Off-Season Football Workouts, Part 2: Building Strength and Endurance

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Football Weight Lifting

After performing Phase 1 of this off-season football workout, you will have built up the core stability and overall strength you need to add weightlifting exercises to your program. The next step is to start building on your solid foundation by adding strength work.

Phase 2 workouts are structured into supersets, each consisting of a strength movement followed by a stabilization exercise. Their volume and intensity will increase your strength and muscular endurance. This is the next level up in terms of difficulty, and it will further prepare your body for the more challenging and demanding workouts in later phases of the program.

In this phase, all sets, reps and weight levels are moderate. However, just because you are not maxing out doesn't mean it won't be challenging. Also, since this is the first time in the off-season that you'll be lifting weight, do not sacrifice your technique to make maximum gains. This will help you stay injury-free.

Phase 2: Strength and Endurance Training

  • Reps: 8-12 (Decrease by 2 reps per week)
  • Sets: 2-4
  • Percent of Max: 70-80 percent (increase by 3-5 pounds per week on each exercise)
  • Frequency: 2 to 4 times per week
  • Duration: 3 weeks
  • Exercise Selection: Superset strength (S) and endurance exercises (E)

Day 1

  • (S) Barbell or Dumbbell Bench
  • (E) Physioball Push-Up
  • (S) Dumbbell Push Press
  • (E) Single-Leg Resistance Band Face Pulls (four-second count on negative)
  • (S) Dumbbell Plank Rows
  • (E) Pull-Ups or Chin-Ups
  • Single-Leg Physioball Glute Bridge
  • Balance Single-Leg Skater Squat
  • Barbell Squat
  • Med Ball Cork Screws
  • Plank Walk Up With Dumbbell Pull
  • Seated Box Jumps (hold landing for one second)

Day 2

  • (S) Dumbbell Close-Grip Bench
  • (E) Single-Arm Resistance Band Chest Press (four-second count on negative)
  • (S) Dumbbell Bent-Over Rows
  • (E) Single-Arm Band Rows (four-second count on negative)
  • (S) Dumbbell Lateral Step-Up and Shoulder Press
  • (E) Alternating-Grip Pull-Ups
  • (S) Single-Leg Good Mornings
  • (E) Dumbbell Side Lunges
  • Power Clean
  • Med Ball Chops
  • Side Plank Holds (hold for two seconds and switch sides)
  • Single-Leg Lateral Mini Hurdle Hops

Day 3

  • (S) Barbell or Dumbbell Incline Bench
  • (E) Close-Grip Push-Ups
  • (S) Single-Arm Dumbbell Snatch
  • (E) Resistance Band Reverse Flies (four-second count on negative)
  • (S) Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows
  • (E) Pull-Ups (four-second count on negative)
  • (S) Single-Leg Physioball Hamstring Curls
  • (E) Dumbbell Lunges
  • Deadlift
  • Med Ball Russian Twists
  • Single-Arm, Single-Leg Plank
  • Seated Broad Jumps (hold landing for one second)

Source:  Michael Clark and Scott Lucett, NASM Essentials of Sports Performance Training. National Academy of Sports Medicine, 2007.


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 School (Elk Grove Village, Ill.), where he has taught physical education and coached varsity football and baseball for the past 10 years. Pomazak focuses on sport-specific program development and performance training for high school athletes.

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