aerobic fitness for football

after a recent discussion with my strength coach concerning aerobic fitness for football i am disgusted to say the least. i dont think repeat 100’s, never ending shuttle runs with lots of COD, and 2.5 mile cross country courses qualify as quality low intensity. so my question is, in setting up an early off season GPP program (12 weeks long) from say december - february, with spring ball starting in march, what would be the best way to increase aerobic fitness. i know basketball doesnt qualify as low intensity, but is there a place for it off season? what kind of approach would be optimal for this 3 month peroid? thoughts?

I don’t know your background, but before I would give suggestions, what is your reasoning for increasing aerobic systems since football is predominantly phosphagen and glycolytic (% changes dependant upon player and position)?

This for recovery purposes? You coming off a injury? Simply a change of pace?

a higher aerobic capacity will improve recovery (both between sprints and practices) time as well as general conditioning (hence the GPP phase). Tempo is your best bet. I think basketball wouldn’t be bad, so long as the quality of play is high. If you end up playing very tired and slowly, this would actually be a negative for you.

thats what i was thinking… maybe using the hoops as a means of foot contacts for plyos. maybe like two 7 or 8 minute halves to ensure quality and keep foot contacts lower. thanks for the input. clemson, charlie, others?

well…how does one measure aerobic fitness for football (especially capacity). Endurance and capacity…are they the same?

good question. since speed endurance is not a factor in football (no longer runs in training) how is optimal aerobic fitness achieved? one’s capacity for fitness may never be fully reached if their training doesnt allow for it, so how much is enough and how much is too much? and what other methods besides tempo can be installed?

Charlie’s presentation at the NSCA conference fits perfectly…but nobody get’s it. When do need various components? During a max strength phase perhaps tempo might be an option provided the mode of serving it is right? When do you need to be in game shape? If you brag about it in the winter boy will you fade over time and have lost the weeks to raise max strength. Work capacity becomes a factor since stamina (endurance) and aerboic capacity are not the same. Vertical integration is about what needs to be installed when.

of course we do not need to be in game shape in the winter, but we must lay down a foundation of fitness in order for proper gains to be made later in the program as you stated.