Until the age of 18, I was simply obsessed with football, everyday I would be playing the game for hours! During my A levels I would skip lessons on a sunny day, if it meant I could play more football. However, it was at this age where I really started to grow into my weight training, and I found out by accident, my game really improved as my strength levels grew.
What I wanted to point out to you today is that, weight training isn’t just for ‘meat heads’ or ‘posers’, it is also a very fundamental part of a lot of top flight professional sportsmen and women. Today we are going to see how weight training can enhance a footballer’s game!
Although football is a very aerobic sport, it does have a lot of anaerobic aspects to it, and it is also very physical, or at least it is supposed to be! Therefore, in my opinion and from my experience, if you can enhance your lean muscle tissue, your sprinting and strength of the ball could potentially improve. If you improve your strength on the ball, you’re going to afford yourself more time on the ball, and you will become more competitive. There are several top professional footballers who carry ‘muscular’ physiques, and they have achieved those physiques through weight training.
Does a footballer get paid to ‘look good?’ No, although I will admit they are vane! They get paid ‘a lot of money’ to perform on the field. So if you see a footballer topless at the end of the match, and they look good enough to go on the front of a magazine, you know they are training hard, but it is to improve their game!
With that been said, here is a weight training system I would recommend for footballers who want to improve their strength, power and speed, without sacrificing their cardiovascular capacity or agility!
Day 1 –
3 X squats for 8-10 repetitions
3 X deadlifts for 8-10 repetitions
3 X explosive squats without any resistance to failure
Day 2 –
3 X bench press 8-10 repetitions
3 X military press for 8-10 repetitions
3 X pull ups to failure
3 X press ups to failure
Day 3 –
3 X hanging leg raises to failure
3 X crunches to failure
3 X opposite hand to toe sit ups to failure
As you can see this is very focused on compound exercises and the core. Whilst this will stimulate muscle hypertrophy, it isn’t designed to ‘make you look bigger’; it is designed to enhance your core strength and overall power. If your core, your legs and your upper body get stronger, there is no doubt you are going to be a tougher opponent to ‘move off the ball.’ In order to ensure this doesn’t have a negative impact on your CV capacity, I would advise you keep rest periods to 30-40 seconds between sets. This will ensure that your aerobic capacity is engaged, and, your slow twitch muscle fibres have to work as well!
Over the next few weeks you will be learning more and more, about how sportsmen and women from differing backgrounds all utilise weight training, in order to enhance their game.