Monday, May 2, 2011

Got A Football Player Kid?

The points below are my favorites of the 17 from the link below.  This is all stuff I wish I'd known, although I'm certain it would not have helped with my strategy from way back then - which was, confusing the other team with my lack of strength and speed.  This won't work as well as CrossFit Football, but it will be far, far ahead of most football trainees.

One beef - don't let kids bench press, except with dumb bells.  Once per month on average, someone kills themselves bench pressing.  Do a quick YouTube search and you can see how fast it happens and how pointless spotters can be.  A barbell across the throat is not reversible, and a heavy bar dropped onto the rib cage or face is only slightly better.  Substitute floor presses, overhead presses, dips, weighted dips, ring dips, and pushups.  If your kids must bench, make SURE he/she is taught to keep the thumbs wrapped around the bar from direction opposite the fingers - God gave you opposable thumbs to keep you from dropping barbells on yourself.

4. You need to improve athleticism, not just your bench.
The bench is great. So is the squat, the deadlift, and the clean, But remember, we are after not only big lifts but big hits, big runs, and big plays. We need to get stronger. Always. You also need to make sure your strength increases are coupled with increases in your “athleticism” for lack of a better term. If you focus only on the bench, you aren’t going to improve a whole lot on the football field. You need to work those lifts hard and get stronger while also using movements that will make you a better athlete.
Things like:
  • Medicine ball chops, side-to-sides, over/unders
  • Prowler, sled, and blocking sled work
  • Position-specific, football-oriented agility work
  • Stretching, both passive and dynamic
  • Football skill and footwork
  • Jump ropes
  • Beginner’s plyometrics
These are the types of things you will do to improve as a football player while getting your strength and weight up. It may seem like a lot of work, but if you’re smart about it, it isn’t that complicated.
Start every session off with some football agility work, dynamic stretching, and jump rope. End your session with abdominal work, medicine balls, and some more jump rope.

6. Go fast and then heavy.
This one is so simple. Most of you are fascinated with plyometrics. You want to know when, how many, and what to do. Well the answer is simple—jump before you lift heavy. This doesn’t have to be complicated. If you aren’t ready for box jumps or don’t have plyo boxes, do standing long jumps, vertical jumps, side straddle hops, or one leg long jump. Do 5–10 jumps before you move into your heavy bench, squat, or deadlift.
Also, for those who want to dabble in the Olympic lifts, doing power cleans, clean pulls, snatch pulls, or hang snatches at the start of your heavy, lower body day is a great idea. For example, if you have some heavy deadlifts planned for today, start off by doing power cleans. This serves as a great way to warm up for the heavier pulls and it “wakes up” your central nervous system (basically it tells your brain it’s time to get to work).
7. Pump up the volume.
If you need to get bigger, you need to add some reps and eat right. The easiest way to do this is to combine heavy, low rep sets on your big main exercises like squats, box front squats, or incline followed by higher rep sets on your assistance exercises:
  • Rows
  • Chin-ups
  • One arm row
  • Dumbbell bench
  • Curls
  • Dumbbell overhead press
  • Straight leg deadlifts

On these movements, shoot for at least 24 total reps. You can do 2 X 12, 3 X 8, 6 X 4, 4 X 6, or 5 X 5 (yes it’s 25). The point is to try to hit 24 as your guide point. You can do more, but if you stick to the rule of 24, you’ll be golden.
8. If you need to get bigger, time your sets.
This one is for you skinny guys who eat like you just got out of jail but just can’t seem to gain muscle. First, keep eating and eat more. Add liquid calories as much as possible. A tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil added to your protein shake is an extra 135 calories. Do that twice a day and add extra oils to your regular food and you’re well on your way.
Next, get to work on your assistance exercises, but instead of simply shooting for 24, set the timer and go all out. You can do this two ways. You can either time the actual set (i.e. set the timer for two minutes and do dumbbell inclines the entire time) or you can do two exercises like rows and dumbbell bench and set the timer for 15 minutes. Then try to get the maximum number of reps on both exercises in 15 minutes. In the next session, beat your total. Both methods will put muscle on even the hardest of hard gainers.
On the timed sets, pick a time—usually 90 seconds to two minutes—and do the exercise, resting the dumbbells only as needed. So if you’re doing dumbbell presses, you might do eight reps, rest for a few seconds (with the dumbbells on your shoulders), do another six reps, rest, do six reps, rest, and then 4, 3, 3, 2, 1, and 1 until the timer goes off. Again, beat this number next week.

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