The 4 Phases of Football Off-Season Training

Not sure what you should be doing right now to get ready for football season? Check out this four-phase off-season football workout plan from STACK Expert Brad Thompson.

Bench Press

So you've decided to dedicate yourself to football year-round? No more jump shots, double plays or high jumps for you? OK, it's time to get serious about your training; and there is no better way to organize your workouts than a four-phase off-season program that will bring results and have you playing at your best at the start of the season.

Phase 1

Two weeks after you complete in-season play, begin Phase 1 of your off-season training and continue it until February. This is when you begin building a base to develop strength, endurance, and power. Your lifting reps should range from 10 to 15 and the weight should range between 50 and 65% of your max. Lift four days a week focusing on Bench, Incline, Squat, power training, and Hang Cleans. Leave one day open for rest and aerobic conditioning. During Phase 1, don't take part in any organized football drills. Make sure to wait two weeks before beginning Phase 1 to allow your body time to recover and heal from the season.

Start with this workout, perfect for Phase 1.

Phase 2

Phase 2 begins in February and  lasts until spring football starts in April. During this phase, you will decrease reps to 6 to 8 and increase the weight to 65 to 75% of your max. To add volume, increase the number of sets. During this phase, you will see significant strength gains, which is important since your spring season will be approaching. As in Phase 1, lift four days a week leaving Wednesdays open for football-specific drills.

Try this workout during Phase 2.

Phase 3

This third phase is your spring football season. During this time you will be practicing in full pads for four or five weeks. It's important to continue lifting, but you should lower the weights and up the reps to avoid breaking down muscles that are already sore from football practice.

Phase 4

After spring football, you have about three months of summer until your season begins. During this time, you should be ready to hit the weight room lifting 6 to 8 reps at 65 to 75% of your max. Every two to three weeks, taper your workout. With no classes to attend, you will have more time to focus on preparing. You can lift four days a week and run three days. Wednesdays and Fridays should be your heavy running days. Monday is a skill development day. Every two or three weeks, increase the percentage of weight and decrease the reps. Continue this process until you are lifting 90 to 100% of your max 1-3 times. Halfway through summer you may want to readjust your workout due to your changing max.

The week before practice begins, do not lift at all. Run at a moderate intensity Monday to Wednesday, then give yourself a few days rest before the season you've been waiting for finally arrives.

Check out STACK's Complete Off-Season Football Workout for more specifics on exercises to perform during your off-season workouts.

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