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  1. #1
    jdh's Avatar
    jdh
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    Help Adding Power Lifting For Football

    right now im currently bulking using more of a bodybuilder routine to add size and strength. starting next month i want to start more of a power routine to add strenght and speed heading into football season in mid april. ive done some power lifting training in the past but nothing real serious as it was mixed in with more of the bodybuilder type training.my main thing here is speed but i want the strength as well. i was wondering if someone could help point me in the right direction as far as a program or a good site or article to incorporate and lead me up to the beginning of the season. what about a westside training type program more geared for the athlete? i want to increase my speed as much as possible in this time frame. thanks in advance.

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    strength x speed = power. this rouitne is good for both and is easy to follow and is relatively short and sweet.

    The training program presented here has been used by some of the strongest German powerlifters including IPF Junior World Champions Ralf Gierz and Michael Bruegger. Gierz totaled close to 2200 lbs. at superheavyweight and Bruegger was the first German powerlifter to break the 2200 lb. barrier at a bodyweight of 26O lbs. Bruegger was also the first German to bench over 600 lbs. in an IPF competition (paused and no bench shirt). The basic concepts of this program have been used by almost every Olympic lifter, including many world champions over the last 40 years.
    The 3x3 system is an eight week training cycle that consists of two phases. Phase I is a high volume phase, while Phase II is the competition phase. It shares some similarities with the Louie Simmons style of training program. The similarities include no off-season, training percentages in the 58-64 percent range and the main focus of the 3x3 is its high volume phase. Another similarity is very few of the 3x3 training lifts are in the percentage range of 80-95 percent.
    The one thing making the 3x3 unique when compared to Simmons and other current powerlifting training is that the only training exercises used are the competition lifts. There is no assistance work! Why is that? The answer is very simple. In order to get strong in the squat you need to train the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and the lower back. In other programs there are different ways in which to train all these muscles. You can perform a variety of assistance exercises or you can combine the squat with these same assistance exercises. The other option is to train the squat and only the squat. We already know this exercise works all the muscles mentioned above. The major advantage of this option is the squat works the muscles exactly the way they are needed for the competition.
    As I mentioned earlier this type of training approach has been used for decades by the Eastern Bloc and Western European Olympic lifters and it works. During the last 10 years I have had the opportunity to talk to and train with many Olympic lifters. In 1992 1 was stationed at the Olympic Training Center while doing my assignment with the German Army. I observed that their training consists of only the competition lifts, the snatch and clean and jerk. Some of you might say that Olympic lifters do a variety of pulls including pulls from a block, high pulls from the hang position, etc. If you take a closer look at these exercises you will see that they are biomechanically identical to a certain portion of the competition lifts. The only difference is that they are not performed through the full range of motion of the competition lift. This will definitely overload the muscles. This is a technique that is very effective if you do it right. Unfortunately I see many powerlifters doing it wrong. They do hack squats, leg presses and leg extensions - exercises that have no bio-mechanical relationship to the competition lift. Leg pressing a 1000 lbs. does not mean that you can squat that weight. Do you see the difference? These exercises do have their place in a training program, but only to rehabilitate from injuries or to create variety once in a while, but not in a serious training cycle.
    The 3x3 system works so well because your muscles will be stimulated much more than with other routines. Letís take the squat again to explain this fact. For example, if your squat maximum is 700 pounds and your training schedule calls for 5 sets of 5 reps once a week you will achieve a fairly high volume com-pared to other training programs. When 75% of 700 pounds (525 pounds) is done for 25 reps (5 x 5) you end up with a total squat tonnage of 13125 pounds per week. This tonnage is determined by the work sets only and not the warm up sets (this is the standard approach in the 3x3 program). Now take a look at the total squat tonnage of the 3x3 system. In week four you use 64% of 700 lbs. which is 448 pounds for a maximum of 40 reps (8 sets of 5 reps). The total tonnage of only one workout is 17920 pounds. You repeat this workout twice and you end up with a total squat tonnage of 35840 pounds per week. That is over two and a half times the volume of the other program. The 3x3 system creates a workload stimulus that forces the muscles to work much harder and therefore to grow faster and get stronger.
    Preparations: Before you start with the 3x3 system you need to find your current maximum in each of the three lifts. There are many ways to find this out and itís up to you which one you choose. You can use your last competition lifts if the competition was recent (within the last 4 weeks). You can also go for a maximum single in the gym (important: use all the equipment you usually wear in competition). If you estimate your max based on reps you can use a variety of equations. A simple one is the Epley equation. In the Epley, you multiply the reps achieved by .033 and multiply the product of this times the weight used. Add the resulting product to the weight used and you have your max. Remember it does not make sense to choose weights that you cannot handle.
    Once you have found your current maximum you can calcu-late your training weights for the next eight weeks. I will give you a more detailed explanation of this in future articles. However, before your start the program you will be asked to increase your current maximum in the squat by 25 lbs., the bench press by 10 lbs. and the deadlift by 15 lbs. This will be your new projected maximum and it will be this number that you will base your training. The training weights will be 58-64 percent of this projected maximum in phase I and 60-95 percent in phase II.
    Phase I- Weeks 1-4 - High Volume Phase: By doing a lot of sets and reps you will reach a high volume during phase I. This set and rep scheme builds muscle mass, strength and helps to improve your coordination and technique on each of the competition lifts.


