Football In-Season Training

Strength training in season is important for athletes to maintain their muscle mass, mitigate and reduce the risk of injury, and improve their performance. When athletes don’t strength train during the season, they can lose muscle mass, which can lead to decreased performance. In addition, strength training can help mitigate and reduce the risk of injury by increasing the strength of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This can help athletes avoid common injuries like sprains, strains, and tears. Strength training can also improve performance by increasing strength, speed, and power. Although strength training is not the main priority during the season, I have some thoughts on training in season that may help some teams in their approach.

Planning around the game

The football game is the highest intensity of the week, so we MUST plan around the game. Is it a Friday or Saturday game? Let’s say it is Friday. What are we going to in order to recover from that day. Many teams have treatment the next day or on Sunday. I recommend athletes take full advantage of that day. Mobility circuits, upper body lift, tempo runs, and sled training are some recovery tools that we can pick from. Now the other question, we must address how much of the game did the player play on Friday night?

Starter vs. Non-Starter

This can get complex; however, those non-starters can make some serious in season progress in speed and strength. And by the end of the season, some of those non-starters may be needed to play on special teams, offense, and defense. So their training day after a game may include an upper body lift with a higher intensity compared to the starter. What if a starter is feeling extremely sore? It all depends; but starting them off with a mobility circuit followed by an upper and lower body sled training that takes 5-10 minutes may be the answer for that individual. Also, it can be an upper body lift focusing on getting a good pump with some tempo runs. Autoregulating their training based on the athlete’s feedback is important when you are deciding your approach.

Performance Based Warm Up on the Field

At the end of your warm ups, you can prioritize speed. The skilled guys you can do a 2-4 10 yard sprints and then finish up 10 yard build up into 10 yard fly. The big guys you can do 10 yard sled sprints. This portion of the warm up should be done with full recovery. No need to rush! You can achieve this in about 15 minutes if you plan it right.

Strength Training

If your game is Friday, then I would perform a full body lift on Tuesday. If it is Saturday, perform it on Wednesday. You want to stick with exercises that athlete’s are familiar with. Remember, you may need to  autoregulate an athlete’s training. You want them ready for their game!


Here’s a sample day:

1A. Kneeling Med Ball Chest Pass 3×3 (Upper Explosive)

1B. Box Jump 3×3 (Lower Explosive)

2A. Concentric Only TB DL 3×3 @65% 1RM (Pick weight up and drop it) (hinge)

2B. Sled Push 3×10-20 yards (Knee Dominant)

3A. BB BP 3×5 @65% IRM (Push)

3B. Band Pull Aparts 3×10 (Pull)