Football In-Season Training Program

Football In-Season Training Program

Simply put, this is THE in-season workout program you need.

In-season training is THE most important training phase for a football player. Period.

Of course, if you do nothing all off-season, and you start training hard in-season, you’re not going to become a superstar by season’s end. But, for those who paid their dues in the off-season, and got stronger, faster, and more explosive, in-season training is a must to maintain those gains.

It’s inevitable you’re going to get beat up during the season – shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, and back – so to stay strong and healthy you must continue training in the weight room. But how? Here are some guidelines to follow for in-season football training:

Drop the training schedule to 2 days per week:

  • One day of recovery tempo runs
  • One day of a full body lift

The day you play your game dictates what days you train:

  • For Friday night games – tempos on Saturday/lift on Tuesday
  • For Saturday games – tempos on Sunday/lift on Tuesday or Wednesday

Training takes a backseat to football during the season:

  • Practice and games are the main priority during the season. The training in the weight room is supplemental to practice during the season. You cannot hinder your ability to practice by killing them in the weight room
  • Do not do any max-effort work during the season
  • Build and maintain strength and work capacity with sub-maximal training
  • Do not beat up your players in the weight room. In-season training is to help players recover and stay strong; not to break them down even more

Use recovery techniques throughout your training:

  • Emphasize myofascial release/self massaging (foam rolling, lacrosse ball, the stick, etc.)
  • Perform a minimum of 10 minutes of mobility exercises
  • Finish with a minimum of 10 minutes of static stretching

Here’s the template for in-season training to help you stay as strong, and as explosive, as possible throughout your season:

Sunday – Tempo Run

Tempo runs are a great way to support recovery after a game, while helping you maintain work capacity and improve cardiovascular efficiency. These tempo runs consist of 50 yard runs with bodyweight exercises interspersed as active recovery. Run, roughly 75% of max speed, for 50 yards. At 50 yards, perform a bodyweight exercise for an active recovery. When you finish the bodyweight exercise, run (75%) back 50 yards and perform another bodyweight exercise. This will continue for 6-10 reps.

An example is as follows:

  1. 50 yard run
  2. 10 prisoner squats
  3. 50 yard run
  4. 10 push ups
  5. 50 yard run
  6. 10 prisoner squats
  7. 50 yard run
  8. 10 push ups
  9. 50 yard run
  10. 10 prisoner squats
  11. 50 yard run
  12. 10 push ups

How many runs should you include per session? Three week waves like those shown below work best:

Week 1/2/3 – 6 runs
Week 4/5/6 – 8 runs
Week 7/8/9 – 10 runs
Week 10… (Playoffs) – 6 runs

Adjust the volume and distance of the runs to fit your level. If 6 50 yard runs at 75% is going to wear you down, don’t do it! Shorten the distance or decrease the amount. Remember, your training cannot take away from your ability to practice at 100%.

Tuesday or Wednesday – Weight Room

Workout A (Lower Body Emphasis)

Complete Warm up + Mobility/SMR
1a. Med Chest Throws for distance – 2x5
2a. Safety Squat Bar Squat – 3x5
2b. TRX Facepulls – 3x12
3a. Kettlebell Swings – 3x8
3b. Sled Drag - 3x15 yards
4a. Hanging Knee Raises – 3x10
***If you do not have a Safety Squat Bar, you can substitute with front squat.

Workout B (Upper Body Emphasis)

Complete Warm Up + Mobility/SMR
1a. Med Ball Scoop Throws for height – 2x5
2a. Floor Press – 3x5
2b. Band Pull-Aparts – 3x15
3a. Blast Push Ups – 3x 12-15
3b. Inverted Row – 3x15
4a. Anti-Rotation Pallof Hold – 2x20 sec each side (R/L)

You can rotate Workout A and Workout B each week (only performing one of them each week). Including the warm up and SMR, the entire workout should be done in less than 45 minutes.

Follow the guidelines from above to properly use in-season training for maintaining strength and speed levels. It’s imperative that in-season training not detract from your skill work and practice. As always, if you have any questions regarding in-season football training for, please contact me at flahivetraining@gmail.com

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About the Author

Connor Flahive is the owner and head sports performance coach at Flahive's Advanced Strength Training (F.A.S.T.) in Park Ridge, Ill. He is a certified high school strength and conditioning specialist through the IYCA. He played football at the D-I level while earning his bachelor's degree in exercise science at Northern Illinois University. Visit his website at flahivetraining.com and check F.A.S.T. on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FlahiveFanPage