In-Season Weight Training for Football

August 9, 2013 | John Cissik

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Once football season begins, it can be difficult to find time to lift weights. Preparing for the upcoming game eats up much of your time during the week, and after you play the game, you need to rest and recover.

It is important, however, to lift weights during the season. You are probably getting a lot of speed, agility and conditioning work during games and practices. But you need to train for strength, too.

The following brief, focused, intense workouts take into account that your time is limited. Repeat this four-week program as often as necessary to get you through the season. The workouts are set up around weeks when you are the home team (three workouts per week) and weeks when you are the visiting team (two workouts per week).

I've followed up the exercises with how the sets, repetitions and intensities should change from week to week. An exercise followed by "or" (for example, Push Jerk or Jerk Drives) is meant for athletes who may be having trouble gripping the bar as a result of playing a game.

Many of the exercises are complexes, meaning they combine a slow/heavy exercise with a fast one. To perform these, do a set of the slow exercise (for example, 3-6 Bench Presses), rest for a minute or two and then do a set of the explosive exercise. Repeat for the specified number of sets.

Keep in mind that you may need to change some of the exercises. Football makes you sore, and this may affect your ability to perform an exercise (for example, if your hands are smashed up, you may not be doing Deadlifts).

Home Team Workouts

Day One

 Day Two

Day Three

  • Snatch Pulls, 3x3-8 @ 90% of Power Snatch
  • Complex: Front Squats and Vertical Jumps, 3x3-6 @ 80-90% + 5 Jumps)
  • Complex: Romanian Deadlifts (or Back Raises) and Standing Long Jumps 3x4-8 + 5 Jumps
  • Stability Ball Leg Curls, 3x12-15

Visiting Team Workouts

Day One

  • Power Cleans and Front Squats, 3x1-3 + 3-6 @ 80-90% of Power Clean
  • Clean Pulls and Romanian Deadlifts, 3x3-6 + 4-8 @ 80-90% of Power Clean
  • Lunges, 3x12-15
  • Reverse Hyperextensions, 3x12-15

 Day Two

  • Push Jerk or Jerk Drives, 3x3-6 @ 60-80% of Power Clean
  • Bench Press and Clapping Push-ups, 3x3-6 @ 80-90% + 5 Push-Ups
  • Bent-over Rows and Medicine Ball Toss, 3x3-6 + 5 Throws
  • Standing Military Press, 3x4-8

As long as the workouts are done in order, you do not need a day of rest in between.

Over four weeks, these workouts will get harder. So, for many exercises, the first week would be at 80 percent, the second at 85 percent, the third at 87 percent and the fourth at 90 percent.

John Cissik
- John M. Cissik is the president of Human Performance Services, LLC, which helps athletes solve their strength and conditioning problems. He has worked with athletes...
John Cissik
- John M. Cissik is the president of Human Performance Services, LLC, which helps athletes solve their strength and conditioning problems. He has worked with athletes...
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