Your Workouts Reviewed: Training For Football
Our experts review and critique a strength routine developed by an aspiring collegiate football player.
MF Editors Recommend
Everyone's got a workout of their own—their "go-to" routine. But is your routine good enough? We asked our Men's Fitness Facebook friends if they had a killer routine to share and subject to the scrutiny of our readers. The big catch? Our team of training experts also review it, critique it and tweak it if necessary.
Josh Mines: Men's Fitness Facebook Friend
GOAL: "This is a football/athlete workout that I developed. I’m currently using this routine as I work towards my goal of being a walk-on football player at the University of Utah. I'd love to get some feedback!"
|4 set x 5 reps||4 sets x 5 reps||3 sets x 8 reps||3 sets x 8 reps||3 sets x 8 reps|
|Bench Press||Hang Cleans||Bench Press||Snatches||Incline Press|
|Box Squats||Weighted Pull Ups||Box Squats||Weighted Chin Ups||Front Squats|
|Push Press||Romanian Deadlifts||T-Bar Row||Romanian Deadlifts||Sleeve Press|
|Barbell Hip Raise||Barbell Step Ups||Barbell Hip Raise||Standing Shoulder Press||One-arm Cable Row|
|T-Bar Row||Weighted Dips||Upright Row||Barbell Step Ups||Weighted Squat Jumps|
|Leg Press||Extended Plank x2 (30s on, 30s off)||Overhead Shrug||Weighted Dips||Curls|
|Swiss Ball Jackknife x2 (30s on, 30s off)||Leg Press||Bulgarian Split Squats||Shrugs|
|Side Planks x2 (30s on, 30s off)||Reverse Curl||Decline Press||Calve Raises|
|Neck Holds x2 (30s on, 30s off)||Extended Plank x2 (30s on, 30s off)||Extended Plank x2 (30s on, 30s off)|
|Swiss Ball Jackknife x2 (30s on, 30s off)||Swiss Ball Jackknife x2 (30s on, 30s off)|
|Side Planks x2 (30s on, 30s off)||Side Planks x2 (30s on, 30s off)|
|Neck Holds x2 (30s on, 30s off)|
Note: Switch to 5 sets x 3 reps or 3 sets x 6 reps when needed.
Pros: "You have some great exercise selection for your goals of becoming a walk-on football player. Snatches, cleans, front squats, box squats, push presses, etc. will all have great power and strength carry-over. You have a modified undulating periodization model going here (meaning you are using the same lifts in different set/rep ranges during the week) which is a nice way to develop multiple strength qualities (in this case maximal strength and hypertrophy) at once while avoiding plateaus. Plus I like that you’ve included dedicated neck work as that is critical for football players and combat athletes."
Cons: "You’re suffering from a lack of training organization and an overload on volume. Exercises seem to be arranged in a somewhat haphazard fashion (bench press before push press?). Plus I’m not sure how you can keep the intensity needed for 4x5 through 6 exercises. The snatch is way to demanding of an exercise for an 8 rep set. Finally, to become a high level athlete, you need a more developed periodization model that will help you progress."
Comments: "As you near the season, I would cut down on the number of exercises and total volume and focus on getting as strong as possible in the big lifts. Think 6x2 on the explosive lifts (snatch, clean) and 5x3 on the big strength moves (squats, deadlifts, presses). Cut down on the training volume and utilize your time developing more sport-specific skill work (sprinting, footwork, agility, etc.). Save the mass building 8-10 rep sets for the off-season to put on size. In a nutshell, now is the time to maximize strength in the weight room and skills out on the field. Good luck with the try-outs!"