Here's one of the top-secret conditioning programs many of the top NFL strength coaches have used for decades. See actual sample programs you can implement with your athletes right away to get them into top shape!
This type of training became popular in the 80's with many of the NFL strength and conditioning coaches. It was a type of conditioning designed to mimic the demands of the game. After warm -- up the athlete would perform the metabolic conditioning workout either one of two ways. Either the athlete would return to a spot on the field after each acceleration rep or they would decelerate and get into their stance at the next five yard mark. In true metabolic conditioning, the athlete would usually decelerate and get into a stance at the next five yard mark. Later, as "pattern running" became popular, the athlete would be forced to jog back to a starting spot in order to begin each rep which would more closely resemble the "patterns" the player was required to do for each position.
Each rep is in yards. The recovery time between each rep is twenty seconds. As the athlete progresses in the program, the recovery time will diminish to 18 and then 16 seconds every two weeks. The athlete should be prescribed a total of 2 "quarters" or twice through the entire sequence of running. One quarter consists of all three drives or a total of 29 reps. Once the athlete has mastered the drill over two weeks the recovery time is diminished between each set of "plays". After six weeks of this program, another "quarter" is added and the recovery time is back up to 2:00 between each "drive". However, at this time the rest between each play is only back up to 18 seconds, rather than 20 seconds. The recovery time between "quarters" is 3:00 minutes and 5:00 minutes for a "half time".
If your athletes are able to do 4 quality "quarters" then they are able to do 116 "plays" and would certainly be judged as in "game shape" from a physiological standpoint. However, nothing can mimic the actual demands of competition and until the first contest is over and the game is committed to tape, the actual conditioning level of the individual athlete will be somewhat of a guess, especially if that athlete does not possess a large training age.
For more conditioning information see the "Power Conditioning Handbook" by Robb Rogers on www.sbcoachescollege.com .
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