Because all Corona Virus regulations are 100% based on logic, facts and free from any kind of hypocrisy, I’m happy to report that our high school football program is compliant with all testaments laid upon us by the noble Corona Prophets. These men and women brave the virus-laded halls of our Republic and issue forth great decrees such as, “No running on or near the football field! And no playing football. But you can on the other side of that fence.” (which was unlit and far from parental view- said the wise man of limitless hand waving power.) Those two elementary school aged children who dared to indulge their whimsical beliefs that an otherwise empty area is meant for playing, were baffled like the rest of us.
The Altruistic Corona Bros have sanctioned our training time to 30 minutes on weekdays because research shows that we'd all die at the 31 minute mark on a Monday but it's cool on the weekend. The Varsity normally has two main workouts and one recovery workout a week. This has been changed because the new normal includes both trampling the Bill of Rights and ignoring recovery and injury prevention.
The Junior Varsity has just two main workouts a week. They follow the same basic structure as listed below with a few changes. Only Varsity training template is listed below.
Saturday Morning (After game)
- Very light lifting/movement work
This entire workout takes about 40 minutes and is not intense. I want the kids to talk some trash, move a lot and get a sweat going. One of the take home messages on this day is to reinforce to them that by Monday, I want them to be at their “fighting weight” and mentally ready to train on Monday. Most players play both ways at London so we walk a very tight line between training, practice, recovery and game readiness. I generally have a plan going into Saturday but one has to be ready to make changes.
Remember that everything we do in the off-season is geared to get them ready for the in-season training. This is a slightly different approach; but as I’ve outlined many times/said many times; do you want to be stronger in November or in July? Our goal is be stronger on the trap bar, bench press and chin-up/pull-up. We also aim to win "The Battle of the Bus" aka Beefcake Bonanza.
We have 30 minutes to warm-up and train. Thus we begin each workout with a variation of the Raider Warm-up.
Trap Bar – This movement is perfect for in-season training. This is because, based on my own coaching/experience/research, we are able to train at a very low TM and still gain strength. We perform 2-3 warm-up sets and the proceed to doing the 3 work sets of the 5/3/1 program. All sets are done for 5 strong reps. We are looking at total control at the top and bottom. No idiot “piston” reps. Every rep is held at the top and 100% control must be exhibited at all times.
As always, control on the way down, speed on the way up (without being stupid).
The trap bar is paired with a “push” movement of their choice for no less than 50 total reps. The choices include: dips, press, incline barbell press, any variation of DB pressing and push-ups. These are to be supersetted in between the sets of the trap bar.
Assistance – since we are now tracking chin-ups/pull-ups, this exercise is encouraged. However, they are also free to do DB incline rows, shrugs, Raider Shrugs and curls. They are also free to do ANY pushing movement they want PROVIDED they pair it with a “pull” movement. Goal is NO LESS than 50 total reps of the pull movement. Any other movements or reps are up to them.
Again, we begin with the basic warm-up. We do NOT vary much in the in-season so there is NO WASTED time in teaching, the kids know exactly what to do and we eliminate any possible soreness from training. Again, this is why we train for the in-season.
Bench Press – Again, we perform 2-3 warm-up sets and the 3 main work sets of the 5/3/1 program. We generally go for a PR set on the final work set. I also have some kids perform 10 reps with every single set; this addresses our main goal for upper body work (muscle/build armor) and we’ve had some pretty good success with this. However, not everyone does this. If the kids have time, they are free to do another heavier/lighter set. It’s bench press; it’s not a huge deal.
The bench press is paired with box jumps. 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps are done on this movement. Instructions: land strong, healthy and never, ever miss a jump.
Assistance is the exact same protocol as on Monday.
Remember that you must be ready to make "game-time" decisions each training day and each kid/injury must be accounted for. However you decide to train in the in-season, each training day has to help your athletes reach the goal of playing like savages on Friday night. If it doesn't, dump it. Busy work makes winners into tired losers. Trust me as there is an entire generation of Busy Bee's who thought they had all the answers.