I am a 20 year old college football player. I’m 6’5", 250 lbs and train year round (lifting as well as speed and quickness). My friends and I are interested in gaining mass as well as increases in strength and power. We are concerned that our current lifting program is not helping us achieve optimal gains.

The program is a four day a week program. Monday’s consist of Heavy Legs, Back and Bi’s; Tuesday’s is Heavy Chest, Shoulders and Tri’s; Wednesday is off with 25 minutes of cardio. Thursday and Friday are light days of Monday and Tuesday. Saturday and Sunday are off, with cardio on Saturday.

Our program is very basic. Monday: freeweight squat, deadlift and powercleans, pullups to failure, one major back exercise (i.e. bentover rows), straight bar curls and hammer curls. Tuesday: Bench press, incline press, push press, dumbbell military, close grip bench, upright rows, dips. Abdominals are done every lifting day, 5 x 50. Thursday and Friday are the same as Monday and Tuesday, but with lighter weight and some variation in auxiliary exercises. (ex. 2-way shoulders instead of dumbell military press)

All workouts are supposed to be completed in under 1 hour. 2-3 min rest between major lifts and 30 secs in between auxiliary lifts. The program is split into three phases. The first (foundation) is a high rep phase - 3 sets of 10 reps for most exercises. The second phase consists of 5 sets of 5 reps for major lifts usually, slightly less reps in auxiliary exercises (3 x 8). The final phase is a pyramid, 8 x 6 x 4 x 2 x 2, for major lifts and the usual for auxiliary (3 x 6-8).

We are interested in your thoughts on this program, and what you would recommend for athletes like us. We have read many of your articles and training ideas, but are unsure how to implement them into our workout, or which we should utilize.

Finally, what are you’re thoughts for supplements? We try to eat five meals a day, high in protein, moderate carbs and low fat. We’ve tried protein shakes, creatine, and amino acids. I’ve also read an article where you proposed colostrum and protein digestion supplements. What would you suggest? Also what are your feelings on androsol?

Thank you very much for your time. We are interested in your thoughts. If you have any questions you can email me.

I currently train football players and coach high school FB. Here are a few things to think about re: your program Those light heavy methods are Archaic, you should never never do squat, deadlift, Powerclean in the same day. The motor recruitment is to close to one another. Secondly the type of program I would have you do depends on wether or not your willing to workout on weekends or not. Sounds like you are so I would go with a 5 day revolving split, Day One Chest Back : Go One Month of power followed by one month of Hypertrophy training. changing the exercises every month. Example 1 to6 method for a month using the article in t-mag. Followed by an unloading protocol (bodybuilding type routine) two different exercises four sets of 8 each. Then followed by a different powerlifting type routine, changing the exercises. Change from Powerclean to snatch (on higher rep Protocols) and the to a Hang Clean on the third rotation. Always pair agonist antagonist work.

Do you cleans etc explosive movements first on leg days and cycle your squat workouts from front squat, half squat, on legged squat, each different cycle that your doing. Don’t cut carbs drastically you need the to perform not to look cut. DON:T DO AEROBICS your anerobic athletes lose weight by sprints etc interval training. Make sure you use a high quality postworkout shake of whey and liquid carbs.

Oh I forgot the rest of the split:
Day one CB day two Legs (explosive lifts first) day three off Day four Arms (shoulders every 2 week) Then either one or two days off resting than repeat. Get in the habbit of doing sprints in the morning of your leg workout than 4to 6 hrs later you leg workout!

Although the question was in regards to gaining mass and strength, in the off season, one should keep in mind that the motor recruitments are always going to overlaping. Especially during the football season. Personally I feel you have to overlap many exercises, so that the strength gains will be useful during the season. Look at how a lineman trains during the season. In a nutshell you run then push, run then tackle, run then pull, tackle, tackle, push, run, run and when you are done you run some more. Then next you do it again for a five day split then two days off. I’ve never seen a team do much different.

Now if you were training in the off season with a nice five day split with all the body parts seperated and came back to the football field all primed and ready, you get a nice shock. First off you would tell your coach, in a girlish voice, “The onslaught of DOMS is too much can we split up the practices so that none of the motor recruitments overlap?” Now, after the 20 laps and 200 push ups you would see that you are screwed. The next day you are in pain and will not go away for at least a month or two. Yet the sadest part is that all that strength you gained in the gym vanished and then some. You may still have the size but that means dick all on the field. Now of course I realize the benefit of seperating the motor recrutments, but only for perhaps a one or two month break. Now that I got off my chest I will answer the question.

