24 weeks to GREATNESS...

Here’s the deal, I was playing semi-pro football, but it looks like our team is going to fold. Guys are quitting and we don’t have any transportation to our away games. It’s just an ugly situation. So what i’m going to do is start my off-season.

In January I will be going to Slippery Rock University, I really want to be prepared to show the coaches signs of greatness in the spring when they start their spring practices. So that gives me 24 weeks, 168 days (starting this sunday) so get myself ready. Currently I am 23 years old, 6’2 209lbs, I consistantly run low 4.5’s to high 4.4’s in the forty, fastest being a 4.3 Hand timed from first movement. I play Reciever. Strength levels are decent, about a 285 max bench press, 315 3RM squat.

I was thinking about spending the next 6 weeks focusing on building some muscle mass, not neccissarily trying to gain bodyweight though. Then take a weeks break just doing light work before I do two 7 week max strength cycles with 3 weeks of maintenance between them.

I write this in hopes of your thoughts and opinions, how does my plan sound? Is there any advice you might have?? Thanks in advance!

Many programs are great in design but monitoring the programs is when people make mistakes…each clay sculpture needs the artist to adjust the form constantly. I see a lot of people train and they “seem” to do the right things but a good program is more than rep schemes and phases of training. No matter how much ZMA and surge you take the architecture must be flawless with great construction and even better staff to make the “punch list”. Watching major construction projects has given me a better insight of why things work out. Many athletes think a blue print (training program) and construction materials (nutrition program) will build great buildings. It takes a great coach to help an athlete. This is why guys like Charlie and company get fantastic results( world records). I use the CFTS with my own flair and get good results (all american swimmers and 10.08 sprinters)…athletes that are in a crappy strength program that add a few sessions of tempo and take a post workout drink will get very little. Mistakes are small to most eyes and they add up fast to ruin programs. The wrong volume of football drills can create catabolism or even decrease strength and aerobic capacity…a lot of mistakes out there.

I’d allocate most the CNS stress to strength training the lower body.

how can i avoid the mistakes??

Sign here on the dotted line for my 24 week program _________________.

Just kidding :stuck_out_tongue: ! For this important time in your training career, I would highly recommend hooking up with a top notch coach. Even if the coach is not in your area, you can meet with him every 4-6 weeks to make adjustments and measure progress. I don’t know what type of budget you are working with, but I think you also need to allocate funds to an organic diet and proper supplements. On top of that, it would be behoove you if you could spend some money on massage or ART every month.

You have a small window of opportunity here, I wouldn’t leave anything to chance. I think I speak for many former athletes when I advise you to not take this moment in time for granted.

what would be proper supplements?? Also how could i find a trainer/coach?? Though i really do not believe one is neccissary at this point(i was seriously considering finding one when i got closer to playing pro ball) my coach that i have now says that with my ability now i can go in now and play. But I want to be head and shoulders above the competition. Because I realize that i’ll have to put up bigger numbers playing d2 than i would if i was playing d1, but i’m not eligable in D1. But Slippery Rock does play D1-AA schools. So i can show what i have each year against them, and completly dominate within our conference.

The PSAC is no joke when it comes to football. IUP has 4 active players on NFL rosters right now. Also, I think of past stars like Andre Reed, Lee Woodall, John Mobley and I’m sure there are plently more NFL stars from the PSAC. If you dominate in that conference you will have NFL scouts looking hard at you. There are several very good coaches who frequent this board, you should interview several of them and find a good fit.
As far as supplements go, Clemson has some very sound formulas he has posted. Check out the nutrition section on this board. Staples of your program should include BCAA’s (xtreme formulations ICE), fish oils, multi-vitamin, ZMA, creatine, vitamin c and e. . It all depends on your budget and your training cycle.

I’m no track coach but 315lbs 3RM seem to be a little low for your bodyweight (considering your high aspiration levels).My height and weight and squat are almost identical to yours and I feel that I need to be lifting way more to see progress in performance. Just remember Ben’s strength/bodyweight levels.
24 weeks is enough time to make big leaps in your performance.

Amen, brother, Amen.

My advice? Be realistic & be disciplined. Any athlete with reasonable training age would do well to improve by >10% a year (<1% per month!). In my experience the most common barrier to progression is over reaching.

Your speed is good, your limit strength is not.
Limit Strength must be the focus of your program, with all other qualities falling under the category of auxillary, assistance, maintenance, etc…

I recommend against the linear type plan which you have outlined.

You will more greatly benefit from the concurrent loading of all sport specific motor qualities (conjugate method), again keeping limit strength development the primary objective.

You must address:

  • limit strength
  • relative strength
    -explosive strength
  • hypertrophy

At your height/weight/skill position, and in your early twenties, assuming you have been strength training for 5-6 years-you should be benching a 100lbs over your bodyweight and squatting well over 400lbs. I say this because:

1: these goals are very, very attainable
2: too many ball players are much weaker than what is personally attainable, and more importantly, of great importance with respect to the game of football- combat with pads on.

Feel free to email me at smith@strengthwise.com


Ok…it’s very good to see people responding. And I think I am understanding what your telling me. I need to improve my strength to weight ratio? Yes? But how? I somewhat understand improving my limit strength. But not all the way…

Are you telling me that I should focus on strength and let speed and position specific work come second??

Strength should be your primary objective, yet you must perform enough maintenance work to maintain your speed and skill work.

Always prioritze weaknesses.

At your speed and strength, you will find that increasing the strength of your posterior chain will lower your 40 time, as long as you train for speed properly.

You could reasonably attain a great deal more ‘sport specific strength’ while gaining very little bodyweight, and this will greatly aid in your speed/agility/explosiveness on the playing field.