3 Training Mistakes NJ Football Players Must Avoid
3 Training Mistakes NJ Football Players MUST Avoid
By Coach Andrew Wary
The weight room and football players tend to go hand in hand, like two peas in a pod. Quite often football players can either be guided to or have the wrong ideas about training.
Football players are subject to 3 main training mistakes: bad bulking, performing only stationary exercises, and focusing on only heavy lifting.
Almost every football player, unless they are genetically gifted or overweight, will be told to gain weight at some point of their career. The most common steps after this are a ‘bulking’ diet and/or a hypertrophy lifting program.
If these two things are executed properly they can bring about fantastic results, but the majority of the time they are not. Unless someone with nutritional experience is involved, frequently football players will go on an eating spree to gain size, ignoring the quality of food, leading to poor performance and the gaining of fat or bad weight.
Hypertrophy programming is a must for the increase of size in any athlete, but when not implemented correctly it can lead to an all-show and no-go athlete. By this I mean, you may see a player that looks like Tarzan, but plays like Jane. This is not the only training mistake that must be avoided.
Training programs for football are for the most part contained to running and large compound and stationary lifting such as benching, cleaning or squatting.
This can leave a giant gap for stability and balance. After all, how often during a play is a football player not moving their feet and uninhibited by another player? Exercises where the athlete is moving with weight must be included in order to increase their athleticism.
These exercises can include anything from walking lunges to any kind of loaded carry. Not only do these exercises increase a football players overall stability and athleticism, but they are also great for packing on muscle and even conditioning. The final mistake is a not so obvious one to most people.
Focusing on only heavy lifting, is a huge downfall of a large percentage of football training programs.
Don’t get me wrong heavy lifting is necessary and great for football players, but when it is the sole area of focus it can be detrimental.
Heavy lifting works on absolute strength which is obviously needed in a collision sport such as football, but it does not create as much speed strength. Speed strength can be described as explosiveness or the ability to produce strength in a fast matter.
This is the kind of strength most important to almost all athletes. When speed strength is ignored in training programs, it is absolutely detrimental to the athlete. There are many ways to correctly increase speed strength including: plyometrics, dynamic effort movements, and contrast exercises.
When these type of modalities are included in a football player’s training program, they create obvious and very fast results. These results will be a more explosive and overall more athletic player.
No training program for any athlete will ever be perfect, but the mistakes spelled out above can and should be avoided. These mistakes can be easily overlooked by the untrained eye, but by implementing correct nutritional guidelines and well-rounded exercise selection/programming it is possible to make these blunders a thing of the past.