Ok so I was forced to sign up for this summer SAQ thing by my coach, and I havnt attended yet, but will tomm. From what I have heard it is just an hour of a lot of running. So I have decided to switch to a more traditional Charlie Francis model, and use these two days a week as tempo days(because I am much faster than exprected, I can tone down the intensity of my running in this very much without people bothering). Here’s a look at my new schedule, please let me know your thoughts.

Monday-Max V(put earlier in the week as it needs to be a focus)

  1. 4-6xflying 20
  2. 4-6x60m
    Weight Room

SAQ thing…


  1. 1-2xeither 200m, 150m, 100m
    Weight Room

SAQ thing…

Friday-Acc. Training
Weight Room

Saturday-GPP Stuff(i like to box…)

Sunday Off

Weight room and track volumes will adjust based on the specific day as well, but variance in rep ranges without straying from a few exercises will be the focus…


Numba56 - I thought you were a football player. Is that what you training for?

yes i am, and yes i believe it is…would you rather I take a different approach?


Just have a second here for a quick comment. I would leave out the SE runs on Wednesday - not applicable to football.

Make sure you do position specific work.

Talk more later.

Football Coach

Football Coach, hows this for a general model.

Day 1
Speed, Limit Upper

Day 2
SAQ training as tempo

Day 3
Plyo’s, Limit Lower

Day 4
SAQ training as tempo

Day 5
Speed and Upper Weights

Day 6

I think you will probably find the SAQ training to be more stressful then tempo. If so I’d do Upper weights only on day 3 and Limit Lower + Plyos or Speed on day 5.

Actually I found tempo workouts much more fatiguing…And I decided to drop plyo’s on the lower day, if I am sprinting the other two days, there is no need for them.

Numba 56

As you know, the problem in training for football in the off-season is trying to slot:

(1) Speed; Limit Strength; Power; Agility; They all tax the CNS as does some on-field position drills.
(2) Conditioning for the 10 play drive and the 4th quarter.
(3) And, most importantly, actually practicing your position which has elements of all of the above.

In my 40 years of playing and coaching football I’ve seen an endless number of workout marvels who are absolutely useless on the field. I’ve also seen many good football players concentrate so much on the weightroom and the track that they never improved their ability on the field.

So, having said that, unless you are particularly weak or slow for your position a priority must be placed on playing your position. Number 56 is a LB number, so you better be able to take on an OL or lead FB, to get to your drops and react, cover a RB or TE and have the ability to rush the QB and react to him when he moves.

Charlie has made some important points about training agility: “I’d rather not develop agility with any sort of tempo. Direction change should result from an effective elastic response, which can’t be generated effectively at low intensity. Also fatigue, which can occur during tempo can lead to flat footed changes which put alot of unnatural stress on other parts of the body. Also, work on the core (from which direction change originates) and on elastic properties (which enhance direction change) can be trained away from direction change work, so that direction change volumes can remain manageable, relieving joint stresses.” “Plyos and power speed drills will contribute to elasticity, which, in turn, will contribute to direction change ability, without the wear and tear associated with more specific drills.”

As a coach I have never worked agility using cones, ladders etc. (some of my fellow coaches love them but I don’t want my players heads down looking at cones or ladders etc). In-season and off-season time is short. We don’t have time to run around cones. When we are on the field we need to practice what we will do in the game - pass pro, pull, run routes, pass drops, one-on-one etc. When we get points for running around cones and doing agility drills I’ll start doing it in practice.

I based my speed programs in the 80’s on Russian info and in the 90’s+ on Charlie info. My strength programs are a combo of Oly and WSB.

My template for pre-season football looks like this:

Day 1:
Workout 1: Speed
Workout 2: Strength – Limit Lower

Day 2:
Workout 1: Position Specific + Tempo

Day 3:
Workout 1: Speed
Workout 2: Strength – Dynamic Upper

Day 4:
Workout 1: Position Specific + Tempo

Day 5:
Workout 1: Speed
Workout 2: Strength – Dynamic Lower

Day 6:
Workout 1: Position Specific + Tempo

Day 7:
Workout 1: Speed
Workout 2: Strength – Limit Upper

Day 8:
Workout 1: Position Specific + Tempo


(1) These are workout days. Insert your day or days off into the program and continue with the next workout day following your day off.
(2) Adjust your intensity and volume or cancel workouts and simply stretch-out as needed.

Hope this helps,
Football Coach

  1. sprinting itself works on elasticity, i work my core everyday, i use no cone drills, ladders, etc…and limit work is sufficient.

  2. my question is, if you are sprinting, which is the highest RFD activity you can do, for the entire body, develops elasticity because it is plyometric in nature, what is the purpose for DE exercises and Plyometrics?

  3. Limit Strength consistently rises the way I’ve been training

  4. I play defensive lineman, a change made since I got in the weight room and just started gaining weight and becoming the second highest for each lift, first for power clean, on the team.

  5. The general development of elasticity, strength to bodyweight ratio, speed, and reaction time will improve on specific movements that will be made in games, as it is a chaotic situation.

  6. I use SAQ as a tempo because it occurs on those days.

sounds good. And keeping your head down in football is about as wise as it is in hockey!


  1. Didn’t mean to imply you used cones etc. Just throwing my beef out there. Constantly arguing with fellow coaches about those things. Glad to see you don’t use them.

  2. Point taken, although I think you want to still do some dynamic movements at least for the upper body, whether it is medballs, speed bench, hang cleans. I am guessing in your case the best bet is medballs.

  3. I have had players in the pre-season, with all the running, that were fine with one day a week doing legs. Others were better with 3x over 2 weeks and still others 2x week. It really is a matter of where you are at in terms of strength and what works best for you.

  4. Converted LB? I’m guessing that means you are the quick DT and are expected to put on a pass rush and pursue. Train accordingly.

