Gain 31 Pounds Before Football Training Camp By Elliot Hulse

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This strength program is a combination of several styles and programs that I have discovered in my ten years of experience. You will read about systems that I’ve learned from Joe DeFranco, Dave Tate, and Louie Simmons. You will learn philosophies that I’ve adopted from BFS’s Greg Shepard, Mike Boyle, and Paul Chek. I’ve learned a ton by training with Strongman champion, Tom Mitchell, and watching videos from the Parisi School.

I enjoy reading Ian King, Charles Poliquin, Dan John, and Arizona State’s, Joe Kenn. I’ve combined systems from powerlifting, Strongman, Olympic lifting, track and field, and bodybuilding. I can tell you that there are probably hundreds of more coaches, books, and seminars that I’ve learned from, and they have all contributed in some way to my design for this incredible football training system.  

As the title of this series insinuates, our main purpose is to gain MASS. However, we would like that mass to be in the form of MUSCLE MASS. In order to do this, we must adhere to the principles outlined below. Getting big and fat is not an option for football players. You need to be big and strong while maintaining a level of relative body strength and, of course, blazing speed.

“The mixed tool bag” training system

Getting bigger, stronger, and faster requires that an athlete perform exercises that are associated with each one of those goals. There are exercises and systems of training that will get you strong but not necessarily bigger. In the same light, there are exercises and training systems that will get you bigger, but in the process, an athlete may become slower. However, imagine a system that allows an athlete to get bigger, stronger, and faster at the same time!

A “concurrent” approach to training is one in which several strength qualities are trained within the same micro-cycle or week. Basically, we will use training systems that will get us stronger such as powerlifting, systems that will get us bigger such as bodybuilding, and systems that will get us faster such as jump training all at the same time.

If you are a football coach or a strength coach who has been in this field for some considerable amount of time, you will be familiar with the old linear form or periodization. Basically, with linear periodization, there are phases of training periods divided throughout an annual plan—hypertrophy, strength, power, and transition. These phases are broken down into sub-phases and macro or micro cycles. Reps, sets, exercises, and percentages are varied to help an athlete reach a peak level of performance at a particular time.

Although this system seems logical at first, there are a few, HUGE drawbacks. First, when you move from one phase to another in linear periodization, you leave behind the strength quality that had been developed during the previous phase. For example, if I have just spent the last five weeks developing maximal strength with my athletes, it is now time to move into a power/speed phase. With the traditional Western linear form of periodization, I will be spending the next five weeks on power while leaving behind the maximal strength method. What happens to our maximal strength? Its capacity decreases. My athletes will get faster and more explosive, but they will lose a huge chunk of the hard earned strength that was amassed in the prior phase.

With concurrent periodization, you train ALL strength qualities at the same time. Hypertrophy (bodybuilding), strength, speed, and power are trained all in the same program at the same time! I will also show you how to implement this program to receive the greatest results in the minimum time.

The next big problem with linear periodization is that it is based on percentages. For example, in the first phase, you may be training with 65 percent of your one rep max on the bench press, and in the second phase, it may be 90 percent.

My first question is “how accurate can these percentages be?” And what about these so-called “maxes?” Let’s say Joey Guns can bench press 300 lbs. He’s training with 75 percent, or 225 lbs. Yet, when he comes to my gym and sees all the HUGE records on the board and hears 50 Cent or Avenge 7 Fold blasting on the stereo, he gets super pumped up and presses 355 lbs! So now what? In all probability, his training with 225 for the past eight weeks was a complete waste of time.  

With my system, athletes will always be training very close to their one rep max. Every week, we perform ALL OUT maximal effort exercises, not puny percentages based on a number that was established during last month’s test day, which also happened to be the same day that Joey Guns’ girlfriend dumped him.

Also, according to Vladimir Zatsiorsky in The Science and Practice of Strength Training, long breaks (from working at percentages close to your 1RM) can ruin physical fitness. Vladimir asks, “If a mountaineer wants to climb to the summit, will he climb halfway up and then back down to go back up again?” These long breaks are detrimental because motor abilities are built and retained at different rates, which are fairly specific to each individual. Some may be lost very quickly while others will be held.

Finally, what about your multi-sport athlete? According to Dr. Greg Shepherd of “Bigger, Faster, Stronger,” a periodization program done correctly only halfway can drive a coach nuts with its complexities. You’ve got 12 kids going out for basketball after the football season is over. Half of them will continue with a spring sport. The rest will join your lifting program with the other 24 kids who have been doing it for the last eight weeks. In the summer, you get nine new kids come out for the football team, and you have to fit them into the lifting program with the others who have been lifting all spring. If this sounds like a nightmare to you, you’re right—it is! Imagine a system that allows your athletes to transition from sport to sport and from in-season to off-season with incredible ease. Imagine your athletes continually progressing all year long and reaching their fullest potential. Well, that is exactly what I am going to show you how to do.

Tool #1, Powerlifting

 


With this method, you will get super strong. When you lift heavy weights, your nervous system and endocrine system are forced to adapt. First, the strain on the nervous system causes an increase in intermuscular and intramuscular coordination. It is this type of demand that causes your muscles to grow stronger. Also, whenever you strain with a heavy weight, your endocrine system responds by increasing the release of anabolic hormones including testosterone and growth hormone. So basically you are causing your body to release its own form of anabolic steroids naturally.

The one downside to using this method is that you can’t train with weights above 90 percent of your one rep max for much longer than three to four weeks before the nervous system begins to become overwhelmed and weaken. When this happens, your strength will begin to diminish.

