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Weight Training For Football

By Mike Jesowshek

Developing a football training program is key to increase strength, power, flexibility, agility, speed, and to reduce injuries. Ihere are many things that need to part of a football program to make it successful. These things include short term goals, long term goals, technique, realistic periodization scheme, and commitment/dedication.

I will start with short term and long term goals. It is very important you set these goals in the beginning of your program, so that you know what you are aiming to get out of it. Short term goals should be tested every 4 to 6 weeks. Short term goals consist of many tests that show results of improvement. Tests could include long jump, medicine ball toss, pull ups, and other bodyweight exercises. These tests should be fun and easy. Many short term goals lead to long term goals. Long term goals could include one rep max on major lifts. When doing this it is very important that the technique is done correctly, to prevent injury. Long term goal tests should be done every 10 to 12 weeks and should be motivation for you too keep going until the season starts.

Technique is very important in any kind of weight lifting. If using improper technique that could lead to serious injuries and not help at all. To get the most potential out of each lift, you must have proper lifting technique. Keeping the lifts simple and easy to learn at first will allow athletes to advance to more complex lifts quickly. Many players canít even squat there own weight properly or perform 30 pushups properly. Coaches are still pushing there athletes to use more weight. The technique must be taught first and then weight should be added. Before even starting a football workout program, the coach should go through the proper techniques to every lift, even the most simple lifts. If athletes can understand the proper techniques to lifts, it will be easier for them to also understand things out on the field.

When lifting, it is important to perform the proper lifts with the right amount of sets and reps. The weight training program should include a lot of intensive work. Every 4 to 6 weeks there should be a change in the program to avoid hitting a plateau. The weight load should be progressive and challenging, but at the same time should not force the athlete to change his technique. You must balance the lifts. You donít want to have all of your players benching over 300 lbs. and not even able to squat 200 lbs. You want to make sure that you work your leg muscles just as much as your arms muscles. Flexibility and joint mobility should be a big part of the program, so it will help the athletes perform the exercise more efficient and to help reduce muscle soreness and injuries. If the exercise is really hard to learn, then donít do it!

You can teach your athletes what to do and how to do it, but in the end the success depends on the athlete. If there is no commitment or dedication the athlete will not succeed. Hard work is required with every athlete no matter what kind of genetics they have. Working out shouldnít be easy, it should be hard and require sweat, tears, and pain. To develop into a complete athlete could take many years and it is important to contain that commitment and dedication throughout all of those years.

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