Offseason-Football Strength Program

I would like to share with you and get feedback on a program I have written. This program is designed to add size and strength to High-School football players who are likely between early-novice to early-intermediate. The final set of every exercise will be an AMRAP set. If the lifter can get 3 reps over the initial prescribed rep-count they will use 5lbs more next week. EX: 3x5 Box-Squat. If you get 8 reps on the last set go up next week. This is a daily undulating periodization setup.

Strength Day
Box-Squat 3x5
Push Press 5x3
Trap-Bar DL 3x5
Pendlay-Row 5x3

Technique Day
Used for active recovery and to help learn form. Use 50% of what you could use.

Incline Bench 3x10
Military Press 3x10
Box Squat 3x8
Trap-Bar DL 3x5
Bent-Over Row 5x5

Volume Day
Used for development of work capacity and muscle growth
REPEAT Wednesday with real weight.
3 days of recovery after this due to high volumes.

May i ask …are you a Football coach or a strength coach?

This is the go-to template round here…

Templates in this thread excellent also…

Whatever you do throw in some vertical pulling like lat pulldowns/chin ups etc. I’m presuming you have them do some rear delt/shoulder prehab work somewhere also.

Your choice of exercises…not bad, I suppose.

Your actual layout…not great.

For one, there is no way a “technique day” with athletes being told to “use 50% of what you could use” is going to work in practice. Kids will never adhere to that, even if they’re supposedly going to repeat the same workout the next day with “real weight.” If you have to train Mon/Wed/Thu you would be much better suited to split the exercises for Wed/Thu into an upper/lower split or changing this to a push/pull/legs setup.

I have a bunch more whiny criticisms, but honestly, just go read the Wendler article and adjust from there.

Jim Wendler also has a book called “5/3/1 for football”.

Something like Westside, or Joe DeFranco’s westside for skinny bastards would be a good option. Any possible shortcomings of Westside/conjugate only really apply to powerlifting because of a lack of specificity to the competitive lifts, as far as a general strength program it’s great. You could also look into some of Matt Wenning’s stuff, he sells DVDs too, he trains military, firefighters, etc. using the conjugate method.

You’ve got 3 days with the Kids a week. Most of them won’t do any homework training you give them.

Make the days serve a specific purpose that builds them up. Novices shouldn’t be doing box squats, push press, pendlay rows, barbell pressing.

Go goolge this “Wendler’s UGSS Compilation Series”. Jim specifically spoke about how he trains his kids currently. Visit his website or forum here and ask questions.

Here’s a few older articles and threads.


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Highschool football imo is pretty simple. Push/Pull/Squat routine making sure the weight is controlled on every rep with good form. Hit a couple assistance exercises and call it a day. Football players need the basics.