  5. Game day means in-season and that is a completely different situation. My post is for off-season, particularly the approx. 3 months of pre-season.

  6. SAQ as a tempo. As I said in my post, I agree with Charlie and believe Agility should not be worked as tempo. There are many football coaches who don’t agree with me. I prefer the Agility to be done as part of Position Specific training with Tempo following or being done as a 2nd workout, adjusting the volume as needed.

What is your ht, wt, vertical, 20, 40, max squat, max bench?

What problems do you have with O-Linemen?

Football Coach

As we say in football. Keep your head on a swivel. Judging by the number of big hits I see on special teams it seems to be a lost art. Hockey? Come on Charlie, they’re all cement-heads anyway. They don’t feel a thing. :smiley:

Numba56 and Charlie,

A. Distances in a pre-season program: OL-Big DL


Workout 1: Speed: 300-400 yds. total distance approx.
Workout 2: Strength:


Football Game Simulation: 20-40 min
Tempo Runs: 300-1000 yds. approx. total distance


Workout 1: Speed: 250-350 yds. total distance approx.
Workout 2: optional Strength

Thursday: can be a light day

Workout 1:

Football Game Simulation: 20-40 min
Tempo Runs: 0-300 yds. approx. total distance


Workout 1: Speed: 200-300 yds. total distance approx.
Workout 2: Strength

Saturday: must be done if Thursday was a light day

Football Game Simulation: 20-40 min
Tempo Runs: 300-900 yds. approx. total distance

B. Distances in a pre-season program: Other positions


Workout 1: Speed: 600-800 yds. total distance approx.
Workout 2: Strength:


Football Game Simulation: 30-60 min
Tempo Runs: 0-1800 yds. approx. total distance


Workout 1: Speed: 500-700 yds. total distance approx.
Workout 2: (optional) Strength

Thursday: can be a light day

Football Game Simulation: 30-60 min.
Tempo Runs: 0-1000 yds. approx. total distance


Workout 1: Speed: 400-600 yds. total distance approx.
Workout 2: Strength

Saturday: must be done if Thursday was a light day

Football Game Simulation: (30-60 min)
Tempo Runs: 0-1500 yds. approx. total distance

Note: Tempo Runs that indicate 0 yards may apply to receivers who have run patterns for 60 minutes or so and may not be able to do any Tempo that day.

Interested in your thoughts Charlie,

Hope this helps Numba56,

Football Coach

  1. Ok here’s the thing, we are required to total 24 lift/run days over the summer. the SAQ thing is required and counts as two days for every session. I find it not very challenging, and it occurs on those days, thats why I use it as tempo. Personally if I didn’t have to do it, I wouldn’t

  2. ht-5’ 11"
    Vertical-I can grab a 10ft rim one handed
    20-dont have it
    40-4.70, was a real close race with our linebacker, he ran 4.73, these are handtimed but its what I have
    Max Squat-Did 485, but my training numbers have risen since then
    Max Bench-Did 270, but again my training numbers have risen since then
    Problems with O-lineman-Generally the sheer size(ie. our smallest O-lineman is 265lbs), but other than that I have been able to get by on being much faster and just as strong as them

  3. I like what you have there, it’s similar to what I was planning on doing until the SAQ thing came up.

  4. Sprinting is an upper body RFD stimulus, and I would do something, but it is just my feeling that it is sufficiently developed by sprinting(I believe this as my heavier bench presses have been getting faster and faster), but also I lift right after sprinting and honestly do not have it in me to do resistance RFD. These are the reasons I dropped power cleans, hip snatches, push presses, etc…


I only have a second, so I’ll reply later on. Also, I started a thread over on the Other Sports section as a continuation of this thread to get input from other Football Members. Perhaps you could post your information above, along with your weekly plan, over there and we should be able to get some good discussion going.

Talk to you later,
Football Coach

Hmm I think I am going to switch to this, as its not the intensity thats getting me but the constant changing of direction that is putting a hurt on my joints in conjunction with other activites. I think I will switch to a track, weights approach.
Day 1-Acc. Dev.

  1. 6-8x30
  2. 4-6xflying 20(focus on relaxation, proper mechanics)
  3. Ab circuit

Day 2-SAQ, Depletion Work, Weights

  1. Weight Room
    1. Bench
    2. D/L Variation
    3. Pull-Down
  2. SAQ
  3. Depletion Training(3xburnout w/ 90sec rest, Push Up’s, Bodyweight Squats, Pull-Ups)
  4. Ab Circuit

Day 3-Off

Day 4-Acc./Max V and SAQ

  1. 4-6x60m
  2. 4-6xflying 20m(focus on relaxation and good mechanics)
  3. SAQ
  4. Ab circuit

Day 5-Weights

  1. Close Grip Bench Move
  2. Full Squats
  3. Close Grip Pull-Down Move
  4. Ab Circuit

Day 6-GPP and Depletion

  1. GPP Work
  2. Depletion Sets(90sec rest, push ups, bodyweight squats, pull ups)

Day 7-Off


In a hurry again.

(1) I think some upper body dynamic work would help your bench and in turn help against the big O-Line. But, hopefully your coach uses you as a penetrating DT.

(2) I agree, I think endless agility drills beats the crap out of your body. But I understand the need to comply with coaches wishes. Do the best you can. Learn to survive.

Talk to you later,
Football Coach

that is exactly what i am going to be used as, to put on a rush, i have a knack for getting into the backfield. I hope you can comment on my reposted plan later. Thank you.


I think it looks good. Just keep this continuum in mind when training:

  1. speed
  2. power
  3. limit-strength
  4. hypertrophy
  5. tempo

And get lots of sleep and monitor your training status.

Hope that helps,
Football Coach