    Summary: Phase I Day l
    squat: 5-8x5
    bench: 6-8x6
    deadlift: 5-8x5 Day 2
    squat: 5-8x5
    bench: 6-8x6
    deadlift: 5-8x5 Day 3
    squat: 5-8x5
    bench: 6-8x6
    deadlift: 5-8x5

    The total number of workouts in phase I is 12. This is three workouts per week. Make sure to rest one day between the workouts and rest two days after the completion of one training week. I used to work out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. With this approach I had two days off on the weekend which really helped me to recuperate.

    You will squat, bench and deadlift in every workout. Yes - you squat, bench and deadlift three times a week. Thatís too much? How do you know? Have you ever tried it? You will not be doing any assistance work, which means that you have all your energy available for the three competition lifts. By the way, Iíve worked with Olympic lifters and they train the squat six times a week. They break it down to four front squat sessions and two back squat sessions. In these workouts they used some heavy poundages. If these lifters were overtrained it is of no consequence because they won a bronze and a silver medal in the superheavyweight category at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.
    The sets and reps are the same in every workout. Five to eight sets of five reps for the squat and deadlift and six to eight sets of six reps for the bench press.

    You work with four different percentages during phase I, but you stay with one percentage for each training week. This means you will use a particular weight for each exercise and work with it for three workouts or one training week. The next week of training will have you using a higher percentage and therefore a higher weight. That way you increase the weights every week. Make sure to use no equipment, except a power-lifting belt.
    Phase II - Week 5-8 - Competition Phase: During phase II you will reduce the volume dramatically and increase the intensity week by week. This helps you to adapt to the heavier weights. You will use powerlifting equipment (suit, belt, wraps, and bench shirt) for every heavy lift (1-2 reps). The intention of phase II is to build power, maximum strength and improve your technique with heavy weight.
    As in phase I, the total number of workouts in phase Ills 12. There are also three workouts per week. Make sure to get plenty of rest between the workouts. You will still squat, bench and deadlift in every workout. The sets and reps in the daily workouts will vary. Each exercise is divided in two parts:

    Technique and power training. You will be performing three sets of three reps for the squat and deadlift and five sets of four reps for the bench press. The training weight is 60 percent of your projected maximum and it and it will be con-stant for the next four weeks.
    Maximum strength training. You will use 80-95 percent of your calculated maximum for one to two sets of one rep for each exercise. Train maximum strength on only one exercise per day. I used to max out as follows: deadlift on Monday (day 1), bench press on Wednesday (day 2) and squat on Friday (day 3).
    Summary: Phase II Day l
    squat: 3x3
    bench: 5x4
    deadlift: 1-2x1 Day 2
    squat: 3x3
    bench: 1-2x1
    deadlift: 3x3 Day 3
    squat: 1-2x1
    bench: 5x4
    deadlift: 3x3


    While the percentages for the technique training will be constant, the percentages for the maximum strength training will be increased weekly by five percent.

  3. #3
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    I think the most important question is "What position do you play?" What is your size? Also lifting like a BB is totally worthless for playing football. Bodybuilder's lift to look good, athlete's lift for functional movements in their respective sports. The two don't go hand in hand.

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    actually the reason im lifting like a bodybuilder right now is to put on size and add some strength. i know the purpose of lifting like a body builder is to look good which is not something that is needed for football since ive been playing for over 10 years. the reason im trying to get some info now is because all the coaches ive had really only half assed the powerlifting aspects of off season training. it is based on a program i found a while back that had 4 phases. 1st phase being a recover from season phase, second one is a bodybuilder type phase to put on muscle. the 3rd (which im going to start) is a powerlifting phase for adding strength and speed. the 4th phase is more of a pre camp conditioning phase. id use the 3rd phase from the program i found but it looked pretty shitty. by the way im 6'3'' 240 right now about 15% bf. my intention is to head into the season at around 225-230 with around 10%bf. i want to increase my speed because i intend on competing for a shot at free safety or line backer. my speed isnt terrible right now ( 4.85 40yd dash) but would like it to be closer to 4.7 by april.