There are three components to your program: Diet, Training and supplements. For diet ditch the moderate carbs and low fat, Jack everything up depending on your calorie intake. Spread the meals out between six to eight meals, the more the better. Use the following protocol for the meals: Morning high carbs, %50 high and %50 low glycemic, high protein, medium fat. Snack 1 medium carbs, %30 high and %70 low glycemic, high protein. Lunch high protein, high fat no carbs. Snack 2 Low carbs, low glycemic only, high protein and low fat. Pre workout meal high carbs, %50 low %50 high glycemic, moderate protein no fat. Post worlout meal high carbs, %100 high glycemic, high protein(as much as possible), no fat. Supper moderate everything. Snack 3 medium to high everything. These are not monster meals and solely depend on you calorie amounts.

Start with GVT 2000 and as much of that warrior training as you can handle both before and after your workout, (mentioned in last week’s issue) a ton of lower back and ab work, Ian’s 15min strech program before and after the workout, and in your spare time do yoga. Before your post workout streching do forearm training, ie grip, pinch and crush training. The split should be quads, chest, hams, back, and everything else, then two days off. Do this for 2 weeks and then start peaking cycles between strength, speed and endurance. Each cycle lasts for 2 weeks. If you want more specific details respond to the message.

Lastely for supplements buy as much protein as you can. Get a multi vitamin, and then extra vitamin C(~1-2g pre day). Use either creatine or Ribose-c. Power Drive is great especially for games. An EC stack is usefull for those don't want to work out days and game days. Finnaly if you have any money left over get a stack of tribex, methoxy-7, androsol and norandrosol. Sorry if this sounds kind of rushed, but I am at work...

Don’t static stretch before a workout because it activates the parasympathetic nervous system which relaxes the muscles and makes you more suceptible to injury. Do PNF stretching instead. and Static stretching later at night

As far as performance I suggest you buy Barry Sears the Zone and read it 3 times. read the studies done on football players etc. You will learn that HORMONES ( eicasanoids )increase or decrease oxygen transfer to muscles depending on diet and I promise you , that you will feel a difference on the field and in the weight room. I laugh when someone drinks gatorade during a game if they only knew and felt the difference!

Tapper- I’ve always done static streching, with a tiny amount of dynamic streching, and never had an injury. But what would you suggest for PNF streching and can you give more info about oxygen exchange and how it is related to diet.

Since you are a football player, and want strength and speed I would recommend you looking into Westside training

Tapper, I’ve read a section on the barry sears zone diet through a book called ‘speed’ and read with great intrest about the hormones (eicasanoids) increasing or decreasing depending on the ratio of protein carbs and fat but with the small hormone balacing meals and snacks ho do you get enougth calories through out the day, also i feel this diet is very hard to follow how do you consume a hormone balaced snack at half time or before game he recommends something like 15g protein 10grams carbs and a certain amount of fat. do u know a food or supplement that is based on his theory? also about 30mins before a game (soccer) i admit i have taken a carb drink and felt totally out of breath for the first 20 mins so i can relate with what your saying but i would like your info on matter and your experiences with this diet. does it also build or a least preserve muscle tissue?

hyasynth, intrested to know why you reccomend high carbs morning and tapper down to nil carbs at lunch then to higher carbs latter in day. would like your info and any other tips thanks.

field, the carbs and protein are high in the morning so that you have calories to replinishes what was used at night, for growth, and to give a good morning boost. I’ll cut down to no carbs at lunch so that I simply don’t fall asleep. You don’t have to do this but I like it because I’m ready to go to practice or to workout. Pre workout you want high carbs for energy. During the season practice sessions are at least two hours long, and I’m condensing that into an hour in a workout. Not eating carbs before a workout or practice is a death sentence. Granted the meal should be eated at least an hour before so it doesn’t end up on the floor. Post workout you’ll want high carbs so that you can replinish your lost energy. Lastely the last meal should be high in carbs so that you have calories to rebuild muscle. If you have any more specific questions please post them, I have too much info for just one post…

I believe androstenediol and norandrostenediol are banned substances in the NCAA. I know they are in the IOC, so I assume the NCAA would follow suit. Even if they aren’t banned yet, norandro would most likely result in a positive test for nortestosterone metabolits and androstenediol might as well. So stay away from androsol and norandrosol. Tribex, Methoxy, Ribose would all be okay though.

Hyasynth thanks for reply, just intrested to know how you would train your players for speed endurance in general. would you use hill runs with short rest to work ratio. also for leg muscular endurance do you use higher reps for leg movements or would this work the wrong fibres as football is an explosive sport? your input would be of much help thanks.

Ok guys here is the hormonal dealio. I don’t like sharing this with everybody because I feel it is my secret because I spent the time to read all 4 book pertaining to the subject. I also tested it on my self.If you want performance I suggest you read The Zone, Mastering the Zone, Anti-Aging Zone (forget the diet recommendations on this one just read the hormornal section).

