How to Train for high school Football?
State champions are well aware the offseason makes or breaks them. And their approach to training can be summed up in one word – intense.
Here are five of the most unique offseason workout regimens you’ll find in high school football.
5. Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) – 5-time state champs
Lake Travis players work out twice a day, five days a week year-round. The first training session starts at 8:45 a.m., and the second players-only practice is held after school.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday the Cavaliers develop full-body strength with Olympic lifts — power and hang clean, bench, squat and incline.
Tuesday and Thursday are dedicated to speed and agility. Players start with an active warm-up of 11 drills: high knee jog, high knee butt kicks, lunges with twist, solider kicks, line touches, a-skips, b-skips, prances, backward runs, crunches and pushups.
Three minutes later, players are ready to roll through their speed workout, which varies weekly. The team is divided into six groups, and each rotates through one of six speed stations, including cone drills, plyometrics and ladders. Then there are mat drills, which involve a lot of bear crawling.
“It’s about mental toughness, ” says offensive line coach Jarrett Lambert, who plans all offseason training. “We’re trying to break the athletes down and make them do the drills right when they’re tired."
4. Carmel (Carmel, Ind.) – 7-time state champs
Offseason workouts, masterminded by coach Kevin Wright, are set up-tempo.
“We’re on the clock in the weight room, ” he says. “I like (Oregon coach) Chip Kelly’s philosophy. A lot of what the team does is outside the box in their approach to football.”
For Carmel, workouts are segmented into five eight-minute stations. Three consist of core lifts — squat, bench and power clean — and each work multiple muscles simultaneously.
Athletes then transition to two other stations, where they superset a trio of exercises that complement the core lifts. For instance, a straight-leg deadlift followed by the glute-ham machine and then ending with the dumbbell bench. The last station includes lunges, upright rows and finishes with a manual neck exercise.
3. Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) – 2011 state champs
Whether Valor players are trying to trim body fat or gain weight, you likely won’t find these guys eating chips or drinking soda. At least, not recorded in their individual food logs, which players maintain throughout the week.
“They’re very consistent and do a good job with their diet, ” says coach Brent Vieselmeyer.
The Eagles also stand apart with their high-tech workouts. Each athlete records his performance on a card during a training session. He then enters the information into a computer located outside the weight room. Programmed software generates the next workout, right down to a player’s one-rep max.
“They almost have their own personal trainer, ” Vieselmeyer says.
Workouts consist of explosive weight training, which the Eagles do four days a week. One day is dedicated to heavy and power-packed lifts like hang clean and deadlift. Another is reserved as a traditional strength day of squat and bench. Two other days feature light explosive and light strength lifts.
2. Valley (Des Moines, Iowa) – 2011 state champs
At 6 a.m., the team gathers for agility sessions twice a week for six weeks each spring.
“They hate it, ” says coach Gary Swenson. “But, they understand.”
The team also strength trains four days a week after school. Lifts vary — twice a week, players target legs and back, and the other two days focus on upper body.