Ladies and gentleman, I’m proud to announce the completion of my first ever guide to strength training for football (soccer): 90 Minutes – Strength & Speed for football.
Ever since I started going to the gym, I’ve always been most interested in how to become a better athlete – to run faster, jump higher, kick harder, and last longer.
Though there are a number of football strength training manuals currently available, most are written for strength and conditioning coaches rather than the players themselves. Furthermore, the players they are ultimately aimed at are professional footballers, not your average man who plays football once or twice a week at his local Goals soccer centre.
Many of these guides also contain extremely detailed physiological information which complicates things if you’re simply looking for an easily digestible guide to strength training for football.
Having read a few of these guides myself, much of the time the content is extremely disappointing. The programmes contained within usually read as if they’ve been written by a newly qualified personal trainer or a non-weight training academic. All machines and fluff exercises with no real carry-over to a football pitch.
Though there are some tremendous, world class coaches out there, to my knowledge, none of those guys have written programmes specifically for soccer players.
So in my quest for the right training programme to improve my game, I’ve done ALOT of reading, experimenting, failing, and tweaking. As the great Bruce Lee once said, ‘absorb what is useful and discard the rest’, and that’s what I’ve done. I’ve made the mistakes so you don’t have to.
When most guys start lifting weights, they go about it in totally the wrong way. I was no different. I decided I wanted to put on some weight for football, and I ballooned up 7 kg in the space of about 2 months (with the help of a weight gainer which made my insides squirm – the less said about that the better).
Even though my biceps were looking pretty good, my athleticism took a complete nosedive. I was bloated, slow, and unable to run.
My most prized attributes of speed, explosiveness, and conditioning were nowhere to be seen. I was a slug. I had no co-ordination and I was getting outpaced by players I would have waltzed past just a month earlier.
Something had to change.
Gone was the 5 day bodybuilding ‘bro’ split of chest, back, shoulders, arms, and legs. No more sets of 10 – 12 reps, no more unnecessary isolation movements. I had to get back to basics.
First, I decided to lose all the flab I’d accumulated so quickly.
I began by dropping my calories slightly, and started a strength-based routine rather than the bodybuilding one I was following. All of my training became centred around low reps – nothing over 3 per set in fact.
A few months later, I’d dropped the fat. I was stronger and much leaner.
However, while I was strong and fast, in a way I was back to square one because I was too light. I could still be knocked off the ball and lost physical tussles too easily. Whilst low reps are very important, on their own they don’t provide enough time under tension for much muscular growth.
I had to tweak my training again, and this time I needed to find a way to improve my strength, muscle size and conditioning, all at the same time.
After much trial and error, I finally figured out what works.
Once I combined that with a good diet, I was golden. My lifts in the gym are always improving, and my performance is better than it ever was. I feel like an athlete again, and crucially, a better one than before.
Most ‘weekend warriors’ do all the wrong things in the gym. Most have high body fat (skinny-fat to just plain fat), low muscle mass, and are typically weak and imbalanced (especially throughout the posterior chain – the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings). With the above problems, constant injuries and knocks invariably follow.
A well designed lifting programme will give you the following benefits:
The programme is laid out in a simple, easy to follow manner – all you have to do is show up to the gym and put in work. It’s suitable for beginners and more advanced trainees alike.
And you know the best part about it.. it’s absolutely free. Simply sign up to the mailing list below to receive your copy of 90 Minutes asap.
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