Football conditioning

How would one recieve the cardio benefits needed for football without risking losing speed developed through Charlie’s methods. It seems to me that as long as I can find a way to train lung or cardio capacity and I have muscle endurance to sustain me throughout a game I might not even need to train conditioning by running (wind sprints, gassers, etc) except for that gained by tempo runs. Also when training in change of direction, no coach allows for full recovery between reps. How would you add change of direction into the mix. Hope i’m clear.


Football is an anaerobic sport done in spurts between 2-10 sec(2 being very low, with 10 being the longest) and an average of about 20 sec rest(play ends, ball is reset, make your way back to the huddle, play called, line up, go or wait for the offense) between plays so it is unique to condition for. Rather than tempo running you could try something called the card game. Face Cards and 10’s represent 10sec of work, then 9=9 sec and so on. You can pick 1-3 moves(ie. 1)Star Jumps 2)Squat Thrusts 3)Mountain climbers as a lower body example) then go through either the whole deck or divide it up into however many moves you have and the rest is always the average of about 20 sec between cards. This creates a random energy training system much like that in football. Some plays last two sec, some 6, some 10, some 7, its different each play and this conditions your body in that way i believe. You could do one day for upper body and one for lower instead of tempo. And if you are putting in the time and effort with your speed/weights day plus these on the off days your endurance should be fine. Take into account that sprinters could jog long distances but never practice doing so…

You could use a very low volume of agility drill every day as a warm up, like maybe 2 sets of 2 different agility drills each day of the week would work well i think.

ninth0, First provide us with a sample training week to include: sprint work (i.e., ala Charlie) and weight training, and anything else that you are doing, so that we may accurately assess what may or maynot need be added.
James Smith

You are correct. Don’t do gassers or wind sprints. If you are doing your (extensive) tempo work, then you should have enough cardio capacity and since this work is done at an intensity below 75%, you won’t interfere with your speed development. It will actually help you recover. Avoid training in the 80% - 94% range (which is where all of those gassers etc take place) because this is too slow to positively impact your speed and explosion, but too fast to allow your CNS to recover.

Also when training in change of direction, no coach allows for full recovery between reps. How would you add change of direction into the mix. Hope i’m clear.

If you are doing change of direction work, then you need to allow full recovery between reps. Otherwise, you are training at less than full intensity and will not see improvements in your playing ability. Essentially, you will be training yourself to perform the movement slower than necessary to be successful. So you will have the endurance to almost make the play over and over but will never have the explosion necessary to actually make the play once.

Depending on what stage of training you are in and how (and how often) your team practices, you may or may not need a significant amount of focused COD work. Most of this training should come from actually playing the game. But there are elements that may need to be trained outside of playing the game since they occur rarely in practice. I also like to throw in some of the basic COD movement patterns before my speed workouts (much like we do with our A skips etc for sprinting.) However, carefully look at each drill you choose and see how it matches up with the actual demands of the position you play.