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.