I have visited my old stomping grounds, Madison, Wisconsin, a lot over the past 20 years. Having some great friends on the Badgers staff and some still living in town is always a great reason to visit.

This past summer, I had the honor of coaching an old friend, Paul, at a powerlifting meet in Madison. After weigh-ins, Paul and I had some time and wanted to check out the weight room and meet the new Strength and Conditioning coach for the Badgers Football team. The culture up in Madison has always been amazing, and we both loved what we saw.

We appreciated Coach Brady Collins and some of his staff for taking time out of their crazy schedule to show us around and talk shop with us. Many of you reading this article probably, at some level, have an interest in his job. Coach Brady has the dream job of head Strength and Conditioning for a Power 5 football team in the BIG 10 conference. Most of us do not understand the amount of time and effort put into this position. Here is a very small interview and look through the eyes of one of the biggest names in the industry.

 Q1. Can you walk us through a typical day both in-season and off-season?

In-Season Routine

For me, it does not change all that much between the in-season and the off-season. I am up at 4:00 am, in the truck, on my way to get a hot cup of coffee and get into the office. I like getting in early so I can review any last-minute details before the upcoming events. If we have an early morning workout, I sit down and go through all of my guy's numbers and plan their working sets accordingly. I will continue to do that with all of my athletes in their respective groups. I will get a workout in sometime in the morning or at the end of all the lift groups, depending on the daily schedule.

Right now, during the in-season, our schedule is not as hectic in the mornings as it is during the off-season. We have afternoon practices in the fall, whereas in the spring, we roll in the mornings due to class schedules.

We will have the developmental group train M-W-F at 6 am. Most of them have 7:45/8:00 am classes, so it works out great that we can get those guys up, train them hard, get them breakfast, then off to class with a great start to their day.

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The travel squad will train either Wednesday or Thursday around their schedule. During the season, between classes, meetings, and practices, time is very limited. So, the biggest thing I want is for our guys to be free to train on either day, whatever works best for them mentally and physically. The guys who play in the game (travel squad) will also get a lift on Sunday.

We will practice on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Tuesday is our hardest day of practice, and then it slowly tapers down towards the end of the week. Thursday is our Mental Day, where our guys are not in any pads or helmets, and we emphasize focus, attention to detail, communication, concentration, etc. We will start with some fun on Fridays and then get into what we call “Fast Fridays.” We warm up fast and hit a quick practice, putting the final touches on the week. Then, we are off to the plane or the team hotel to enjoy our Friday night routine before game day on Saturday.

Off-Season Routine

In the off-season, we have more time. Time is the most non-renewable resource. You never get it back. For us, everything we do is about maximizing time and utilizing every second to our advantage so that we never waste a moment.

We are training basically five days a week, M-T, TH-F, with Wednesdays set up as a "Recovery Regeneration" day. It is a way we can give back and take care of our guys after two hard days of training and set them up for success to finish the week off with two more hard training days.

There is constant communication daily with the Head Athletic Trainer and the sports medicine staff, our nutritionist and her team, head coach and position coaches, support services, academics, etc. Anything that touches our program and provides resources for our student-athletes must be the best. And we must be all in alignment toward the goal of maximizing these young men both on and off the field.

No matter the time of year, when the day is done and you have all your duties completed for the day, go home and be with your family!

Q2. Can you break down a yearly plan, such as the Macro Cycle, Meso Cycle, and Micro Cycle?

Each new freshman or newcomer meets with our nutritionist and ATR staff to see if there are any issues or areas for improvement regarding any medications, extra caloric intake programs, nutrient deficiencies, etc.

Each new freshman or newcomer is prescribed a “Maintenance Program” to follow accordingly in the ATR room.

  • “Weak Link” – “Extras”
  • Individualized Program
  • Not just “Extra Hamstring work because you are a WR or DB and you run a lot” - Two to three times per week – More if needed

Durability is more important than ability!


