Football season is around the corner and it’s time to get “in the mood” for the pigskin. Though most folks around here want to get big, we can’t ignore the fun alternatives to cardio.
I know that getting into “football shape” is far different than bodybuilding, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take our favorite sport and make it into a workout. Some of these exercises may already be in your repertoire, but they’re worth a look.
If you want to take some of these exercises and modify them to your tastes or needs–go ahead! We want you to reach your goals and have fun at the same time. Sometimes you can run to the gym and slam weights all day and sometimes you need a light-hearted breather.
Consider football your breather. An escape. Start working out as if “toe meets leather” on Sunday and you’ve got to be there!
Strength For Football Players
Football players need a little speed and some “explosive power” off the line. However, they achieve those things partially through weightlifting.
This routine is supposed to be done on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but you can increase the frequency if you like puking. Also, you can increase the reps if you can handle it.
Though some football players are big, they aren’t as big as you want to be. So, use their tips and tools to build large muscle groups. You’ll get bigger and feel better. “Explosive power” in real life translates to more energy and feeling better about yourself.
Don’t forget to use a weight you can handle.
Football Strength Routine
Squats–4 sets. 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, and 8 reps.
Upright Row–3 sets of 8 reps.
Pull Up With Wide Grip–Do this exercise until you max out. Because the grip is wide you may find it more challenging than lifting.
Incline Bench Press–4 sets. 12 reps. 10 reps. 10 reps. 8 reps. Find a bench that is inclined up towards the weight. Perform the press as normal.
Close-Grip Bench Press–3 sets. 6-8 reps each. Be sure that you are using comfortable weights and that you find a spotter. With your hands close together the weight becomes harder to manage.
Military Press–3 sets. 8 reps each.
Standing Barbell Curl–3 sets. 8 reps. 6 reps. 6 reps. This not your chance to go “meathead” on us. A controlled barbell curl stretches the muscle and provides better definition than going “kamimaze” on the weights.
Decline Dumbell Sits–3 set. Do this exercise until you max out. Lay down on an incline bench with your head pointing towards the floor. Hold a comfortable barbell in each hand. Perform a sit-up while pushing your right arm across your body. Alternate sides until you max out.
Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Exercise
Some folks would contend that football is an anaerobic sport. However, Receivers who run “Post routes” and Running Backs who are breaking for an 80-yard TD run are clearly getting an aerobic workout.
Linemen who grapple at the line–they are getting an anaerobic workout. In fact, many people argue that there is no need to have an “aerobic base” to bodybuild on.
Those who do not believe in an “aerobic base” would suggest that you do multiple “short bursts” anaerobic activities with equally short rest periods. This would be similar to a “Strongman Workout”.
Try some of these exercises to get the “Strongman” feel and avoid cardio–if that’s your goal.
Africa Stone(Sandbag)–Bear hug a sandbag and carry it a predetermined distance–20-30 yards. Drop the sandbag, rest, and repeat.
Sledgehammer Swing–Swing the sledgehammer over your head and slam it onto a flat surface as if you’re driving a stake. Only take a break long enough to swing the sledge back over your head. Keep working until you max out.
You could do general exercises as well.
Jumping Jacks–Do fast bursts of jumping jacks until you max out. Take a breather and repeat.
Side-Shuffles–Shuffle as and as fast as you can to the left. As soon as you run out of room go back to the right. Continue until you max out. Take a short breather and repeat.
Backpedaling–Backpedal as fast as you can until you run out of room. Take a short breather, turn around, and repeat.
Dehydration is a serious business in football training. With athletes dying every summer during workouts it’s no wonder that keeping hydrated has become almost a national concern.
It’s smart to take advice from football coaches when it comes to hydration. Most bodybuilders work out inside. Air-conditioned gyms give many people a false sense of security.
Even when it isn’t hot–or doesn’t seem hot–your body is still becoming more dehydrated by the second.
As you work out the volume of blood in your body increases–because your heart is pumping more. Over time this decreases the amount you sweat. So, your internal body temperature rises.
Something has to replace the fluids that are leaving your body, and something has to keep your body cool enough to function properly. Killing yourself in the gym will only prevent your workouts from being effective.
“Football people” recommend replacing fluid and electrolytes with sports drinks. However, they say that you need a certain volume of fluids in relation to your overall workout time.
Prior to your workout you should consume 450-600 ml (15-20 oz) of fluids to have your body ready to workout. This way you are not fading early in your workout.
Every 15 minutes during a “football workout” you will need to consume 200-300 ml (7-10 oz) of fluids. Since this is for an “outdoor workout” you may be able to reduce your “indoor fluid consumption” but you still need to get fluids every 15 minutes.
Remember, even if it doesn’t seem hot or you don’t feel “bad” your body needs fluids to keep your workouts effective.
When your workout is complete you want to replace all the fluid you lost so that your muscles can recover from the workout. 720 ml (24 oz) or more of fluids will help your body recover and prevent dehydration.
The worst thing in the world is getting to the end of this workout and “falling out” because you weren’t properly hydrated.
Take the football workout as a challenge, and get ready for football season. “Getting big” just got a little more fun!