  5. #5
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    by the way thanks for that program doc.sust. one question though. alot of the programs ive seen incorporate a speed day in which you move the weight as fast as possible , but this program doesnt. is that necessary to increase ones overall power?

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    It would probably be nice to know which position you are going to play, huh? That would change your weight coming into camp. If you are naturally pretty big, then you are going to have a hard time keeping the weight off to play safety and your best bet is to play linebacker. You would need to get a bit faster to play safety, although, I would suspect strong safety, right? And it does depend on the scheme. Anyways, what I found works the best for me is 3 days per week lifting. (M,W,F) T,TH recovery. I do cleans 2x/wk and snatches 1x/wk. No more than 3 reps per set. Bar speed is everything along with flawless form. Also everyday I do squats and press. But I vary them with back squat, front squat, and single leg. Along with Incline press, and DB incline press. I personnally don't do flat bench. I find it less functional. So that part agrees with the above program. However, I don't do any deadlift except straight leg. Nothing from the floor. Also I don't incorporate anything from the floor with my power lifts. This is preference, for I find that going from the floor is less functional for football unless you are a lineman. It's all personal preference, (trial & error) I try to do everything in the same range of motion that I play in. So think your linebacker stance, DB stance, tackling form. There are studies that have been done that prove that powerlifting does not directly increase athletic performance unless you are doing movements that mock your onfield movements. Make sense? I don't know whether I agree or not because I swear by power lifts as long as you use them wisely and don't get caught up trying to be a powerlifter. I try to move the bar as fast as possible in every lift I do. Hope I can help, let me know what else you are thinking?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by junit37
    It would probably be nice to know which position you are going to play, huh? That would change your weight coming into camp. If you are naturally pretty big, then you are going to have a hard time keeping the weight off to play safety and your best bet is to play linebacker. You would need to get a bit faster to play safety, although, I would suspect strong safety, right? And it does depend on the scheme. Anyways, what I found works the best for me is 3 days per week lifting. (M,W,F) T,TH recovery. I do cleans 2x/wk and snatches 1x/wk. No more than 3 reps per set. Bar speed is everything along with flawless form. Also everyday I do squats and press. But I vary them with back squat, front squat, and single leg. Along with Incline press, and DB incline press. I personnally don't do flat bench. I find it less functional. So that part agrees with the above program. However, I don't do any deadlift except straight leg. Nothing from the floor. Also I don't incorporate anything from the floor with my power lifts. This is preference, for I find that going from the floor is less functional for football unless you are a lineman. It's all personal preference, (trial & error) I try to do everything in the same range of motion that I play in. So think your linebacker stance, DB stance, tackling form. There are studies that have been done that prove that powerlifting does not directly increase athletic performance unless you are doing movements that mock your onfield movements. Make sense? I don't know whether I agree or not because I swear by power lifts as long as you use them wisely and don't get caught up trying to be a powerlifter. I try to move the bar as fast as possible in every lift I do. Hope I can help, let me know what else you are thinking?
    true and false, i see what your saying and i do agree, but alot of football players do use the same methods of powerlifting and have great gains. they will increase athletiic performance a hell of alot more than body building.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdh
    by the way thanks for that program doc.sust. one question though. alot of the programs ive seen incorporate a speed day in which you move the weight as fast as possible , but this program doesnt. is that necessary to increase ones overall power?
    i have done this program with cutting out one day and making it a speed day, it can be done, and works well. do you want the rep scheme and percentages for that?

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    also we can use the speed day to do different speed exercises like , cleans, jump squats, medicine ball toss, catch and toss press, or you can continue to do the regular powerlifts but include bands and chains, what do you have access to?

