Get in Shape for Football Season with These Conditioning Workouts

STACK Expert John Cissik prescribes a 12-week workout program for football players.

Football conditioning is important for performance. Football requires repeated high-intensity activity. Athletes must be in shape to perform at a high level at the end of games.

What follows is a 12-week program for football players. It can certainly be done during the off-season, but if time permits, it can also be done during the season. It is broken up into four-week segments. The first four weeks build your base in terms of total body hypertrophy, strength and power, as well as conditioning, speed and agility. The second four weeks emphasize strength and power, the training is heavier and fewer training sessions per week allow you to recover. The final four weeks is designed for peak strength and power. There are fewer training sessions with heavier weight.

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Notice that conditioning is included twice a week during every week of the workouts. The conditioning workouts simulate the 10- to 20-second duration of football plays and minimize recovery between them. The exercises are total-body exercises to maximize the development of fatigue and to burn a great many calories.

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Weeks One Through Four

Day One

  • Power Clean: 3x3-6@60-70%
  • Clean Grip Deadlift: 3x3-6@70-80%
  • Back Squats: 3x8-12@70-80%
  • Romanian Deadlifts: 3x8-12
  • Mobility and Agility Drills: 15-20 minutes
  • Sprints: 5-10x20 yards

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Day Two

  • Push Jerk: 3x3-6@60-70%
  • Bench Press: 3x8-12@70-80%
  • Floor Press: 3x8-12@75-85%
  • Dips: 1xMax
  • Bent-Over Rows: 3x8-12
  • Standing Military Press: 3x8-12

Day Three

Conditioning circuit: perform each exercise for 20-30 seconds; rest only enough to get to the next exercise; perform the circuit three times

  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Bear Crawls
  • Lunges
  • Heavy Rope Slams
  • Inchworms
  • Shuffles
  • Burpees
  • Kettlebell Overhead Squats
  • Backpedals
  • Jump Rope

Day Four

  • Power Snatch: 3x3-6@60-70%
  • Snatch Grip Pulls: 3x3-6@70-80%
  • Front Squats: 3x4-8@70-80%
  • Good Mornings: 3x8-12
  • Mobility and agility drills: 15-20 minutes
  • Sprints: 5-10x40 yards

Day Five

  • Close Grip Bench Press: 3x8-12
  • Pull-Ups: 3x8-12
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Rows: 3x8-12 each arm
  • Giant Set: Front Raise + Side Raise + Rear Deltoid Raises: 3x10 each, no rest

Day Six

Conditioning sprints: perform 10-15 minutes of mobility work; Sprints 10x20 yards; jump rope for 30 seconds between sprints

Weeks Five Through Eight

Day One

  • Back Squats: 3x6-10@75-85%
  • Romanian Deadlifts: 3x6-10
  • Bench Press: 3x6-10@75-85%
  • Bent-Over Rows: 3x6-10
  • Standing Military Press: 3x6-10
  • Mobility and agility drills: 15-20 minutes
  • Sprints: 5-10x20 yards

Day Two

  • Power Snatch: 3x3-6@60-70%
  • Power Clean: 3x3-6@60-70%
  • Push Jerk: 3x3-6@60-70%
  • Box Jumps: 3x10
  • Hurdle Hops: 3x10 yards
  • Bounds: 3x20 yards

Day Three

Conditioning circuit: perform each exercise for 30-45 seconds; sprint 20 yards between exercises.

  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Bear Crawls
  • Lunges
  • Heavy Rope Slams
  • Inchworms
  • Shuffles
  • Burpees
  • Kettlebell Overhead Squats
  • Backpedals
  • Jump Rope

Day Four

  • Front Squats: 3x4-8@75-85%
  • Good Mornings: 3x6-10
  • Close-Grip Bench Press: 3x6-10
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Rows: 3x6-10 each arm
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3x6-10
  • Mobility and agility drills: 15-20 minutes
  • Sprints: 5-10x40 yards

Day Five

Conditioning sprints: perform 10-15 minutes of mobility work; Sprints 10x20 yards; jump rope for 30 seconds between sprints

Weeks Nine Through Twelve

Day One

  • Clean-Grip Deadlift and Power Clean: 3x3-6+2-3@70-80% of Power Clean
  • Back Squats and Squat Jumps: 3x3-5@80-90% + 5 Jumps
  • Romanian Deadlifts and Forward Medicine Ball Throws: 3x3-5 + 5 Throws
  • Mobility and agility drills: 15-20 minutes
  • Sprints: 5-10x20 yards

Day Two

Conditioning circuit: perform each exercise for 30-45 seconds; sprint 40 yards between exercises.

  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Bear Crawls
  • Lunges
  • Heavy Rope Slams
  • Inchworms
  • Shuffles
  • Burpees
  • Kettlebell Overhead Squats
  • Backpedals
  • Jump Rope

Day Three

  • Snatch-Grip Pulls + Power Snatch + Overhead Squats: 3x3-6 + 2x3 + 3x6@70-80% of Power Snatch
  • Bench Press + Medicine Ball Chest Passes: 3x3-5@80-90% + 5 Chest Passes
  • Bent-Over Rows + Behind the Back Medicine Ball Throws: 3x3-5 + 5 Throws
  • Kettlebell Press: 3x3-5 each arm
  • Mobility and agility drills: 15-20 minutes
  • Sprints: 5-10x40 yards

Day Four 

Conditioning Sprints: perform 10-15 minutes of mobility work; Sprints 10x20 yards; jump rope for 30 seconds between sprints


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