Post-Season Tune-Up: Football Strength Training for the Playoffs | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Post-Season Tune-Up: Football Strength Training for the Playoffs

December 4, 2012 | Robert Pomazak

Must See Football Videos

'Tis the season for playoff football and the crowning of state champions. That said, the team that stays the healthiest often has best chance of realizing their dream.

This article presents easy ways to keep yourself at the top your game physically, so you can help your team go deep into the playoffs. (Learn how to Maintain Muscle Mass During the Season.)

Frequency

Most high school football programs hold regular in-season strength workouts, which are essential to keep players in peak physical form. There are many opinions on how often you should lift, but common practice is at least two days a week, preferably three.

Time

When playoffs come around, there are few free minutes between school, practice and homework. The last thing most athletes want is to hit the gym after a tough practice. However, staying dedicated off the field—to your flexibility, mobility and strength training—can keep you on the field and performing at your best when it matters most. To accommodate your schedule, workouts can be as short as 45 minutes.

Type

The most frequently asked question about in-season training is what type is best? My philosophy is that training before, during and after the season should be consistent. Since strength, power, flexibility and mobility are the foundation of performance, it's essential to train these attributes during the season.

Below is a sample template that can be used to cover the important parts of in-season training. Feel free to insert your own exercises, but make sure they work the same muscle groups in the same plane of motion.

Chart 1

Metabolic Sequencing

Conditioning can make or break a team at any point of the season. However, the stakes are raised at playoff time, and there is no excuse for poor conditioning. Make your playoff training sessions as gamelike as you can. Break your training into two segments:

Strength training, including rack lifts and explosive lifts. Rest time between sets should be one to three minutes, depending on the amount of weight being lifted.

Cardiovascular and metabolic training. Every set should be timed 30 seconds on and 10 seconds off. Train in explosive bouts with very little rest time. The high intensity of the lifts with limited rest will elicit responses and recovery situations similar to a football game.

Chart 2

Phasing and Intensity

I am a believer that strength should be gained during the season, so periodize your program to work towards specific goals. If you stay focused on technique, you will be able to safely make strength and power gains that will help you blow past your competition late into the playoffs.

Chart 3

Check out this complete off-season football workout.

Photo: stjohnsprep.org

Robert Pomazak
- Robert Pomazak, MS, PES, SES, is a NASM-certified performance enhancement and speed specialist. He currently serves as strength and conditioning coordinator at Elk Grove High...
Robert Pomazak
- Robert Pomazak, MS, PES, SES, is a NASM-certified performance enhancement and speed specialist. He currently serves as strength and conditioning coordinator at Elk Grove High...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Five Methods to Maximize Acceleration

Get Faster With 3 Essential Speed Training Strategies

How to Increase Skating Speed for Hockey, Part 1

Increase Speed With 3 Resisted Sprint Drills

Basketball Speed Training Essentials

Increase Speed With 3 Mini Hurdle Drills

The Secret to Running Faster

5 Tips for Longer, Faster Runs

3 Tips to Increase Sprint Speed

4 Principles for More Effective Speed Training

Two Tips to Help You Run Faster

Deceleration: The Missing Link in Speed Training

Simple Drills to Help You Sprint Faster

Step Counting: How Big Men Can Run a Faster 40

Basic Speed Training Drills for Any Sport

Improve Quickness With Lateral Speed Drills

Use These Four Factors to Increase Your Speed

Exercise of the Week: 300-Yard Shuttle

Develop Your Hidden Weapon: Hand Speed

Low-Cost Speed Training Gear

Train at a Whole New Level Using Pear Square One

Get Faster With Two Strength Workouts

Training Tool: SKLZ Recoil 360

Exercise of the Week: 200-Meter Intervals

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

5 Drills to Increase Agility on the Playing Field

5 Tips on How to Run Faster

The Single Most Important Trick for Generating Speed

How to Run Faster Without Using Special Equipment

Best Training Drills to Increase Your Game-Time Speed

Use Accelerated Plyos to Get Faster for Football

3 Tips to Help You Get Faster for Your Sport

40-Yard Dash Form Tips From the Pros

Get Faster With This Sprint Form Checklist