During the off-season, football athletes focus on building strength and power in the weight room. One great thing about strength training is that it offers many ways to get strong. It’s a world of possibilities for any athlete who keeps an open mind, an aggressive attitude and a high level of motivation.
Recent science indicates that regardless of whether an athlete uses high or low repetitions, strength gains are ultimately the same—provided that the athlete trains to a point of demonstrated fatigue, that is, to the point where no more reps can be performed with good technique. With that in mind, here are some sample off-season weight-lifting techniques that implement both the high and low repetition methods of training.
High Reps Technique #1
This technique works for any exercise. Here, the example features the Leg Press. Due to the intense nature of this workout, limit it to once a week.
First, choose your target repetition number: 20, 30 or 50. Next, select your starting weight. For a 30-repetition target, use a weight that challenges you at 15 reps. Perform as many quality reps as you can. Let’s say you complete 18, which means you have 12 left. Take a 30-second rest and continue with a second set. Follow this pattern until you hit your target reps. If you complete more than half of the target number on the first set, up the weight the next workout.
Example: Leg Press (500-pound weight for 30 reps)
• First set 15 reps
• Second set 10 reps
• Third set 5 reps
High Reps Technique #2
For a real test of strength and toughness, try straight sets. These are high repetition sets performed straight through. Here again, you select a target number of 20, 30 or 50 reps and perform as many as possible with good form. However, your goal is to hit your target on the first set. This technique is demanding but very productive if you have the right mindset.
Example: Leg Press (500-pound weight for 20 reps straight through)
The primary goal of any off-season football program is to get stronger, which means you must consistently push yourself. This workout will certainly help you do that if you give it your best effort. Choose challenging weights and watch your strength soar.
Want to get started? Here is a four-week, off-season leg workout using the two techniques described above for developing intensity and power in the lower body. Train three non-consecutive days per week.
• Leg Press – 30 rep target
• Leg Curls – 1-2 x 10-15
• Leg Extensions – 1-2 x 10-15
• Groin (Hip Adduction) – 1 x 10-15
• Leg Press – 30-50 reps straight through
• Calf Raises – 30-50 reps straight through
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