Football Summer Training: Tenative 5-Day Template

Through much deliberation I have come to the idea that I want to train our football team 5 days per week as we get ready for camp.  My thought process is:

  1.  We've been off for 3+ months (I know some kids have been doing things, but I have to assume they're totally deconditioned).
  2.  The athletes will think, no matter how much I tell them, that they can make up for lost time.  You can't.
  3.  Getting my hands on them 5 days per week will reduce the chances of them going to the Rec (even though they have been told NEVER go to the Rec) and doing extra, useless nonsense.
  4.  I can do a little bit of everything each day (Conjugate) to increase the athletic performance abilities.
  5.  I can control (within reason) what we're doing under my watchful eye.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I believe the most important thing to address is overall conditioning (general physical fitness).  I just need to get them back into good shape so their bodies can handle pre-season camp.

The next most important thing to address is muscle mass.  If they have had no exposure to the weight room there is a better than average chance that they have lost muscle mass.  At the very least, if they've been doing bodyweight exercises, they may have preserved some.

We know that in order to improve strength, speed, agility and reduce the chance of injury we need to increase muscle mass.  This is Day 1 stuff that everyone should understand.  That's why this is number 2 for me.

If I come into it with muscle mass as number 1, I run the risk of doing too much (based on their lack of overall fitness).  It's easy to pack muscle on young kids.  I have to account for the running that has to be done as an athlete.  This running takes a huge toll on their system.  And, at the end of the day, they have to be able to run all day at practice.

That's my thought process for:

  1.  Overall fitness
  2. Increase muscle mass

Here's what I have come up with (I list sets/reps at the end):

Monday - Hang Clean

  • Speed Work (on field)
  • Main Lift
  • Hang Clean
  • Metabolic Circuit
  • RFESS (BB or DB)
  • Push-ups or DIps
  • DB Row
  • Abs/Lower Back
  • Weighted SIt-ups
  • Back Extension/Supermans

Tuesday - Bench

  • Agility Work (on field)
  • Main Lift
  • Bench
  • Metabolic Circuit
  • Press
  • Pull-ups
  • Rear Delts/Traps
  • Team Abs (housewife exercises)

Wednesday - Squat

  • Run - 400m (1 lap)
  • Main Lift 
  • Squat
  • Metabolic Circuit
  • RDL w/shrug
  • Push-ups/Dips/Pushdowns (choice)
  • BB Curls
  • Abs
  • Rollouts

Thursday - Push Press

  • Speed Work (on field)
  • Main Lift
  • Push Press
  • Metabolic Circuit
  • DB Incline (vary angles)
  • DB Row
  • Rear Delts/Traps
  • Team Abs (housewife exercises)

Friday - Deadlift

  • Agility Work (on field)
  • Main Lift
  • Deadlift
  • Metabolic Circuit
  • Lateral Squat (BB or DB)
  • Push-ups/Dips/Pushdowns (choice)
  • Pull-ups
  • Abs
  • Hanging Leg Raise

∗The Metabolic Circuit will be based on how they look and how their energy levels are.  If they look good, I'll run the plan as it's written.  Any day they come in and just don't look/act right I'll make adjustments.  Because I'll see them everyday, I'm not worried about missing parts of the lift if they look like they need a break.

Main Lift

  • Training Max has been lowered from 90% to 85% to take into account their time off from training.  Exceptions will be made based on their levels of conditioning/fitness.  Everyone will start at 85% TM Week 1, however.
  • 5x3@75% (of TM)
  • Week 1 - 2 minute rest between sets
  • Week 2 - 1m 45s rest between sets
  • Week 3 - 90 second rest between sets
  • Week 4 - Strength Check to find more accurate Training Maxes
  • The idea is to keep the volume constant for 3 weeks and decrease rest periods - same amount of work in less time (increase in fitness)

Metabolic Circuit

  • Sets done "every minute on the minute"
  • Week 1 - 3 Rounds (3 sets of 10 reps)
  • Week 2 - 4 Rounds (4 sets of 10 reps)
  • Week 3 - 5 Rounds (5 sets of 10 reps)
  • Week 4 - 3-5 Rounds (after Strength Check/Week before camp starts)
  • RFESS/RDL/Lateral Squat - I'll give them a 5-10 rep range to choose as long as they look good and move well on the field.  If their legs start to look heavy I'll drop to 5 reps on RDL and 3 reps on single-leg stuff.
  • This will build muscle and address overall fitness levels
  • Here we will increase the overall workload each week.

Based on what I know from past workouts, these should be done in 30-40 minutes.  This is dependent on how quickly we get through warm-ups and how well they move from the Main Lift to setting up the Circuits.

Speed Work (Monday and Thursday)

I'm listing it as Speed Work, but Week 1 will definitely not be Speed Work.  It will be general conditioning, probably 50's done every minute on the minute.

Week 2 will be dependent on how they look/feel.  I'll probably add Starts (2-pt and Position Starts).  I'll make a judgement call on whether we move to 50's or possibly introduce Build-ups (Build up to top speed at 40 yards, hit top speed for a step or 2 and then decelerate over 20 yards).

I'm hoping by Week 3 I can have Monday and Thursday as true Speed days.  We shall see.

Agility Work (Tuesday and Friday)

I will start Agility Work immediately.  I'll adjust my "rules" for the drills I do.  I call Agility Work "The Perfection Drill".  The idea is to do 2 reps in each direction (4 total) of a drill.  As long as there are no mistakes on each rep (by the entire team) we can move on to the next rep.  Once they complete 4 "perfect reps" we move on to the next drill, etc...

4 drills + 4 reps per drill = 16 total reps.  In theory, they only have 16 reps (if they are perfect).  It happens more often than you might think.  Last summer we went 3 weeks (6 Agility sessions) without a mistake (that I saw).  Yes, I keep track of this stuff so I can show them how good they can be if they put their minds to it.

Because of the shutdown, I'll probably just have them do 4 reps per drill for at least 2 weeks.  By Week 3 I may reinstate the "perfect" rule.  Again, all by feel.

Wednesday - Potpourri 

On paper I have them running a lap (400m) before we start our Dynamic Warm-up.  I'm leaning towards having 4-5 options and letting them choose.

"Extra" 

I can't stand the idea of extra work.  All that tells me is that you could have worked harder during the sessions we have scheduled.

There's some weird fantasy in this country where people think "extra" is the key.  Just do more and you'll get better.  I couldn't disagree more.  Just do what is planned with militant, laser-like focus, as hard as possible and then EAT, SLEEP and RECOVER.  If you do extra you lengthen the recovery process.

I almost went off on a tangent.  Point is, do the work that is prescribed.  Do it very well and that's all you need to do.  This is also a great lesson for non-athletes.  Don't do shit to do it because you think it'll make you better.  Only do what is necessary and do it extremely well.

Well, as of today, this is the plan.  Some minor adjustments will be made before we actually start, but this is the base plan of how I'll get the team ready to go.

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