Strength Training in Pro Sports – A Look at NFL Football

Strength Training in Pro Sports – A Look at NFL Football

The sports strength training regimens athletes adopt for professional sports such as the NFL Football differs vastly from regular fitness training. There are and always will be debates about the best way to train as an athlete, but strength training is still the most popular form of pro sports training. Not to be confused with bodybuilding, the main purpose of all pro sports strength training is to build the strength of professional players in all factors including but not limited to; physical strength, agility, power, balance, fitness components, etc.

Benefits of strength training

When you’re an NFL star, there are certain marks you need to hit in your strength training to be at your best on the field. Athletes adopt a strength training regimen which gives them these benefits;

  • body fat reduction
  • lower risk of diseases
  • increased muscle size (hypertrophy) and strength
  • bone mineral density
  • lowered resting heart rate
  • increased speed and agility (as well as increased velocity in batting/swinging)
  • increased flexibility
  • the joint movement made quicker and better
  • better balance and coordination
  • overall increased throwing, kicking, jumping, and punching power
  • increased leg strength and faster running and cycling ability


Best training methods used by athletes (specifically NFL professionals):

The top 5 most acclaimed strength training methods for professional athletic strength training are:

1. Resistance training

It is one of the most basic but important types of strength training which consists of compound movements with accommodating resistance. By using chains and bands, controlling the acceleration and deceleration becomes possible when moving loads. Resistance training increases strength and builds muscle in a rather short amount of time.

2. Plyometrics

If done properly with due rest between sets, jump training (low volume and low reps) is believed to make athletes more ‘explosive’ by improving the lower body and increasing the fast twitch muscle.

3. Sprinting

Hills and tracks are places professional athletes are quite familiar with as they practice short, sudden, but quick sprinting there. They base their sprinting time and breaks between the sprints on the time they have to sprint and to rest when they’re in action on the field (for example a football athlete will practice according to the average time of 3-8 seconds play and 35-45 second break).

4. Medicine Balls

In a large open area, athletes are allowed to throw around medicine balls with immense strength and power without facing any consequences or repercussions. The freedom of dictating the throw allows athletes to accelerate the ball without a deceleration time.

5. Push-Pull-Carry

The best way to gain strength and weight is to apparently shock your central nervous system into developing muscle faster by pushing, pulling, and carrying heavy objects. This helps players become bigger and stronger.

Together the hardworking NFL athletes and their competitive coaches form personalized strength training routines according to each athlete’s personal + professional goals and any areas of weaknesses. They also learn (and sometimes copy) from other coaches and athletes. The most important part of any pro sports athlete and every NFL player is strength training.

Introduction to Strength Training for Weight-Lifting Novices

So you’ve spent the last week admiring the muscle development of other people in the gym. You’ve made comparisons to their muscle tone and to your own. You soon realize that your muscles aren’t nearly as developed or impressive!

All this time in the gym over the last few months have unfortunately not produced the muscle tone you came to expect. As a result, you haven’t been able to achieve the muscle strength you were expecting. So, what do you need to do now to get the desired results you are seeking?

As a weight-lifting novice, this is may be exactly the information you are looking for. As you read on, you’ll realize that you’re much closer to the muscle strength that you were expecting than you think!

Consider these tips when weight training

Reps over weights is a good place to start. You may be impressed by the amount of weight others in the gym can lift. But try not to be discouraged if you can’t lift those kinds of weights just yet. You can definitely achieve muscle definition by doing more reps with lighter weights.

Heavier weights with fewer reps can build muscle size quickly. But if you’re more interested in muscle definition, go for lighter weights with more repetitions. This way, you will achieve better muscle conditioning.

From the beginning, free weights and more specifically dumbbells may work better for you than weight machines. Another thing to note is working with body resistance as opposed to machine resistance will limit your exposure to injury.

Your dietary habits are a big part of strength training success. Eating a healthy diet can make a big difference in your overall weight training success and your appearance. The correct combination of exercise and diet will help you achieve your goals much faster.

The amount of protein intake is very important for muscle building. Before and after working out, keep your protein intake adequate.

If you’re lifting weights, good carbohydrates are also important. They will help to provide the fuel you need to keep you going. The longer you stay consistent with your training and diet, the sooner you can expect to see results.

Core strengthening. Building a strong core is important to developing overall body strength. When you have a strong core, you’re much better equipped to keep your weight-training consistent. You’ll get good back support and stay injury free. A few good core strengthening exercises include:

Planks are highly effective core strengthening exercises. Using different variations help to strengthen the abs, lower back, shoulders, and other muscle groups.

Plyo Balance ball routines are also effective for overall core strengthening support. The abdominals are an important part of your core and you can get a highly effective workout using the balance ball.

Pushups will have a similar effect to planks but will work more of your upper body strength. To begin building strength this way makes working with weights much easier.

Oblique twists, which work the transverse abdominis, target the muscle group located under the obliques and wrap around your spine for protection and stability.

Building endurance. If you want to develop strength, stick to a plan to build up your endurance. Endurance training is important for every weight training routine. You can build endurance with any or all of the following workouts:

Walking is by far the easiest endurance exercise. Start out with 10 minutes, then gradually increase the time, speed, or even incline of your steps. Walking will get your heart rate up, and can cause you to feel winded. By working through that feeling and continuing the routine, you’ll eventually eliminate that winded feeling.

Aerobic exercises help to build endurance and muscle strength at the same time. Spinning, for example, provides a great leg strengthening workout while working on your aerobic conditioning.

Swimming and playing racket sports like tennis or squash also require a high amount of energy. Building your endurance from routinely participating in these types of activities and other high energy sports is very effective.

Making these changes in your workout regimen will certainly help you achieve better muscle strength and definition sooner than you think! Get started today!