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A Guide to College Football Strength Training Programs

written by: Regina Woodard•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 3/31/2011

Football players need to be able to hang on the gridiron, take the hits, and make the plays. But what should future player hopefuls look for? Train for? Here is a look at some college football strength training programs and when you should start.

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    Are You Ready For Some Football?

    It's one of America's favorite pastimes, allowing for friends and families to get together to watch a big game. There are many levels of football, starting from the very pee wee leagues going all the way up to the pros of the Packers, the Jets, the Saints, and the 49ers. For those future football players, dreams of holding up the Vince Lombardi cup and wearing a Super Bowl ring usually starts in youth, when playing in the road or the fields of parks and playgrounds is just a preview to what they hope to achieve.

    But when should a player start to consider football as more than just a weekend sport to that of a school activity or even a career? What does a player need to know about strength training? When should they start? Here, we'll take a look at some college football strength training programs that can help players get the training they need.

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    College Football Strength Training Programs

    Strength training in general is using exercise in order to increase muscle mass, gain speed and agility, and endurance. Strength training is an essential part for any sport or any athlete, as this helps them with speed, muscle memory, and endurance in long games, especially when they go into overtime. Strength training can involve many different types of exercise -A Guide to College Football Strength Training Programs 

    • Weight Lifting - weight lifting involves the use of dumbbells, barbells, and even weight machines. This means using them to lift the amount of weight for whatever body part you're working on. Depending on the exercise, you can easily work your deltoids, shoulders, biceps, triceps, quads, calfs, and other areas.
    • Body Weight - body weight means using the resistance of your body's weight to lift. This includes doing push ups, pull ups, dips, squats, and crunches.
    • Machines - as mentioned with weight lifting, these are machines designed to allow the user to choose their different weight setting and then moving progressively. This is much like weight lifting, only you are using a machine along with the weight.

    For most sports that are offered by a school, they will normally have their own strength training programs. In most cases, these schools will usually have their own school gyms, with training equipment that students can work on either before their practice or during off times when no one will be there. It's usually the coach of the team that will dictate what kind of training schedule the team will go through or at when a good time is for them to work out.

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    When to Start and What to Work On

    Aspiring football players are usually going to start a strength program when they start playing football. In most cases, in order to play college football, most players have already been playing since either high school or younger and they are conditioned for the rigors of playing college football. Players who start out at a young age will likely play in the pee wee leagues, which are designated for those who are six until either the end of elementary or the start of junior high.

    Depending on the junior high school, there may or may not be a football team, however there may still be programs outside of the school that they can participate in. High schools will most likely either continue for a player or will start for many interested in playing. Junior varsity are usually for sophomores and juniors, but sometimes remarkable freshmen are able to join; from junior varsity, players who continue playing are eligible to play varsity, which is usually the main high school team.

    Players should concentrate on all parts, though the leg muscles, arms, and chest are important. Depending on the position that the player is taking, a coach may design a workout for each position; for instance, the quarterback should focus on arm strength so that that he's able to deliver a passing throw; defensive linemen should work gaining upper body strength, so that they can stop the quarterback or the runner.

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    Training Programs

    Training programs for students will often be given by the coach of the team or that of the school. These programs can usually be given during practice, such as part of a warm up before actual practice.

    If a player wants to work outside of school, there are a couple of college football strength training programs that they can look into.

    • Velocity Sports Training - depending on the state and city, a player can try to join Velocity Sports Performance, which is a sports training facility that began with a NCAA coach who wanted to help players with sports training.
    • Sports Fitness Advisor - a website that offers many different programs for strength training for a variety of different sports.

    Players should also ask their coach what their recommendations are for programs, in the case their school does not have a program or in addition to using a school program.

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