If you want to get the most out of your off season weight training for football, you might want to know the few tips I’m sharing today.

Related: The Truth about In Season Football Training

Steelers’ defensive tackle Casey Hampton is said to regularly bench 600 lbs and squat over 800 lbs. (ICON)


It’s officially the off season for a lot of players, so I thought I’d do a little research on some keys to getting the most out your off season training.

Let’s go.


Consider Focusing on Auxiliary Work First

This philosophy might differ from whatever your specific trainer believes in (if you have one).

But most of the trainers I’ve spoken to like to have their players focus on auxiliary lifts after the season is over.

Why? So that players can start to get back the muscle mass they lost during the season.

Related: What Every Serious Football Player Should Know About Protein – Part One


You see, core exercises (like deadlifts, bench press, etc.) tend to focus on multiple muscle groups, and aren’t really good at building muscle size.

“Auxiliary” lifts, like biceps curls, are much better at building muscle, because of the amount of focus that’s put on that one muscle group.

Related: Core Training for Football – Why Core Training is a MUST for NFL Hopefuls – Part One


If you’re following a periodization model for your off season training, it’s probably going to end right before next season with the Power phase.

So logically, it makes sense to start the next off season training cycle beginning with improving your muscle size, because you’re going to convert that muscle into strength and power in the later phases of the cycle.


How You Train for Speed Should Change Right Before the Season


Again, your trainer may disagree with this philosophy, but most of the trainers I know really ramp up the speed work towards the end of the periodization model, right before training camp starts (unless a short “peaking” phase is added to the tail end of the cycle, right-right before training camp).

Related: Strength Training – How to Recover Faster From Workouts – Part 1


This is because the Power phase is where the muscle size and strength you’ve gained up to that point is converted into sport-specific power.

Now I’m not saying that you don’t want to do any speed work during the earlier parts of your off season training.

What I’m saying, is that during the Power phase, you’ll want to focus on training your central nervous system to rapidly recruit the fast twitch muscles, and to train your muscles to contract faster.

Related: How to Get a Faster 40 Time – Part One


Who trains you or your athletes?

Do you train yourself, or do you have a strength coach showing you the ropes? I wanna know, leave a comment.

Follow me on Twitter. @alvingrier

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Web References:
How to Choose Auxiliary Lifts (via ehow.com)
The Poliquin Approach to In-Season Training (via charlespoliquin.com)
The 12-Month Football Training Program (via sport-fitness-advisor.com)
Muscular Hypertrophy (via endlesshumanpotential.com)
Designing Training Routines Using Periodisation (via muscleandstrength.com)
Defining Periodization (via ideafit.com)
Periodization Part 2: The Phases Explained (via verticaljumping.com) 

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