WORKOUTS FOR LINEMEN
Once we get the basic movement patterns down, what do the workouts look like? I will divulge some info that is not very TFC/Feed the Cats.
First, our linemen were not two sport athletes. Due to space restrictions, we had to practice at 5:45 am three days a week. It was an intense 1:15. The throws coach insisted on a 3-hour practice after school which would include the lifts that he wanted which were mostly traditional. I encouraged them to throw but they felt it was not worth the effort and didn’t feel like they were benefitting from the throws practice.
We did lift. I had to build that into the program. If I did not, they would do it on their own (and usually go way overboard). All of our upper body lifts were volume based and designed by JL Holdsworth. He makes a great point that unless you hit certain percentages of body weight to max lift in the bench, you have no business doing all of the fancy stuff. Our lower body lifts were right out of Triphasic Training for Football. For the lineman, we did measure their bench and squat. We didn’t use it as a marker but to give them the idea of improvement. We did record, rank and publish vertical jumps, start times and fly 10’s.
The way the school year is broken up, with spring break, we have a 7 week training period ending with a testing week. A week off, followed by another 7 week period, again ending with a 1 week break. The days that we don’t have school, planned or unplanned due to weather became a day off as well and we would train only 2 days that week. There was a strong correlation between those that did what they were supposed to and those that did too much.
In our first block, we do running drills (like booms, toe pops, line hops and hip work) for 20 minutes before we get into the weight room or track. We also will do single-step agility to learn how and where to place feet. The second block, we move on to football-based agility. We run squares, circles and triangles. After we work through the team movement, we have 50 minutes to get through the workout. I needed to have a workout day where the linemen aren’t in the weight room because we don’t have the space to have everyone in there at once.
Here is an example of what we do:
Bench – Find 8-rep max
DB Row – 4×5
Standing Military Press off a pin – 4×5
Lat Pulldown or Low Pulley Row – 3×10
Squat – Down fast, hold for 5 sec and explode up 3×4
Vertical Jump – 3×5
Mini-Hurdles – Jump over 5 Hurdles
Run Rocket – 4×20 yds
10 yd block start
Landmine twist – 3×10
Waterbag twist – 3×10 each way
Push Pull bands – 3×10 each way
Safety squat single leg
Down 5 and explode up – 3×4
2 step sled push with body weight – 10 reps
2 step vertical jump on Vertec – 10 jumps
Bag punch 2 hands – 2×10
Bag punch 1 hand – 2×10
Bag punch from stance – 2×10
5 minutes of push ups as many reps as possible
5 minutes of chins
Handstands 2 minutes
DB Close grip press – 5×5
Facepulls – 3×10
21’s – 2×7 each way
I, Y, T 21’s
Arms on your own
Fly 10m x4
Jumps – Vertical x5; Ankle x5; Squat x5, One-leg x5 each leg
Broad Jump – 10 jumps for distance
This is an example from about 4 weeks into the beginning of the first 7 weeks. We go 3 days a week. With all of the other things students have going on their lives, we felt 3 days was enough to get good progress and not over working. We have tried using the 4 and 5 day cycles as well and felt we got the most progress by going 3 days a week.
Monday is our base day. It is the or bench day and French Contrast day. The bigs get this on Monday because they have they weight room for the whole hour. Monday is our best attendance day. They can go into the rack and stay there for almost the whole hour. Our upper-body workouts have a horizontal push/pull and vertical push/pull.
Wednesday is the weight room day for skill and combo so the bigs only get 10 minutes in the racks and the rest of the time is in the field house. We do rotation work and some punching as well. We can put sleds and Vertec out in the field house as well. We also add time to the pushups as another way to build volume.
On Fridays, the lineman have the dumbbells and track. The Just Jump Mats and timer come out for them as well.
As we progress toward the season, we apply triphasic principles with bar speed and percentage on the bar. We also change the sprints by using water bags, rubber bands and obstacles to make the workout more football-like.
During summer football, we eliminate most of the sprinting and jumping because we want to use our power in our 25 days of practice. So how do we get our big guys in shape? Stay tuned for the third installment of this trilogy.
By Chris Korfist
THREE Track Football Consortiums in THREE states this winter!