T Nation

Soccer Program

Hey all,

I am a huge fan of the website. Not only are the articles great, but I think the T-Mag community is very supportive and helpful, which makes for a great site.

With that said, I was hoping someone more experienced than myself can help me construct or send me a soccer-specific program. T-Mag has tons of great exercises (etc) but I’m not sure which exercises are most effective and applicable to play soccer at a top level.

Also, I’m not sure how much weight, how many reps etc I should do. Top level soccer players are powerful - basically maximizing speed, agility, and power while not putting on a lot of mass. (maybe because excessive mass makes it harder to be agile and sustain speed/endurance for 90 min?)

I’d also like to significantly increase my flexibility in my legs & hips (naturally tight from soccer), back, and shoulders.

Anyways, I’d be happy to provide any information that you may need to help me out. I want to maximize my full potential and with the help of the experienced T-Mag community, I am confident I will be able to.

Specs: 5’10", 170 lbs, not sure of bf %

How much can you deadlift, squat & bench right now? And do you know your standing vertical jump? If you’re really weak any beginner program will be alright for you. A good one is Joe DeFranco’s Westside for Skinny Bastards which you can find here:

http://www.elitefts.com/ws4sb/default.asp

At a bodyweight of 170 you should shoot for around 350 lbs deadlift, 300 lbs squat and 225 lbs bench press. Depending on your body structure and natural strength levels these numbers could go up or down, but they are a good place to start.

And honestly, I wouldn’t worry about getting too big. In order for you to gain enough muscle mass to hurt your soccer performance, you would really have to focus on hypertrophy training.

For the flexibility problem I would highly recommend the Magnificent Mobility DVD by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson. I have it and it is excellent.

It may be a preeminent thing to do, but I’m going to recommend you start stretching your hip flexors, calves, hamstrings, TFL, and piriformis daily.

In a nutshell I’d recommend you do this before training, whether it be soccer or weight-lifting.

A. Walking Lunges 8/side
B. Lateral lunge 8/side
C. Quadruped Hip Mobility 8/side

"This is the most basic of all the hip mobility exercises. Assume an “all-4�??s” position with the hands underneath the shoulders and the knees underneath the hips. Now we’re going to do our best impression of your dog when it has to go pee.

Start off by flexing the hip (bringing the knee to the chest), and then lift it to the outside (abduction). Push back (extend) from this position, and then come back around to the starting position (adduction). Performing this mobility drill is often referred to as “doing fire hydrants” for obvious reasons."

-Quoted from EC and MR’s ‘Get Your Butt in Gear’
D. Arm Circles 15 with full range of motion
E. Glute Bridges 15-20 X 2 sets
F. Birddogs 5/side

Then, after you train. . .

A. Standing Toe-touch
B. Standing Quadriceps Stretch
B. Lunging Hip-Flexor Stretch
C. Butterflies
D. Push-up position calf stretch
E. Abductor stretch

I’m sure there’s something missing, but this is a start.

On offdays perform the top warm up exercises and then the stretches directly afterward.

Aside from that, WS4SB rocks. You should check it out, as was previously recommended.

Do lots of hang cleans, power cleans, squat variations, lunges, sprints, intervals, and run stairs. There is not much need to deadlift and bench for a soccer player. When I graduated from High School 11 years ago I was 5’9 165 could bench 215 and had my whole hand above the rim. I did not deadlift, clean or squat much then. Now 11 years later I’m still 5’9 weigh about 225 can bench 295,deadlift 400, and squat 375, have not touched the rim in 9 or ten years and am not nearly as explosive. Just try to get more explosive and play lots of soccer. I miss playing every day. I made the club team at OSU for 1 tournament before being cut and am still bitter. It did not help that I drank King Cobra 40’s and hit the 3 1/2 foot bong almost every day that summer.

Bueno Suerte

WS4SB 3 is probably where it’s at for you.

It includes plyometrics that will do plenty to enhance your explosiveness while improving your maximal strength as well.

Hey guys,

Thanks so much for your feedback.

I did have a couple of questions:

Flow: Do you have any videos of these stretches? Also, my back and hips are very tight (in fact, my back feels like it needs to be pulled in opposite directions to stretch it out). With that said, what are the main things I should be looking for when doing the stretches. I dont want to sacrifice quality of movement for a larger range of motion if I am not flexible enough - know what I mean.

Biggun: How did you train your body to touch the rim? Even in my fittest state, I couldnt touch the rim, although Id love to.

As far as the WS4SB program is concerned, it seems like this program is intended to beef people up. I really would like to stay at the 165-170lbs range --I feel like that weight is best for me-- can I modify the program so that I dont gain mass, but build power?

Any nutrition pointers to incorporate into the program? I know how important it is and I could be well served to lose 5% of my bf to get down to 3-5%.

[quote]Soccergod wrote:
Flow: Do you have any videos of these stretches?[/quote]
I don’t have any videos, but I’m sure you can find a good representation of the stretches if you google them.

I’d recommend doing the stretches as close as possible to how they’re represented from your searches.

As far as the mobility drills in the first group of exercises, the most important queues are to maintain perfect upright posture and make sure that you’re pushing through your heel on the lunge variations.

[quote]
As far as the WS4SB program is concerned, it seems like this program is intended to beef people up. I really would like to stay at the 165-170lbs range --I feel like that weight is best for me-- can I modify the program so that I dont gain mass, but build power?[/quote]

Yeah, you can definitely modify the program. If you want power I’d incorporate some plyometrics, much like those described in the DE lower day of WS4SB 3. I wouldn’t go over a total volume of 40-70 contacts a week, though. Especially in season.

[quote]
Any nutrition pointers to incorporate into the program? I know how important it is and I could be well served to lose 5% of my bf to get down to 3-5%.[/quote]

It might not be so important for you to be crazy lean for soccer purposes. I wouldn’t worry about body comp so much as performance, assuming you’re not turning into the michelin man from your eating habits.

I recommend you read John Berardi’s stuff. His 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Nutrition Program or whatever is a really good place to start!

West side 3 did miracles for my soccer career… given that you keep your cardio up, its a great program, makes you strong, quik, and really helps the vertical

I didn’t really train to touch the rim. I played soccer or basketball about 2-3 hours every day throughout high school my legs were pretty strong. I didn’t really squat much but as a junior in high school I leg pressed 1060 at a weigh ot about 160. If I had been squatting then maybe I would have dunked a basketball instead of just a softball.