A bodybuilder's primary objective is to build size and definition.But contrary to popular belief, larger muscles are NOT always stronger or more powerful muscles. What does it really take to build maximal strength?Increasing the cross-sectional area of each muscle (or to be precise, the contractile filaments within each muscle) greatly affects strength. For a sample maximal football strength training program click hereFor most athletes this is where their strength training ends - with maximal strength or hypertrophy. It doesn't matter how strong you are, if you can't transfer that strength into sport-specific movements, it's next to useless. PlyometricsAlso known as jump training, plyometric training uses light loads (usually bodyweight) and very fast, explosive movements. That should give a fairly good idea of how and why strength training for football varies so much over the course of a season. Fitness Tests - Step Number 1 To Athletic Success Mar 25, 16 11:53 AMFitness tests form the foundation of any good sports training program. There are 4 stations as shown below (figure 1), with your players spending 5 minutes at each station before moving onto the next. It is important to make sure that the intensity is kept to a maximum during this exercise ensuring that the players complete the stations as quickly as possible every time they go, especially as they have a little rest after every go when they switch with the feeder. Not only that, too much bulk will reduce your speed, agility and quickness.When most non-professional athletes visit the gym or the weight room, what do they do?They follow a classical program of 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
Agonists like the quads may become more developed compared to the antagonists (hamstrings). Yet this is the only type of strength training that most athletes do.Although a bodybuilding-type program is the best way to increase lean weight and bulk, it is not the most efficient method for increasing maximum strength.
At the crux of these exercises is a rapid movement from eccentric to concentric contraction.
We split the football season into 3 phases - off-season, in-season and the transition.The charts below covers a complete 12-month program. The feeder at this station starts with the ball in their hands and throws the ball to their partner who will perform a side foot volley back into their partner’s hands.


The feeder at this station starts with the ball in their hands and throws the ball to their partner who will control the ball with their chest and pass it back to their partner.
The feeder will now throw the ball high in the air and their partner must head the ball back into their hands. Eventually fatigue will start to set into the players so it is important to emphasize that technique does not start to suffer when controlling, volleying or passing the ball. They might throw in a few drop sets or super sets for good measure and they stick to traditional exercises like the bench press and dumbbell curls.Football players (especially linemen) do need bulk and a lot of bodyweight. And as prime movers grow ever stronger, smaller, stabilizing muscles get neglected.Regardless of how experienced a weight lifter you are it's a good idea to factor in a period of anatomical adaptation training. As a result, even linemen should dedicate only about half of their total strength training routine to building mass.The off-season may last 6 to 7 months. The shorter that transition, the more powerful the result.Caution needs to be exercised with plyometrics as its repetitive nature can lead to overuse injuries. What is important is that one form of strength training predominates - according to the outcomes you've set.During the in-season the number of sessions reduces significantly. As soon as this is done, the player must sprint to the ball behind the feeder and speed dribble around the tall cone and stop the ball where the speed dribble started (figure 2). After this has been done, the player must sprint to the ball behind the feeder and speed dribble around the tall cone and stop the ball where the speed dribble started (figure 2). After this has been done, the player must sprint to the ball behind the feeder and speed dribble around the tall cones and stop the ball where the speed dribble started (figure 2). You could also increase the work load on the players by having them and the feeder stay in the same role for a set period of time rather than switch after every go. Volume and intensity is reduced considerably.The transition phase is all about rest and recuperation. But they also need high levels of strength and sport-specific power.Wide receivers, defensive backs and tailbacks need less bulk and more speed and agility. In fact, more experienced lifters are more likely to be out of balance than beginners.Novice lifters should spend at least 8 to 10 weeks in this phase.


Football players may benefit from the fewer repetitions and heavier loads in isometric training (see below).Click here for more information on plyometricsBallisticsBallistics also uses relatively light loads at high speeds but differs from plyometrics.
If you choose to do it this way then I would recommend 2 or 3 minutes in each role before moving onto the next station. Weight lifting veterans should aim for about 3 to 5 weeks.The objectives of this phase are to prepare the body for more demanding sessions later on in the program.
So does converting that strength into explosive power - perhaps the most important physical trait for all players to posses.We can break strength training for football into three separate categories. This phase typically occurs when skill and tactical training predominates so it's important to preserve energy.
A good example is throwing a medicine ball powerfully - force is applied from the start to the end of the movement.Isotonic Weight LiftingThis technique simply incorporates traditional strength training exercises used in other phases. But you may feel that even as a wide receiver you lack necessary bulk, so adjust your program accordingly.With this master plan in place why not look at some of the other articles for individual sessions?Anytime you find a sample strength program in a magazine (or online) look first at how it fits into the bigger picture.You'll even be able to cherry-pick the best exercises and adapt them to fit your own tailored routine - and that's what elite strength training for football is really about!
If you try and train at 100% every session, sooner or later your body will force you to rest - and it's usually just before a big game!
4 weeks), you might then train for hypertrophy or increased bulk for 4 weeks (another macrocycle). The key difference is that lighter loads (50-80% 1RM) are lifted in quick, explosive bursts. Weight lifting movements like power cleans and jump squats are more appropriate than bench presses and leg presses for example.



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