  • Appropriate Rest after conclusion of Bowl Game
  • Six to eight weeks of preparation until Spring Practices
  • Three to four Workouts per Week
  • Upper / Lower Split – Total Body, Speed + Cond., Mat Drills, OTA’s, etc.
  • NCAA allows eight hours per week of Football Related Activities
  • Two hours per week can be with the coaches – without any footballs

The main goal is to build their bodies and their minds to withstand the rigors of big time college football! 

Not to develop weight lifters.

Prepare them to excel at the sport they were brought in to perform!


  • Three Practices Per Week
  • Tuesday – Thursday – Saturday (Scrimmage Day)
  • Two to three Workouts Per Week
  • Monday – Wednesday – Friday
  • Total Body Lift + Upper Body + “Recovery Regeneration”

Time is limited (meetings) so we must plan accordingly and still train hard! But be mindful of what the main goal is…to stay healthy and perform at a high level!


  • Nutrition And Training Room: Evaluated and Enhanced
  • Appropriate Rest after the conclusion of Spring Practices / End of School/semester--all depends on Academic Schedule
  • SWOT Analysis of Team

“FLUSH WORKOUTS” are a must! You can not expect your athletes to return to you in the best shape and ready to rock n’ roll on day one! Get them back into the flow of things before you crank it up! 


  • Four times Lifts / Week + Two Recovery Regeneration Days (W-Sat)
  • General Aerobic Conditioning, Agility, Speed
  • Enhance + maximize Mobility, Stability, and Flexibility – NO excuses



  • Four times Lifts / Week + Two Recovery Regeneration Days (W-Sat)
  • Speed Training + Speed Endurance
  • Continuing to get stronger through all phases of motion
  • Position Specific Speed / Conditioning
  • Position Specific Skill Work

JULY 4th Break – OFF


  • Three times Lifts / Week + Two OTA’s (on the field with coaches)
  • Recovery Regeneration Workouts
  • Extra Position-Specific Exercises



  • Hydration is number one!
  • Rest - Recovery - Fuel!
  • Warm-Up + Pre-Hab
  • Cold Tubs - Contrast 
  • X Two to Three Workouts / Week
  • Understand the demands of your sport: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.
  • You have prepared their minds, hearts, and bodies all summer!


  • 20 Hour Rule
  • MONDAY: Off
  • TUESDAY: High Practice Loads
  • WEDNESDAY: Moderate Practice Loads
  • THURSDAY: Light Practice Loads
  • FRIDAY: Walk / Run-Thru + Substitutions
  • Team Hotel At Night / Travel Early-Late Afternoon
  • SATURDAY: Gameday
  • SUNDAY: “Optional training”
  • Bodyweights are a huge contributor to individual and team success = healthy + strong! 
  • Be mindful of their fluctuations - prime their bodies
  • The team could be divided into three groups:
  • Starters / High Game Reps
  • Low Game Reps / “Travel / Dress”
  • Redshirts / Developmental


Two Lift’s / Week (Sunday + Wednesday/TH)


Two to Three Lift’s / Week (Sunday + Wednesday + Friday Extra)


Three Lift’s / Week (Monday + Wednesday + Friday)

Understand the athletes have classes, practice, tutor sessions, relationship + family issues, and many other stressors/ activities! Make the weight room their sanctuary. Put them in the best situation to succeed on and off the field! The future success of your program starts now! Especially those “redshirt/developmental” guys who are not getting game reps- they are still practicing and getting better at football! Coach and train them so they will be ready to step in!

Sample Workout

I learned a long time ago from one of my mentors, “Anybody can write a workout.” It is never about the exercises and the sets and reps (obviously, what you are doing matters scientifically), but it is always about the intent, the why, and the how you are coaching and training. The true connection between you and your athletes is understanding them, motivating and pushing them, leading them, picking them up when they are down, etc. That is the difference. We rip open our chests and give them our hearts. In return, we also ask that of them because that is where true relationships and development occur! Aka love! That does not just happen. It takes time, trust, respect, and a daily commitment to consistency. When it does happen, look out!

Below is an example of our in-season Sunday lift. The guys who played in the game the day before must check into the training room first; that way, we can be aware of any issues or bumps and bruises to be mindful of or make any modifications if need be. Again, constant communication is key!

