6wk Preseason Program for Amateur Footballers

January of any year… the silly season has passed, summer is on the run and the winter sporting season is rapidly approaching. The time has come for all Australian football code amateur athletes to make the decision whether to sit in third grade for the colder months or make a play for a spot higher up the “food chain”.

Whether it’s Rugby Union, Rugby League, Soccer or A.F.L. physical performance i.e. speed, strength & endurance, plays a significant role in determining individual and team success. Obviously there are substantial differences between the codes; however each has the common bond of requiring the ability to couple repeated explosive speed efforts with periods of sub-maximal “stride-out” pace transition running and combative strength engagements.  Check out my Blog on Weekend Warriors for more detail.

The ability to combine performance parameters of such varied means is a challenging task. Without question it is a task much more easily attempted with an organized plan. Heading out to the gym or park to train, deciding on your session content after arrival at the venue is a sure-fire way to achieve mediocrity in your physical performance. The guy who does tread this path generally does two things:

  1. Trains only things they are good at and
  2. Repeats the same session “ad infinitum”.

BOTH HABITS LEAD NOWHERE!

The keys to optimizing physical performance are:

  • Intensity: Training at too low an intensity will not stimulate the body to make the adaptations that will produce superior performance. Care must be taken not to go overboard in this department as this can lead to injury and staleness. Ensure regular unloading phases are taken.
  • Specificity: Train fast…be fast.
  • Variety: Varying training volume, intensity and exercise types on a regular basis provides the body continued stimulus to adapt.
  • Consistency: Training consistency reduces to peaks and troughs of performance that occur when people fluctuate between periods of training.

While Martin Luther King preached, “all men are created equal” – the reality of sport is that this is not the case. Some individuals appear to do two fifths of nothing and still blitz the field while other guys “plug” away relentlessly and seem to achieve little over a long period of time.

This article is for the guy who “plugs” away (mainly because the other type of bloke won’t bother reading a fitness article...that said it will work well for him too!). The program detailed below is designed for the guy that has be doing some base fitness work over the summer and is ready to start some more intense work.

Don’t attempt this program if you are walking straight off the “silly season” with no work under your belt.

 

GENERAL TRAINING NOTES:

  • An appropriate Warm Up must precede each session.
    • 10-15min light activity and dynamic mobility.
  • An appropriate Cool Down must follow each session.
    • 10min easy jog + 10min static stretches (hold for 30-45sec).
  • Coaching must be sought for those exercises you are unfamiliar with!
  • The program in organized into two CYCLES (Week 1-3 & Week 4-6)
  • Week 1-3 is aimed at allowing your body to become accustomed to higher volumes of work.
  • Week 4-6 is aimed at applying greater intensity to your body in order to produce more advanced performance.
  • The program is based around completing three days training per week of 1-hour maximum following the format noted below;
  • Monday – Speed
  • Wednesday – Strength
  • Friday – Endurance
  • While this program contains elements of programs used at the highest level, the design is aimed specifically at achieving as much as possible within a limited time frame (3 x 1hr per week). 

MONDAY – Speed

 

 

WORK

INTENSITY

RECOVERY

WEEK 1

Set 1

3 x (10 x 100m on 60sec)

Finish in 14-18sec

3min

 

 

 

 

Between sets

WEEK 2

Set 1

5 x 200m on 2min

Finish in 35-40sec

3min

 

Set 2

2 x (10 x 100m on 60sec)

Finish in 14-18sec

Between sets

WEEK 3

Set 1

10 x 200m on 2min

Finish in 35-40sec

3min

 

Set 2

10 x 100m on 60sec

Finish in 14-18sec

Between sets

WEEK 4

Set 1

6 x 60m – Tempo Runs

80% effort – focus on rhythm!

Walk back between each rep. 3min rest before Set 2

 

Set 2

2 x (6 x 20m) – Speed

90-100%

2min between each rep

WEEK 5

Set 1

6 x 60m – Tempo Runs

80% effort – focus on rhythm!

Walk back between each rep. 3min rest before Set 2

 

Set 2

2 x (3 x 20m) – Speed

90-100%

2min between each rep

 

Set 3

2 x (4 x 10m) - Speed

90-100%

2min between each rep

WEEK 6

Set 1

6 x 50m – Tempo Runs

80% effort – focus on rhythm!

Walk back between each rep. 3min rest before Set 2

 

Set 2

2 x (3 x 20m) – Speed

90-100%

2min between each rep

 

Set 3

2 x (2 x 10m) - Speed

90-100%

2min between each rep

 

SPECIFIC TRAINING NOTES:

  • "on 60sec" means you start a new rep every 60 sec.  The time remaining between completing the rep and the start of the next 60sec period is your recovery.
  • With Tempo and Speed efforts always start out a little bit "under" in your intensity and build as you feel comfortable.
  • See TRAIN TOUGH® for more detailed information

 

WEDNESDAY – Strength

ORDER

EXERCISE

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

TEMPO

REC

A.

 

Deadlift

6 x 4

5 x 5

4 x 6

2/-/Drop

90sec

B.

Back Extension (BW Only)

3 x 10

3 x 12

3 x 14

2/2/2

90sec

C.