The way to overcome this strength barrier is to change the exercises used for the max effort method every three weeks. This keeps the body fresh so the method can be used all-year round—in-season, off-season, and rabbit season. Also, we have found that athletes enjoy the constant change of max effort exercises because they may become bored after a few weeks.

Tool #2, Bodybuilding

 

Want to get HUGE? Do you want to gain a significant amount of muscle mass and strength? Then do what the biggest, most muscular, muscle mass monsters on earth do—bodybuilding. With this method, we train all supplemental or auxiliary exercises meant to support your power lifting exercises. Generally, bodybuilders use this method by training each muscle or exercise to its momentary failure (you can’t move the weight any longer) with a lighter weight. When you train a muscle to failure, the maximal number of motor units are recruited. This system of training is great for the development of muscle mass, which is why it’s become so popular among the bodybuilding population.

The big drawback with this type of training, if done alone, is that it is done with sub-maximal weights and will fail to build your absolute strength. Just because a muscle is huge, doesn’t mean that it is strong. We have all seen the guy at the gym or have had the kid on our team who LOOKS like a monster, but the moment you put a barbell on his back, he looks like he’s going to have a seizure. Also, by training to failure on several sets, you fatigue your nervous system to such a degree that it takes several days to recover and may hamper your strength gains.

In order to get the greatest benefit from this method without the drawbacks, we will modify it slightly. Instead of performing every set to failure, we train with a weight until our form breaks down. So, if you are performing a set of biceps curls (ooh, did I say biceps curls in a football program?) for four sets of 12 and on the final set you begin to lose decent form on the eighth rep, simply stop. By training to failure on every set, you’d be taking away from the general purpose of the movements, which is to increase work capacity and add to your overall strength, not detract from it.

Tool #3, Jump Training (super speed)

 

It is with this method that we take all that hard earned muscle and turn them into weapons. This is when your arms actually become guns! Building strength is great, and it is the foundation of improving all athletic capacity. Also, building size is not only great for knocking your opponents on to their heels, but the extra size will help you prevent injuries. However, none of this will get you a college scholarship, championship ring, or professional contract if you’re SLOW and unauthentic.

I call this method “super speed” because we use several different modalities to build strength-speed and speed-strength. Basically, there are times when we move moderate weight as fast as possible, and there are times when we simply move our body weight as fast as possible as in plyometrics.

The objective here is to recruit as many muscle fibers as possible in the shortest period of time. This improves an athlete’s ability to run faster, jump higher, and change directions on a dime! Because of the enormous carryover of this method into sports performance, a great deal of emphasis is put into this method, but it is often used improperly.

Please remember that although it would seem that the exercises used in this method alone would make you faster, don’t forget that your expression of speed is determined by your foundation of strength. Many coaches make the mistake of overemphasizing this method without first building the proper relative body strength that most young athletes lack. This would be analogous to putting the cart before the horse or putting on your tie before your suit.

Putting it all together (sample program)

Monday: Powerlifting upper

Powerlifting upper, barbell bench press, work up to a 3–5 rep max
Bodybuilding upper, incline dumbbell bench press, perform 3–4 X 6–10 reps

Bodybuilding pull, chin-ups, super set with band face pulls, perform 3–4 super sets of 8–12 reps
Traps/neck, barbell shrugs, 4 X 10

Arms, barbell curls, 4 X 10

Tuesday: Super speed (low volume early in the off-season to high volume close to the season)

Dynamic warm up, vertical jumps X 5–10; broad jumps X 5–10; 20-yard dash X 5–10

Wednesday: Powerlifting lower

Powerlifting lower, back squats, work up to a 3–5 rep max

Quads/unilateral, dumbbell step-ups, perform 3 X 8–12 reps

Posterior Chain: Glute Ham Bench, perform 3–4 X 8–15 reps

Abdominal circuit, V-ups X 10; push through X 10; knee push X 10; bicycles X 10; single leg pushes X 10; straight leg sit-ups X 10

Thursday: Super speed (low volume to high volume)

Dynamic warm up, box jumps X 5–10; bounding for distance (20 yards) X 6; 20-yard dash X 5–10

Friday: Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding upper, barbell band push-ups, perform 3 X 8–12 reps

Bodybuilding pull, lat pull-downs, super set with rear delt flyes, perform 3–4 super sets of 8–12 reps

Bodybuilding push, standing dumbbell press, perform 3–4 X 8–15 reps

Grip, plate pinches for time
Abdominal, weighted crunches, 4 X 8–12

You may have noticed that there is nothing “cutting edge” or unique about this program. However, if you read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, you’ll remember that it’s not built on special gadgets and secret systems. This program is built on ATTITUDE!

If you’ve decided that football is the world to you and you’ve forgone all other “filler sports” during your off-season, you will concentrate single mindedly on getting massive, strong, and super fast. Next year, you will be older, perhaps in a bigger program, and twice the athlete that you were last season. You need to get bigger, you need to get stronger, and you need to get faster, and I just showed you how.

Elliott Hulse is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and owner of Strength Camp, a sports performance service in St. Petersburg, Florida. He trains athletes to get stronger and faster in a “warehouse gym” with about $1000 worth of equipment. Lean more about Elliott and get his “Top 10 Gym Exercises for Explosive Football Speed” by visiting http://www.FootballStrengthProgram.com.

 

Elite Fitness Systems strives to be a recognized leader in the strength training industry by providing the highest quality strength training products and services while providing the highest level of customer service in the industry. For the best training equipment, information, and accessories, visit us at www.EliteFTS.com. 









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Submitted by DMorgan on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 9:29pm.

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