We will always start by hydrating and foam rolling, then begin our warm-up with some type of hip mobility and core. Then, we will proceed with a good lower body warm-up, ensuring we are attacking and lathering up the hips, glutes, hamstrings, etc. We will finish with some type of upper body band warm-up, emphasizing the full range of motion in the shoulders and upper back, and then proceed with our workout.

Q3. Can you give those who aspire to move up the ranks to the Division 1 level any suggestions or recommendations?

To anyone who aspires to be a D1 Strength and Conditioning Coach, be ready to work your ass off. It is not easy, nor should it be. Nothing in life is handed to you. You have to work to get what you want. If your heart is fully invested, put in the work, grind, fight, scratch, crawl, and do whatever it takes to put you in the best position to succeed. Find the right mentor and program that will help develop you as a coach. Volunteer, intern, do whatever you can!

All it takes is getting that foot in the door. Once you are in, stay in! It helps to have a background in exercise science, health promotion, kinesiology, etc., but what makes a great coach is not their degrees; it is their ability to build real relationships with their athletes, inspire, motivate, lead, and maximize them to reach their full potential.

Q4. What are some positives and some negatives working in the Strength And Conditioning field?

Personally, there are zero negatives in my passion. Notice I said passion, not work. I love what I do – therefore, I never feel like I am “working.” My heart and mind are fully invested daily to make these young men and this program the best. In turn, I feel that makes our profession better!

Traveling Bio

Coach Brady was born and raised in Delaware County, Ohio (just North of Columbus), where he played football, baseball, and lacrosse and graduated from Olentangy High School. Then he moved on to play and be a Team Captain for the football team at Otterbein University. He graduated from Otterbein University with a Health Promotion and Sport Science Degree and a Minor in Coaching. In 2008, he interned at The Ohio State University, working with all sports. 

Then Brady moved on and interned at the University of Kentucky from the summer of 2009 to the Summer of 2010 and earned a GA spot. In 2011, Brady graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Masters in Kinesiology and Sport Leadership. He paid for his first year as a Grad Student while helping in the football weight room and working at Finish Line at the local mall to help pay the bills. Then Brady was named Assistant in 2012, where he worked for and was mentored by Strength and Conditioning Coaches Ray “Rock” Oliver and Dr. Ted Lambrinides.

Shortly after, he was hired at Mississippi State University in 2013 as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for Football. There he worked for and was mentored by Matt Balis in 2013, and Rick Court in 2014.

In the summer of 2015, he was hired at The Ohio State University as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach. There, he worked for and was mentored by Mickey Marotti and developed a relationship with Coach Luke Fickell.

In 2017, Brady was hired as the Director of Football Sports Performance at the University of Cincinnati, when Luke Fickell accepted the job. Finally, Brady was hired as the Director of Football Strength and Conditioning at the University of Wisconsin in January 2023, when Luke Fickell accepted the job.

Brady’s highlight is when he married his wife Allie in July 2014 (whom he met in college at Otterbein). They have two kids together: Kaylee (seven) and Crew (four).

Squat Fest

Thanks again to Brady for taking time out of his hectic schedule to talk with us and for sharing this awesome information with the up-and-coming Strength And Conditioning coach. If you have not already seen his “SquatFest,” do yourself a favor and check it out! It is an amazing way to come together as a team and SFW! Here is a clip via X (formerly Twitter).

Make sure to follow Brady on all social media platforms.

As a top-ranked super-heavyweight, Chris Janek earned the nickname “Tank.” As a two-time all-state wrestler and an all-state, third-team all-American football player, he received multiple full-ride scholarship offers, choosing to play football for the University of Wisconsin. During his collegiate football career, Janek was a four-year letter winner and a two-year starter. He was part of four Bowl Games (two Rose Bowls, which they won). After college, he furthered his football career with a tryout with the Cleveland Browns and an eight-year career in the now-defunct Arena Football League. He is the owner of Tanks Training Facility in Granite City, Illinois, and has devoted himself to multi-ply powerlifting. In 2010, Janek totaled 2660 to win best lifter at the GPC Worlds (in Prague). In 2014, he won first place and best lifter overall at the XPC Finals with a 2725 total.