Split Squat or Bulgarian Squat

6 x 4

5 x 5

4 x 6

2/1/2

90sec

D.

Single Leg Calf Raise

2 x 12

2 x 14

2 x 16

2/2/2

90sec

E.

DB Shoulder Press

6 x 4

5 x 5

4 x 6

3/1/1

90sec

F.

UG Chin Up (add wt. as req)

6 x 4

5 x 5

4 x 6

3/1/1

90sec

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPECIFIC TRAINING NOTES:

  • IN WEEK 1 select a weight that allows you to complete the prescribed reps but is quite challenging (i.e.; you should just complete each set).
  • For WEEK 2 & 3 complete each set at the same weight as Week 1, completing the higher number of reps as per the program.
  • See TRAIN TOUGH® for more detailed information

 

ORDER

EXERCISE

WEEK 4

WEEK 5

WEEK 6

TEMPO

REC

A1.

Jumps for Distance

Walk back and reset each one

4 x 4

4 x 4

3 x 4

Explosive

N/A

A2.

Deadlift

5 x 3

Increase wt. each set

Reps must be completed clean no failure

4 x 3

Increase wt. each set

Reps must be completed clean no failure

3 x 3

Increase wt. each set

Reps must be completed clean no failure

2/-/Drop

2-3min

B1.

Eccentric Glute-Ham Raise or Nordic Lower

2 x 3

2 x 4

2 x 5

4sec lower

N/A

B2.

Single Leg Calf Hops

2 x 20

2 x 20

2 x 20

Explosive

90sec

C1.

Drop Push Up

4 x 4

4 x 4

3 x 4

Explosive

N/A

C2.

Bench Press

5 x 5

Increase wt. each set

Reps must be completed clean no failure

4 x 3

Increase wt. each set

Reps must be completed clean no failure

4 x 2

Increase wt. each set

Reps must be completed clean no failure

2/1/X

N/A

C3.

Bench Pull

5 x 5

Increase wt. each set

Reps must be completed clean no failure

4 x 3

Increase wt. each set

Reps must be completed clean no failure

4 x 2

Increase wt. each set

Reps must be completed clean no failure

2/1/1

2min

 

SPECIFIC TRAINING NOTES:

  • Select a weight that allows you to complete the prescribed reps but is quite challenging.  Ideally, start out conservatively and build across the set as indicated.
  • Technique must be maintained at all times.
  • Exercises grouped under the same letter are completed as a complex (i.e. together) and recovery is taken after the pair of exercises is complete.
  • Professional coaching should be sort for specialist instruction.
  • See TRAIN TOUGH® for more detailed information

 

FRIDAY - Endurance

 

 

WORK

INTENSITY

RECOVERY

WEEK 1

SET 1

6 x 4min efforts

85-90% MHR

1min between sets

 

 

 

 

WEEK 2

SET 1

5 x 5min efforts

85-90% MHR

1min between sets

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 3

SET 1

4 x 7min efforts

85-90% MHR

1min between sets

 

 

 

WEEK 4

Set 1

3 x (10 x 100m on 60sec)

Finish in 15-18sec

3min between sets

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 5

Set 1

4 x (10 x 50m on 30sec)

Finish in 7-8sec

3min between sets

 

 

 

 

WEEK 6

Set 1

3 x (10 x 50m on 30sec)

Finish in 7-8sec

3min between sets

 

 

 

 

 

SPECIFIC TRAINING NOTES:

  • "on 60sec" means you start a new rep every 60 sec.  The time remaining between completing the rep and the start of the next 60sec period is your recovery.
  • Timed Efforts require a balanced pace across the entire set.  Use a standardized area for these sets and mark your distance for each one.  Try to equal or beat each rep.
  • MHR = Maximum Heart Rate.
  • Ideally a heart rate monitor should be used to assess heart rate.
  • If MHR is not known use MHR = 220 – age as an estimate
  • See TRAIN TOUGH® for more detailed information on determining MHR

You will note in the above program calf work has been included throughout. In team field sports the calves face close to the greatest muscular workload of the body. It is critical to the longevity of the field sport athlete that calf strength and endurance be optimised. This program presents a basic introduction level calf program. In order to achieve an advanced level of calf strength a more intense dynamic loading program needs to follow.

The program detailed above is generic in nature and may not suit everybody. Ensure you seek the guidance of a qualified coach if you are uncertain about any elements particularly with regard to strength training skill.

The loading parameters used in this program are limited given the scope of this article. Athletes seeking more advanced programming and / or exercise descriptions should read my book TRAIN TOUGH®

Remember, the keys to success are intensity, specificity, variety and consistency. Follow these and you can be confident that you will always be moving forward.

Sign up to OLDBULLFITNESS.COM for FREE (see bottom of page) - receive a complementary e-book on TRAINING DENSITY and keep up to date on more training tools for amateur and developing athletes.

Good luck with your preseason.

JW

PS - The formatting on this program has lost a little in the translation to the website.  I will post a PDF of the original ASAP.




Jason Weber
Jason Weber

Author



2 Responses

Pheonix
Pheonix

February 19, 2016

Love your train tough book. It has given me the best results out of all the other programs I have tried.

STEVE WAITE
STEVE WAITE

May 21, 2015

very helpful thanks

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