You see guys you know how your always told to eat EFA's well there actually the building blocks of your eicasanoid hormones. They are involved in everything on the cellular level, but extremely hard to test in a clincal setting eventhough they were awarded the nobel prize. Basically your body shifts towards the good and bad eicasanoids. Example good increase oxygen transfer acting as vasolidators, while the bad decrease oxygen transfer acting as vasconstrictors, others increase inflamation and decrease it, Asprin functions by knocking all eciasanoids out so neither the good or the bad can develop. Guess what fish oil is better at producing good eicasanoids than flax, because to much flax can act like aspirin. High levels of Insulin promote Bad Eicasanoids, so you can never really reach peak performance. Thats why I secretly laugh and give the oppossing teams Gatorade for free HA HA HA HA!

I have found these principles to work great for performance, meaning your workouts are effortless and especially sports. I feel shitty when I consume anything HI Glycemic, think about it is a 1.50 drink gonna really improve performance. In season I never recommend a high GI carb. Your body will spare glycogen and use fat to make ATP. Trust me Try this test like Barry Sears did in his book with pro football players in a six week combine test.

15 hundred yard dashes with 70 seconds rest in between each. Compare the time from the first one to the Last one, Oh I want you to try it drinking a big bottle of gatorade or ultra fuel like 70 g of carbs. Ok Next time I want you to eat 1 hr prior 1 cup MCANNS Steal Cut Oatmeal it take 30 min to cook, and eat four ounces of Salmon. The try the test again and tell me how you feel and compare it to the insulin induced comma you felt previously with the high carb sports energy drink.

Hya Read the book Stretching to Win. Or Attend a Charles Poliquin Seminar.

Tapper, are you saying that static stretching (held for 10-15 seconds or so) is bad and may prevent injury if done just prior to workout. If so, I think many people will disagree with you. Since I’ve been using Ian King’s advice by warming up for 10-15 minutes on a bike and then stretching 10-20 minutes (static) I’ve definitely noticed improvement (strength and ligaments). I really can’t see how stretching the muscle you are going to workout promote or cause injury. Please explain…

Tapper, would consuming a 5-7% solution during training be ok or do you reccomend plain old water? Do you not agree that carbs are the highest energy fuel and it is a lot easer to break down blood glucose and muscle glycogen into ATP. anaerobic exercise only uses carbs for fuel so surley for optimum performance of an anaerobic sport carbs are a must. Do you also use a hormaonal balaced meal once before sport or all day? The above has been explained in Dr Michael Colgan’s book optimum sports nutrition. would like your opinun thanks

field, first off I’m not a coach just a player… Secondly for speed endurance i like the following: hill runs, one man sled pushing and truck pushing/pulling. I perfer these exercises because I hate running, plain and simple. It also depends on what position you are playing, I’m a defensive end, so I’m not running as much as a quarter back or a defensive back etc. If you want basic speed endurance go with hill runs and parachute runs. For muscular endurance I train that with part gvt 2000 and part warrior training ie. high bodyweight reps. After two weeks of that I’ll shift to a west side style lifting, for strength. Then after that I’ll shift to a speed session where I use explosive exercises, Squat jumps, Squats with chains etc. The whole system is really complex and I’m just writing up my newest macro cycle. If the moderator would forward my email I can send the whole program.

Your right carbs are needed for anerobic atheltes thats why I’m against low carb diets for athletes, because the body doesn’t function optimally. On the same token I don’t believe (in my experience) that higher levels of glycogen increase performance. What you need is the proper Balance. When you ingest liquid carbs during an event you spike insulin your body which than decreases oxygen transfer (explained below). You are never truly in only in a anerobic state, both systems are working. You see During a game like football you are defenitely using both systems to make ATP. Your body can make more atp out of fat and spare its anerobic atp which means you will perform better. (getting the best of both worlds). If you start to consume liquid carbs during competition (i’m talking sports here not postworkout nutrition) you spike insulin decreasing oxygen transfer and your body only can reliy on stored glycogen to make atp, it won’t use both as efficiently. Again I urge you to try my protocol below and see if you peform better, put it to the test , don’t trust all these supplement companys that only see the surface but don’t understand hormonal influence on performance. So no I wouldn’t eat liquid carbs during halftime.

I personally Hate Hi Glycemic Sports nutrition, I feel like shit for the next hours after I take in a hi gi postworkout shake, When I used to train in the morning and have football practice in the later part of the day I felt like crap. When I ate slower digesting posworkout shakes, like Grow, Yam+Fishoil or other healthy fat I felt great and had alott of energy.

If you truly want to reach superhuman performance you peak potential, Read those books are talked about below. In the anti aging zone he has something called and eicasanoid daily status report that he uses with his athletes to determine if there diets need tweeking based on how they feel, how they look, how there stool looks, and there need for sleep. Check it out educate=dominace!

Tapper, i’m going to invest in the zone book and give it a try makes sense to me i awlways seem run down after a high carb meal. thinking back i use to ingest a small chicken and brown rice 50:50 ratio meal a 1.5-2 hours before football session on an off chance and cant remember feeling drained. i seem to feel metally dead as well from high carb meals did you find this as well? thanks for info.

Tapper, where can I get a copy of “stretch to win”? I can’t find it on amazon or human kinetics.