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Given that a fall crisp is in the air, the greatest show on turf has returned and your body is looking down the barrel of a holiday hangover, we decided to bring you 3 workouts that will give you a taste of how a pro football player trains.

Disclaimer: This training regimen is meant to be a sample of how a pro trains in the offseason to ready their bodies for the high-impact, full-speed, hard-hitting sport of football. Therefore, it is not meant for everyone. It can (and should) be easily adjusted for any skill level, just scale the weight, reps/sets and rest accordingly.

Let’s dive in!

Upper Body - It’s no secret that football players have impressive upper bodies but looks don’t cut it in the pros, they have to be flexible, strong and able to withstand tremendous stress and impact. That’s why we will load the chest, shoulders and back in the toughest moments of each movement. Focus on breathing, control, and form - not weight!

  • Bench Press with Chains/Bands - 4 sets of 5 reps, 3 seconds down - 1 second pause at the bottom - explode up, 3-minute rest in between sets.
  • Seated Cable Row - 4 sets of 8-12 reps, squeeze for 2 seconds at the top, rest 1 minute between sets.
  • Close Grip Bench Press - 4 sets of 8-10 reps, 1 second down - 1 second pause at the bottom - explode up, rest 1 minute between sets.
  • Incline Bench DB Row - 3 sets of 8-12 reps, squeeze for 2 seconds at the top, rest 1 minute between sets.
  • Overhead Cable Tricep Extension - 3 Sets to Failure, rest 2 minutes between sets
  • HIIT Work - Choose a machine (Treadmill, rower, bike, etc.) and do 10 sets of :30 sprints  with :30 of rest in between.

Lower Body - The engine for a football player is like an old Volkswagen, it’s located in the trunk. It all begins with strength in the hips, glutes, and hamstrings. Pros are explosively fast, which is a byproduct of incredible strength in the rear. This workout is completely focused on the fast-twitch muscles in the back of the legs, but you may feel it all over the lower body.

  • Speed Box Squats - 10 sets of 2-3 reps - 3 seconds down - 1 second pause at the bottom - explode up, :45 rest in between sets.
  • Seated Box Jump - 10 sets of 2 reps, :30 rest in between sets
  • Hanging leg raises - 4 sets of 15 reps, rest 1:00 between sets
  • DB Romanian Deadlift - 3 sets of 9-12 reps - 2 Seconds down, 1 second pause at bottom, 2 seconds up, rest 1:30 between sets
  • L.I.S.S. - Low-intensity steady state cardio, 20 mins. My favorite form of this is to jump on a treadmill, crank the incline up to a grade of 15 and a speed of 3.0 and keep your heart rate between 50-60% of your max.

Dynamic Endurance Day - This will hurt. Workout #3 is grueling but it is where you can see the most results. As the great Thomas Paine said, “That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly.” Or in other words, work for it and you’ll love it all the more. This workout will take you back to the good ol’ 2-a-day practices in the August heat. Enjoy!

  • Push-Ups - 3 Sets to failure.
  • Then, 3 sets of:
  • Burpee broad jumps -  40 yards or 15-18 reps
  • Sled pulls - 40 yards
  • Sled pushes - 40 yards
  • Sprint - 40 yards
  • Rest 2:00 in between sets

There you have it! As always, warm up properly, stretch, get plenty of fluids and schedule in plenty of rest and recovery between these sessions.

Now, some words of encouragement from legendary fictional QB Shane Falco “I wish I could say something classy and inspirational, but that just wouldn't be our style. Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever.”

Play like a champion today.


Photo by Nathan Shively on Unsplash

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