly/westside program, and as far as my observations with them, it’s going very, very, very good.

If your looking for all three aspects (power,strength,speed(explosiveness)), PM me for details.

J-Yes, I would switch the power exercises to multiple sets of fewer reps. Grappling requires various attributes though, and I would work in different reps ranges for your assistance stuff. For example, there was a group of wrestlers training at my gym last summer, and asside from the power movements, they also did circuits of strongman exercies. I think Convergent Phase Training is also a very good program for grapplers.

for cleans i do 7x3 at 2min rest for squats 6x4 at 2min for bench weighted chins and pushpresses i do 5x5 at 3min gaining strength at EVERY workout, feel more powerful as well, maybe just works for me

you should make cleans,squats and benches the staples of your routine. coach thibadadaue [sp?] had an article [i dont know if its still up] on dr squat a yr or 2 ago about power snatches. he likes powercleans, but feels that power snatches are more “athelete friendly” and explains why in the article. matter of fact i think hes a football coach. if you post this in his forum he might give a pretty thorough response. hes known for really reading questions and really giving in depth answers. couldnt hurt, hope we all helped.

That article by Coach Thib is still up at Dr. Squat. I don’t have the link, but you can go to Yahoo and type in “Christian Thibaudeau”, scroll down a couple of inches and you will see the link to the article.

Well, thanks to all, very helpful. I will lower the reps and increase sets.

hey spe, anilih8tor was right, the article is still up. go to article section and click on powersnatches-more power. i’m actually about to read it myself. thibs one sharp cat, idn’t he?
peace, flash

I agree with the others who said to go with the low reps/mult. set approach. I would also reccomend adding more hamstring work. Email me if you have more questions.


Could you post the details of that oly/Westside program? I would be interested in seeing it. Thanks

Just finished my football season this year and I was alternating between CT’s in season guidlines, CW’s Next Big Three progam and with the help from Big martin a westside program. check it out:

Day 1
a) DE Box squat: do 8-12 doubles (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
b) Choose ME ? Good Mornings, Deadlift, Front squat - work up to heavy triple - change every 2 weeks
c) low intensity such a RDL, weighted Bow, Glute Ham raise GHR - 3x6 / 5x5 / 6x4 / 3x3
d) abs ? bent press 1x8 / 3x8 / 1x8, 2x6 / 2x6

Day 2
DE Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM; use three different grips ; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
Choose ME ? Floor press, close grip bench, incline bench - work up to heavy triple - change every 2 weeks
Choose one: rowing, chin up, shoulder press 3x6 / 5x5 / 6x4 / 3x3
Choose one: Tricep extension, Bi curl, dips 1x8 / 3x8 / 1x8, 2x6 / 2x6

burpees 5x30 second sets OR jump lunges
single leg hip mobility movements over a box 5x10 - 5 each leg OR side to side over object
box jumps OR depth 5x5 diffirent heights each set,
crunches 5x25 OR reverse crunch

Special thanks to Big martin, make sure you listen to him!

That is all.

The weightlifting/westside program would be different for your sport, or goal.

Day 1: Explosiveness/Speed
%55-70 (depends on the person)
High Sets (8-10) Reps (2) 1 min rest

Accessory Work for your sport or goal

Day 2: Maximal
Good Mornings, Front Squats, etc
~4-6 sets of 3 reps, 3-4 sets of singles

Accessory Work for your sport or goal

Day 3: Maximal
Bench (or derv. e.g floor press), push press
~4-6 sets of 3 reps, 3-4 sets of singles

Accessory work for your sport or goal

Day 4: Explosive/Speed
Cleans + Snatch (or Jerks)
%55-70 (depends on the person)
Deadlifts, clean pulls, snatch pulls (%40-50) (explosive)

Accessory work for your sport or goal

Some ideas from your own heavythrower as well. I’ve played with this program, and tweaked it for the people I work with. Found their percentages for using adaquate weight, yet staying just as explosive (like westside teaches you)

The ability to make a program that suits a bodybuilder, athlete, or a powerlifter is rather easy if you follow the conjugate method, and sit down and analyze the person’s needs.



Could you post the details of that oly/Westside program? I would be interested in seeing it. Thanks [/quote]

Anohter alternative is my “It starts today” thread on the Lair which has details of one CT recommended.