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Schedule Planning for Football Freshman


This question concerns my son's training. He's going to be a high school freshman, he's 14 years old, and plays on the football team as an O Lineman. My problem is scheduling his workouts once school starts back up. He's been doing 5/3/1 5s Pro for over a year and progressing very well in all the main lifts. His current TMs are:

Press - 90 lb
Bench - 130 lb
Squat - 230 lb
D Lift - 260 lb

The problem is that he will have very little time for training once his school starts back up. There is NO organized weight training for Freshman, so he'll be on his own. His schedule is as follows:

7:00 to 8:00 am - Marching band practice
8:00 to 3:00 pm - School classes
3:00 to 6:00 pm - Football practice
6:00 to 8:00 pm - Dinner and homework

Monday he has Boy Scouts from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Tuesday he has band from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Thursday he has games in the evenings from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Friday he plays in the band at Varsity games 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Super busy schedule. Best I can figure, it will have to be weekend training sessions, maybe Friday and Sunday depending on his practice/game schedule. I was thinking of this routine(see post below):

All comments and ideas are welcome...


After re-reading Beyond, and re-reading the article on "Effective Training for Busy Men", I've decided on the following routine for my son.

Day 1: Friday or Saturday
Squats - 5s Pro and FSL 3x5
D Lift - 65/75/85% x 3 reps
Sit-ups - 4 sets x 25 reps

Day 2: Sunday
Bench - 5s Pro and FSL 3x5
DB Row - 4 sets x 7 reps
Press - 65/75/85% x 3 reps
DB Curls - 3 sets x 10 reps

Day 3: Friday or Saturday
Squat - 65/75/85% x 3 reps
Deadlift - 5s Pro and FSL 3x5
Sit-ups - 4 sets x 25 reps

Day 4: Sunday
Press - 5s Pro and FSL 3x5
Pulldown - 5 sets x 10 reps
Bench - 65/75/85% x 3 reps
DB Curls - 3 sets x 10 reps


I'm not speaking for Jim but I feel there could a couple of things to look at with the template you have. If you wanna have your son bench/press and squat/deadlift in the same session, it would probably be best to do just 5s Pro for your main lift and exclude the FSL, while still doing the deloading set/rep scheme you have for the other lift for the day.

Reason I say this is because it would make the volume extremely high for somebody who is also participating in football, which is really demanding on the body regardless of level. Kids at that level need to continue to get stronger, even during the season. However we also need to ensure that they are getting the most of their recovery so that they have their best performance where it matters most, on the field. So a good template for you could look like this.

Friday or Saturday:
-Squat- 5s Pro
-Deadlift- 65/75/85 x 3
-1 or 2 Assistance Exercises (bodyweight exercies would actually be a real good idea)

-Bench- 5s Pro
-Press- 65/75/85 x 3
-1 or 2 Assistance

Then switch lifts weekly

Another thing you could look at is the in-season template in the 5/3/1 for football book written by Jim and Bob Fitzgerald. Which consists of training one upper body lift and one lower body lift each day along with 1 or 2 assistance movements. However you'd probably have to do friday and sunday with that template.

I know I'm not Jim, but I thought I'd just post this based on my experiences as a player (high school and college) and as a coach at that level. I have used the 5/3/1 program when I coached at the high school level and seen great results from it. Good luck to your son this season!


Thanks SAngell. I've had the same thought about dropping the FSL, especially in-season. It's tough, especially with your own kid. I'm constantly trying to strike a balance between pushing him too hard and not pushing him hard enough. Thanks again for your input.


Listen, you are going to have to find some time to stagger the training and give him some kind of break on the weekends. You got your kid doing stuff 7 days/week.


So, I'm just not sure where to put lifting then. He doesn't have much free time during the week. He has an hour free on Fridays before he has to be back at school to play in the band for the Varsity games. I guess once a week is better than not at all.


Wow. Talk about not getting it.

Cut a weekday activity, not the work out.


Does he not lift with his football team?


Which weekday activity would you like to see him cut; School? Homework? Band? Football? Boy Scouts?

Please tell me which one of these items you deem less important. Then I'll be sure to tell my kid that he has to drop something he loves because some guy on the internet said squatting was way more important.

Anybody else that wants to give some real advice and actually help, I'm all ears.


No. There is no formal lifting program for the Freshman team.


So I'm thinking...

Friday: week 1
Squat 5s Pro
Bench 5s Pro
DB Row 4 x 7 reps

Friday: week 2
Deadlift 5s Pro
Press 5s Pro
Pulldown 4 x 10 reps

This may not be optimum, but we don't need optimum. It would hopefully just keep him slowly progressing until after the season when he can go back to a regular schedule.


At the end of the day, you are the parent.

Just a lot of frustration from my coaching minor hockey days with dealing with parents like you. You used the same excuse I heard a thousand times.

Tuesday and Saturday would be best. This is solid advice. But do what you will.

And I never said squatting was more important. Balance is.

Good luck


That was much more helpful. Thanks.


This thread is getting long and confusing with too many irrelevant side conversations. Let's simplify it.

He could workout on:
Wednesday after 3 hour football practice.
Friday after school (day after game).
Or either day on the weekend.


Jack of all trades
Master of none


I can't help it that Band and Football are both Fall activities. My boy doesn't want to choose between the two, he loves both. He's willing to put in the effort to do both and I at least applaud his motivation. I know there have been others at the school that have done it before.

Now I wasn't asking anybody's permission because I could not give a flying frack what some random people on the internet think of my parenting skills or my son's choices. All I want is for someone with the proper experience to tell me "if" or "where" it's possible to sneak in a workout during this busy season.

Like I said above, his options are:
Wednesday evening after football practice.
Friday afternoon (day after games).
Or either day on the weekend.

Helpful posts are appreciated, childish jabs will now be ignored.


look for articles on inseason sports training
most sports coaches i know complain about athletes strengh and conditioning going into the season
during season you try maintan and work on the sport
so anytime you have time during season keep it short simple to the point
ex. sprints power cleans bench call it done


Thanks cavemansam.
I've read many articles on the subject, but they always leave me with more questions than answers. Some will say to lift twice a week to keep getting stronger, but make no mention of how to fit this in for a student that has school all day and practice all afternoon. Other articles say that lifting is an added stressor and the kids just can't handle it; just let them get better at their sport. I'm good either way and just want to give my kid some good advice. Thanks again.


example he does squats goes to practice football or band marching legs are sore it will interfere with on field practice
you either have to time recovery or control effort so that strength training or conditioning does not interfere with on field performace everybody is different
out of season you can trial and error schedule learn recovery times and effort


Opening caveat: I'm a beginner and can't offer much input regarding the elements of the program you're proposing. I am the father of an entering HS freshman who is thinking about dropping football, however, and can comment from that perspective.

Your son has a busy schedule. During this discussion you haven't mentioned anything about your son's motivation. If your son is okay with his load and is the one asking to squeeze in some lifting, I would go for it with the mindset of being adaptable (adjusting weight lifting and frequency as needed). If this is more your idea, I would be hesitant to add more to his already full plate.

That last comment isn't a criticism. I know full well the fine line that exists between pushing too hard and not pushing enough. You know your son.

If he does lift, I like the upper/lower split you shared. Friday or Saturday and then Sunday seems reasonable.

Good luck.