Strength training is important for football players. The basic elements of speed, mobility and endurance are all functions of muscular strength. Improvements in muscular endurance, motor ability and athletic abilities are directly associated with an individual's muscular strength.
Strength training for football usually has two purposes.
- Improving overall strength
- Developing muscle balance and preventing athlete injury.
Football running requires significant anaerobic energy which is directly related to muscle strength. Therefore, a muscle with greater strength can respond better to race challenges without incurring extreme fatigue and requiring a longer recovery period. Basically, strength training improves an athlete's ability to run fast and produce anaerobic energy. Football players need to be able to run fast, sometimes very fast.
In season weight training for football players should be quick and to the point. Most of your training volume is being expended out on the field during practice so you will not have the energy and time to hit the weights hard. A sample routine would look like this…
- Power-cleans 5 sets of 5
- Squats 5 sets of 8
- Stiff leg deadlifts 3 sets of 8
- Standing calf raises 4 sets of 12
- Power-snatches 5 sets of 3
- Push-presses 5 sets of 5
- Flat bench presses 5 sets of 8
- Dips 3 sets with bodyweight
- High-pulls 4 sets of 5
- Front squats 4 sets of 5
- Pull-ups 4 sets with bodyweight
- Barbell curls 5 sets of 8
- Quick and to the point, you shouldn't be using a ton of weight, keep yourself at 80% of your max or below for the on-season.
Work on your speed with short sprints – rest for 30 seconds between each. Beginner: 12 sets of five-meter sprints. Intermediate: 16 sets of 10m sprints. Advanced: 20 sets of 20m sprints.
Sets of 30 meter sprints with five minutes rest in between. Beginner: 3 sets of 5 x 30m sprints. Intermediate: 3 sets of 7 X 30m sprints. Advanced: 2 sets of 10 x 30m.