Here is a question that worries many football players:
Should soccer players train for strength?
The short answer is yes. And the reason is that strength is the precursor of power. Power is responsible for every athletic movement you make on the court. Whether you're shooting the ball, sprinting past defenders, dribbling down the pitch, or directing the ball into the net, you need strength to accomplish all of these feats.
However, many soccer players get stuck when they start strength training. This is mainly because they stick to powerlifting methods to develop their strength. Powerlifting methods can definitely help you get stronger, but they will not help you develop strength which translates into power.
And that is why I am writing to you, to show you how to develop a force that will transfer to your football performance on the pitch.
Let's move on to strength training for soccer players:
The two types of force
There are two types of strength that a football player must develop in order to be successful.
The first type of force is relative strength, or the amount of force they can produce relative to their body weight. Someone who can do 30 pull-ups has high relative strength.
The second type of force is absolute force. This is the amount of strength you can produce regardless of your body weight. Someone who weighs 300 pounds but squats at 600 pounds has high absolute strength.
These two types of strength are absolutely essential to the success of football. Stability, kinesthetic awareness, and coordination go hand in hand with relative strength. It's also worth noting that the higher your relative strength, the more powerful you are likely to become.
Of course, you won't be a great soccer player without the ability to exert high strength. This is where absolute strength training comes in. But, once we have reached a certain level of strength, the goal is to bring that force down on the force-speed curve, or to transform that force into power.
The goal of bodybuilding for football players
As I said above, the goal of your strength training is to turn that strength into power. Force is the precursor to power, because power is equal to force (maximum force output) multiplied by speed (how fast you move an object).
I learned a bunch of methods to develop athletic strength, or strength that can be translated into power. And I'm going to share three with you today.
3 ways to develop athletic strength
1. Three-phase drive
Triphasic training is perhaps my favorite training method that I have ever come across. It is versatile, efficient and ideal for all levels.
I used it to increase my vertical jump by 12 inches. I used it with players prepping for their NFL draft
The basis of three-phase training is the use of tempos to emphasize each part of the movement. If you look at a squat, there is an eccentric phase where you lower yourself down to the ground, there is an isometric phase, which is the time between the descent and the ascent, then there is the concentric phase, which comes out of the hole .
Focusing on each part of the movement has its own advantages.
For example, focusing on the eccentric phase allows you to bypass GTO inhibition. Inhibition of GTO occurs when the Golgi tendon organs inhibit the force of a muscle contraction. This is to avoid damaging the muscle, but the inhibition of GTO is overactive. It only reaches 60% of what a muscle can handle.
Using eccentric tempos can help you bypass this mechanism and produce more force.
Isometric training also comes with a big dose of benefits. Primarily, isometric training increases motor unit recruitment, or the amount of motor units you use with your movements. It can help you with your explosiveness and the overall amount of force you can produce in your movement.
I could go on and on about the benefits of triphasic training.
But for now just know that it can have a HUGE impact on your athleticism and performance on the soccer field.
2. Accommodating resistance
One of my favorite weight training methods for building power is resistance. Resistance adaptation involves filling the gaps of least resistance with a band or chains to increase the speed at which the athlete must perform a movement.
In other words, if you're thinking about a squat or bench press, there are certain parts of the movement where it's easier to shift the weight. In a squat and bench press, the closer you get to the lockdown, the weight is easier to shift. When this happens, the athlete usually slows down the rate at which they were using the barbell.
The addition of chains and bands prevents deceleration. And that forces the athlete to accelerate throughout the movement. This ultimately forces the athlete to move the bar faster than he would. without accommodating resistance.
Again, this is one of my favorite ways to build my athletic strength.
You can use it in conjunction with squats and a bench press and see your power go up.
3. Training on contrasts
Contrast training is another great method for soccer players to transfer strength to power.
Many people compare contrast training to taking a bucket that you thought was full. Your nervous system is elevated and ready to lift a heavy bucket, but it's empty, so you lift that empty bucket with more force than if you knew it was empty.
We will recreate this scenario with weights.
Contrast training basically consists of performing a strong resistance movement followed by an explosive movement. An example of this could be a squat followed by a box jump.
