Strength Training Programs

For the weight training workouts you will require the following equipment at your gym or in your home gym: power rack, olympic barbell and at least 120kg of weight plates, adjustable dumbbells, chin-up bar, adjustable bench, 18" plyometric box (for step ups).

See our strength training exercises page if you are unsure about exercise technique:

Use a working weight in which you can complete all required repetitions – increase weight if you think you can complete all repetitions required (I would recommend increasing in increments of 1-5kg per week depending on whether you have been weight training for a while or are just starting out – if your gym does not have microweights (weight plates less than 2.5kg), I would recommend buying some yourself.

Rest 3-5 minutes between sets or whenever you feel ready to perform the next set.

On weeks 4, 8 and 12 in all programs deload and use half (50%) the weight you used in the previous week for each exercise. This will help prevent overtraining and burnout from nervous system overload.

Always use warm-up sets before performing work sets and use a general warm-up prior to weight training if you aren’t doing it immediately after a sprint or plyometrics workout, to prevent injury
and optimize performance.

After finishing a strength workout it is recommended that you perform static stretching to help maintain or improve flexibility, reduce muscle stiffness and restore normal muscle length.

1 day per week

Strength I

  • Back Squat or Regular Deadlift – 4x8 (week 1-4), 4x6 (week 5-8), 4x4 (week 8-12)
  • Bench Press or Military Press – 4x10 (week 1-4), 4x8 (week 5-8), 4x6 (week 8-12)
  • Chin Ups or DB/BB Rows – 4x10 (week 1-4), 4x8 (week 5-8), 4x6 (week 8-12)
  • Romanian Deadlifts or DB/BB Step Up – 2x10 (week 1-4), 2x8 (week 5-8), 2x6 (week 8-12)
  • Core Stability (pick 1 exercise and perform 3 sets for 10-20 repetitions or for time) 

2 days per week

Strength I

  • Back Squat or Front Squat – 3x8 (week 1-4), 3x6 (week 5-8), 4x4 (week 8-12)
  • BB Bench Press or DB Bench Press – 3x10 (week 1-4), 3x8 (week 8-12), 3x6 (week 8-12)
  • Chin Ups or Pull Ups – 3 sets with max reps you can add weight when you can do more than 15 reps at bodyweight) – if you can’t do a complete chin up or pull up use a partner or powerlifting band to provide assistance
  • Core Stability (pick 1 exercise and perform 3 sets for 10-20 repetitions or for time)  

Strength II
  • Deadlift or Back Squat – 3x8 (week 1-4), 4x5 (week 5-8), 5x3 (week 8-12)
  • DB Military Press or BB Military Press - 3x10 (week 1-4), 3x8 (week 8-12), 3x6 (week 8-12)
  • BB Rows or DB Rows - 3x10 (week 1-4), 3x8 (week 8-12), 3x6 (week 8-12)
  • Core Stability (pick 1 exercise and perform 3 sets for 10-20 repetitions or for time)   

3 days per week

Strength I
  • Back Squat or Front Squat - 3x8 (week 1-4), 4x5 (week 5-8), 5x3 (week 8-12)
  • Bench Press or DB Military Press - 3x10 (week 1-4), 3x8 (week 8-12), 3x6 (week 8-12)
  • Chin Ups or Pull Ups - 3 sets with max reps you can add weight when you can do more than 15 reps at bodyweight) – if you can’t do a complete chin up or pull up use a partner or powerlifting band to provide assistance
  • Core Stability (pick 1 exercise and perform 3 sets for 10-20 repetitions)   

Strength II

  • Regular Deadlift or Snatch Grip Deadlift – 3x8 (week 1-4), 4x5 (week 5-8), 5x3 (week 8-12)
  • Barbell Military Press or DB Military Press - 3x10 (week 1-4), 3x8 (week 8-12), 3x6 (week 8-12)
  • DB Rows or BB Rows - 3x10 (week 1-4), 3x8 (week 8-12), 3x6 (week 8-12)

Strength III

  • DB Step Ups or Rear Lunges - 3x10 (week 1-4), 3x8 (week 5-8), 3x6 (week 8-12)
  • DB Incline Bench Press or BB Incline Bench Press – 3x10 (week 1-4), 3x8 (week 8-12), 3x6 (week 8-12)
  •  Cable or Plate Loaded Machine Rows - 3x10 (week 1-4), 3x8 (week 8-12), 3x6 (week 8-12)
  • Core Stability (pick 1 exercise and perform 3 sets for 10-20 repetitions)   

Here are some other highly recommended options for 3 day per week weight training:

Starting Strength 5x5
Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1
Westside For Skinny Bastards
Bill Starr’s 5x5

Bodyweight Only

This is for those who don’t have access to a nearby gym/weights room, can’t afford a gym membership or for whatever other reason can't do any of the above workouts.

You can repeat this workout 2-3 x per week.

Rest 3-5 minutes between sets or whenever you feel ready to perform the next set.

Always use warm-up sets before performing work sets and use a general warm-up prior to weight training if you aren’t doing it immediately after a sprint or plyometrics workout, to prevent injury
and optimize performance.

Strength I

  • Pistol Squat – 5 x 5-10 reps (if you can’t manage to do a complete rep then do 5 sets of progressions – you can add weight when proficient with bodyweight)
  • One Arm Push Ups or Handstand Push Ups (you can do them against the wall) – 4 x 5-10 reps
  • Reverse Hyperextensions - 5 x 20 reps (you can do with or without weight - you don't need a reverse hyper extension machine to do them - a bench and swiss ball can work well as shown here or any raised surface (you probably will need padding for the groin region).
  • Chin Ups or Pull Ups – 4 sets x max reps (you can add weight when you can do more than 15 reps at bodyweight) – either get a Upper Body Complete Gym or you can use the monkey bars at kids playgrounds – if you can’t do chin ups use a partner or powerlifting band to provide assistance

6 comments:

  1. Would a 14 year old be able to any of these?

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    Replies
    1. I don't think a fourteen year old should engage in weight training, as it can hamper growth. The non-weight exercises, you could have a go at those.

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    2. Anonymous, check out the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association position stance on youth training here: http://www.strengthandconditioning.org/images/PositionStand/asca%20position%20stand%20resistance%20training%20for%20children%20and%20youth%20nov%202007%20-%20final.pdf

      It will provide some framework to safely strength test him and see if he his ready. Otherwise, not problem with bodyweight training

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. I am a pretty lean and toned athlete, but I am a little on the skinny side. 186 centimetres 72kg but most of that is muscle because of the weights I have been lifting previously. For a centre half back/fast bowler role, should these exercises be enough or should I add more for mass building?

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  4. Thanks for sharing this article about football strength training programs. One of the most important aspects of a football player’s overall training is strength and conditioning training for football.

    ReplyDelete