The NFL season is just about here, and I think it’s time we take a cue from the masters of the Gridiron and give our workouts a facelift. By this time of the year, summer is winding down and your workouts are likely getting just a tad stale. Like most things, change is needed to continue moving the bar forward. While there are a million and one ways to mix things up, people often get so overwhelmed with their options that they end up changing nothing.
In order to combat this, we’re going to take some workout ideas from some of the NFL’s best. This workout series is designed to increase your strength, power, and speed. Some of you may be scratching your heads thinking, “Why do I need to increase my strength, power, and speed?” Well, while you may not NEED those physical abilities, the body that come with developing those physical abilities is something I’m willing to bet you ARE after. Who doesn’t want to look like a lean, toned, and well-developed athlete after all?
By performing a workout that quickly shifts between power lifts, speed/agility drills, and advanced lifting formats like drop sets, you’ll be able to effectively train like an NFL caliber athlete and develop a killer body in the process. This workout is for men or women; workouts that claim to be gender-specific are almost always gimmicky and you should steer clear.
The following plan gives you two separate days of workouts. Based on your current fitness program you may want to combine both days with what you’re currently doing, you may include only one, or you may decide to repeat the workouts below up to 4-5 days a week.
The first workout in this series is all about helping to increase your speed, agility, and explosive power. Again, these may not seem like vital life skills given your occupation, but developing these skills by way of this workout will help you burn tons of calories, increase lean muscle mass, and tone up across your body. All you’re going to need t accomplish this workout is a little area outside or in your gym, making it highly versatile. You’ll be performing this workout circuit style, moving from one exercise to the next with rest only when indicated. This format of workout will help increase your endurance, fatigue the muscles in your lower body helping you build a lean set of legs and butt, and torch calories and fat.
- 5 yard sprints x 25. Get down in sprinter’s stance and explode up and as fast as possible for 5 yards. Stop, rest 5 seconds, repeat.
- Four Point Runs x 10. Set up four cones or points in a square, each side ~8 yards long. Shuffle sideways from point 1 to point 2, run in reverse from point 2 to point 3, shuffle sideways from point 3 to point 4, and sprint forwards from point 4 to point 1. Rest 10 seconds and repeat nine more times.
3. Criss Cross Runs x 10. This drill is slightly different and will help you work on your foot work, agility, and explosive power. Shuffle from point 1 to point 2. Back pedal across the box from point 2 to point 3. Side shuffle from point 3 to point 4. Run full speed ahead from point 4 back to point 1. Repeat 9 more times. Do your best to limit the time it takes to transition from a shuffle to back pedal to full speed ahead. As you continue to work on this type of drill you’ll develop the fast-twitch muscle fibers in your league which will improve your speed and agility, all while giving you a nice, shapely tone. Rest 90 seconds before moving on to the next part of this workout.
4. 100 yard sprints x 10. Get yourself on a track or football field for this one, or simply walk off 100 yards. Sprint 100 yards as fast as possible, rest for 10 seconds, repeat. This is a variation of HIIT training which will burn a ton of calories, exponentially increase your endurance, and leave you in fantastic shape. Rest 90 seconds before moving on to the next part of this workout.
5. High Knee Runs x 10. Set up cones, or simply walk off 20 yards. Run with HIGH KNEES from one point to the other. Turn around and run back; that’s 1 full repetition. Rest 10 seconds between each full repetition. It should be noted that you will not be able to run very fast if you are doing this properly. Focus on getting your knees as high as possible and do your best not to slack as you tire. This exercise is great for developing your core, gluteal muscles, and endurance. Repeat for 9 more repetitions. Rest 90 seconds before moving on to the next part of this workout.
6. 100 Squat Jumps/50 Burpees. Complete each exercise in order, in as few sets as possible. Explode through each movement, get yourself high off the ground and land softly on the balls of your feet. Time yourself and continue to try to improve on your personal best each time out. Limit your rest and really finish strong, this is the final element of the workout.
This workout places a greater emphasis on building your strength and muscle tone by utilizing complex exercises in a circuit style format. You will perform one set of one exercise, then move on to the next, then next, and so on. Once you’ve completed the circuit once, you’ll take a break as indicated, then start with the first exercise in the circuit again. You’ll repeat this entire circuit 8 times through. Focus on exploding through the lifts and generate power from your lower body during the overhead movements. All you’re going to need here is a barbell and dumbbell. Since we’re performing these exercises back-to-back opt for a weight slightly lower than you would normally use.
- Barbell Clean and Press 8 reps
- Bent Over Barbell Rows 8 reps
- Barbell Squat Jumps 10 reps
- Dumbbell Snatch 8 reps per arm
- Box Jumps 10 reps
- Dumbbell Curls 8 reps per arm
- Dumbbelll Squat Press 8 reps
- Rest 60 seconds, repeat 7 more times.
That circuit is brutal, no other way to describe it. But the great thing is you’re going to get a ton of cardio work (and the associated calorie burn) as well as hit almost all of the major muscles in your body. This is an extremely effective way of working out as it will literally transform you from an average gym-goer into a full-on, fit, athletic looking bad ass in a short time. If you’re committed to sticking with this two workout combo for an extended period of time, feel free to play around with this circuit a little. If you’re performing this multiple times a week, I’d recommend going with VERY light weight on some days and increasing reps 2-3 times for each exercise. Performing high reps is a great way to build strength, especially when combined with heavier/lower rep days.
So there you have it boys and girls, this is an NFL caliber workout designed to get you in the best shape of your life. Just because summer is over and cool weather is on the horizon, doesn’t mean it’s time to let your body slack. You worked hard all summer, get out of the cycle of 3-4 months of hard work, 3-4 months of slacking, and then 3-4 months of ramping back up. Go medium-high intensity all year long and you’ll be so much further along NEXT summer when you’re getting back into that bikini or board shorts.