The nervous system is strengthened by the weighted movement, so when you do this plyometric movement, you are performing it with more overall explosiveness than you would in the rough.
There is a more scientific explanation for this.
But, for now, just know that contrast training is a powerful tool for translating strength into power that you can use in the field.
Weight training settings for soccer players
When it comes to strength training for any sport, I like to keep it simple.
I don't like being stuck to certain percentages or having specific expectations about how much weight I'm going to be lifting on a particular workout day. I like to present general guidelines that will give the athlete the opportunity to improve.
The same goes for strength training for football.
In the first week, my athletes typically do 5 sets of 4 reps, up to one set of five reps.
At the end of the second week, my athletes do 5 sets of 3 reps. The idea is to accumulate a heavier weight than the previous week.
Then, during the third week, my athletes do 5 sets of 2 reps. Again, the idea is to build a heavier weight than the week before.
After three weeks of progress, we will unload.
It's a simple approach and things can get more complex depending on the particular circumstances, strengths and weaknesses of a player.
Decoded Football Strength Training
Putting all of these parts together can be confusing for an athlete.
And I recommend that athletes spend less time trying to master programming and spend more time developing their physical performance.
That is why I want to offer you an exclusive discount for blog readers on my NEW football performance system.
The Soccer Performance System contains everything you need to improve your physical performance:
- Speed mechanics exercises
- Agility training
- Acceleration works
- Strength training
- Power training
- Basic exercises
And much more.
It's a comprehensive approach to the performance side of football training.
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How football players should train
The two types of strength for football players
The purpose of strength training for soccer players
3 methods to achieve these goals,
Settings for strength training
Understanding what it takes to becoming a successful athlete, is important. Although, there are millions of factors that contribute to this, so we have put together our top 5 tips to becoming a successful athlete ! The reason behind this article came from an conversation between myself and a young athlete desperate for success. So, hopefully, this article will help similar athletes asking the same type of questions.
First of all, commitment is defined as the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause ( your team ) or activity ( your sport ). Although, commitment isn’t tangible and you can’t quantify it, the levels of commitment are ever changing. So, thats the task, understand what level you need to reach and smash it !
A locker room full of teammates who are willing to work and work together every day at practice, even when not under the coach’s eye, is fondamental to having a successful season. Realise that a good teammate doesn’t try to be the best player on the team; they focus on being the best player for the team, though at times this can be difficult – stick with it !
Spending 10 minutes before and 10 minutes after practice sérieux on your game will give you an advantage over the competition. Some players choose to talk about their day while they slowly lace up their shoes, or duck out of practice as quickly as possible. Realise that being different is just one level away from being great. Twenty minutes of additional practice six days in a row adds up to another full practice during your week. Although its more about quality practice rather then quantity of practice, if you are adding 120 more minutes of practice to your week, make sure its worth while !
to become a successful athlete you need to know Your Teammates. How you work with your teammates when things are going wrong, strongly influences how successful you will be. Also influencing how far you will go as an athlete. So, great teammates are positive, supportive, understanding, forgiving and passionate about helping those around them achieve greatness. Learn about your teammates. Enjoy being around them away from practices and games. Sit with different teammates on road trips. Strike up conversations to learn about what motivates them. The time, effort and energy you put into reaching out to your teammates will come back to you many times over. Being a good teammate isn’t a big thing; it’s a million little things, so get working !
Realise that regardless of whether you are playing in a friendly fixture, a tournament, or been invited to international trials, certainly adopt the motion that people are watching. You are a brand, and you want to be seen in a positive light. You have to become a brand worth investing in, because your worth investing in.
Finally, “When you are not getting better, you are getting worse” is a cliché that may intimidate many athletes. Improve just one rep each day, and push yourself outside your comfort zone. If you are lucky enough to be around a coach who pushes you, holds you accountable, and may even be demanding at times, consider it a gift. Although it may be stressful, they probably see something in you that you don’t yet see in yourself.
Stay positive and believe in the process. No successful athlete ever started out that way. They all found it in themselves to make their bad days better and draw confidence from the days when they did well. You are never as bad as your worst day, and you are never as good as your best. Find it in yourself to stay level-headed and hungry to become more for your coaches, teammates, family and yourself.