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    the reason i started looking into this is because i saw a special on fit tv about joe defrancos training of nfl players. anyway yeah id love the scheme for that speed work. and as far as access goes i have a pretty good gym, the only thing they dont have is chains and bands, but im getting ready to buy me a power cage for my home so id think about getting myself some chains and bands. by the way doc, im thinking of getting the powertec power cage with the lat attachment. from what ive read its a solid cage that can handle a fair amount of weight . besides the obvious like plates and an olympic bar what other stuff should i look into getting? what size of chains we looking at and where can i get some good bands? thanks bro.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdh
    the reason i started looking into this is because i saw a special on fit tv about joe defrancos training of nfl players. anyway yeah id love the scheme for that speed work. and as far as access goes i have a pretty good gym, the only thing they dont have is chains and bands, but im getting ready to buy me a power cage for my home so id think about getting myself some chains and bands. by the way doc, im thinking of getting the powertec power cage with the lat attachment. from what ive read its a solid cage that can handle a fair amount of weight . besides the obvious like plates and an olympic bar what other stuff should i look into getting? what size of chains we looking at and where can i get some good bands? thanks bro.
    alot of question to answer for you. power cage and a 1500lb bar is a neccisity, make sure you buy a REAL good bar. i bought 2 different kinds okie dead bar and texas powerbar. i also bought 1inch thick rubber matting to have a platform for deads and cleans, lat machine, multiple attachments, glute ham raise, leg extension/leg curl combo (not a necessity) made 2 6 inch boxes 2 2inch boxes, and 2 1inch boxes for box squating, multiple boards for board presses. chains i bough a bunch of 3/8 chains, alot of othe people buy the 5/8 chains, but 3/8 are easier to find 3 3/8 chains = 1 5/8 chain. bands are more important and much cheaper, www.elitefts.com. also have a tone of artilcles on training and what you need to build your own gym. check out the artiicles

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    also i have dumbells 10 tp 1oolbs, they also make a real cool set easy to increase and decrease mulit d bellls. check out www.powerblock.com

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    ok speed day. the one i like best is using jump squats, and cleans, 8 sets of 2 for each exercise using
    week 1 30%
    2 33%
    3 36%
    4 31%
    5 34%
    6 37%
    7 33%
    8 30%


    for the press you can do catch and drop work, with a medicine ball that weighs btwn 15 to 30lb for 8 sets of 3 reps(you lay on floor person stands on bench , drops medicine ball onto you you catch it drop it to your chest than throw it as high as you can, person on bench catches ball and drop it again.) or you can do this by yourself i use a sraight bar and i throw it when i press off amd catch it when it comes back down using about 30-35%.this is for advnced llifters . as a rookie, i would use 50-55% and just do regular presses for 8 sets of 3 reps instead.

    now lets say you don't want to use cleans or jump squats, use the percentages i gave you just use in the 50% range and do regular squats and dedlifts instead of the 30% range for the cleans and jumps. does this make sense?

    so on the speed day you do jump squats, catch and toss , and cleans or speed squats, speed presses , and speed deads.
    does this make sense or have i confused you?
    Last edited by Doc.Sust; 11-28-2005 at 03:38 PM.

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    questions? just ask

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    awesome bro, lots of good info. yeah ive got adjustable dumbells and various other things. i want the power cage mainly for doing this type of training as i will keep my gym membership to use on occasion. what do you think about the thick barbells?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc.Sust
    true and false, i see what your saying and i do agree, but alot of football players do use the same methods of powerlifting and have great gains. they will increase athletiic performance a hell of alot more than body building.

    Yeah, I agree. I've personally had great results doing all powerlifts from the floor. I think that's what you are saying. Anyways, like I said, just through trial and error I find that staying in the hang range seems more functional for my position (DB).

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc.Sust
    ok speed day. the one i like best is using jump squats, and cleans, 8 sets of 2 for each exercise using
    week 1 30%
    2 33%
    3 36%
    4 31%
    5 34%
    6 37%
    7 33%
    8 30%


    for the press you can do catch and drop work, with a medicine ball that weighs btwn 15 to 30lb for 8 sets of 3 reps(you lay on floor person stands on bench , drops medicine ball onto you you catch it drop it to your chest than throw it as high as you can, person on bench catches ball and drop it again.) or you can do this by yourself i use a sraight bar and i throw it when i press off amd catch it when it comes back down using about 30-35%.this is for advnced llifters . as a rookie, i would use 50-55% and just do regular presses for 8 sets of 3 reps instead.

    now lets say you don't want to use cleans or jump squats, use the percentages i gave you just use in the 50% range and do regular squats and dedlifts instead of the 30% range for the cleans and jumps. does this make sense?

    so on the speed day you do jump squats, catch and toss , and cleans or speed squats, speed presses , and speed deads.
    does this make sense or have i confused you?

    Good stuff. Just gotta listen to your body for overtraining.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdh
    awesome bro, lots of good info. yeah ive got adjustable dumbells and various other things. i want the power cage mainly for doing this type of training as i will keep my gym membership to use on occasion. what do you think about the thick barbells?
    not a fan of the thick bar, i use them rare if ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junit37
    Good stuff. Just gotta listen to your body for overtraining.
    exactly! if over training drop percentages, but stil try to keep the exercise volume as high as it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junit37
    Yeah, I agree. I've personally had great results doing all powerlifts from the floor. I think that's what you are saying. Anyways, like I said, just through trial and error I find that staying in the hang range seems more functional for my position (DB).
    i like the full movements the best from the flor or squating below paralell

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