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7/24/2014 9:13:30 PM - Matt Day
Hey Mark
I am the Strength coach & Def Co at a large high school & I have all my players in my Wt Training class every day.
My question is how many days a week & how would you structure the strength program for my football players during the season . I been using a 3 day split of a heavy Upper body day day 1 (. Push & pull using a bench ex plus back exercises @ arm work. Moderate lower body day on day 2. ( squat ex & glute ham work, step ups, etc) Then a " explosive or speed day" on day 3 where we power clean, speed bench then utilize body weight only exercises like pull ups & chin ups dips & push ups. Am I on the right track & how would you set up this in season program?
Thanks a lot for any advise man


Thank you for the question and some of my best memorized of coaching was when I had the head S&C and DC dual roles.

I definitely thing you are on the right track. with your training program. That is a really good way to arrange it. I did something a little different, but the concepts were the same. Explosive movements closest to the game, etc. Joe Kenn has said in or interview that Day 1 was to help recover from the last game and Day 2 was to prepare for the next game. Makes sense.

I am with you in I thing a 3 day per week is superior. Most people feel it may be too much but the overall volume ends up being the same.

The other concept you are implementing is having strength training sessions separate from practices. Not every high school is as lucky as you to have the team train in guy class, but that is the optimal way. First of all, why does a high school football player (or any athlete) need to take a mainstream PE class? And, if I couldn't train a HS kid during class, I would try and train them in the AM before school.

I messed this up when I first started coaching and did all our max effort work on the Sunday after the game and did a shitty circuit after Tuesday or Wednesday's practice. Sometimes having the 44 on Tuesday and the rest and redshirts on Wednesday. I was so worried about them be recovered for the next game. I was a dumbass.

It wasn't until my good friend Tony Kunczewski (Head Coach at Berry College in GA) had a conversation with Jim Wendler about in-season training. I asked Jim about it when I cam to visit him and it clicked even more. We had our days mixed up. Add a presentation my Tom Myslinski reaffirming the High and Low CNS days for football and it started to click. The final step was to adjust training volume by playing time. i.e. Starters did less sets than JV kids. I detail what I adapted from John Patrick and Willie Danzer in this article:

So, here's what we did for a Satruday game. Not saying it is better for your situation but maybe you can gets some things from it.


Before or after film session

Soft Tissue Work
Movement Prep
Dynamic Warm-Up
5 Way Neck
Med Ball Throw Variation. KB Swing, or Tire Flip
Overhead Press Variation (Log, Fat bar, Bands, or Chains)
SL Squat Variation (Strap, Step-Up, Rev Lunge)
Row Variation (DB, KB, Blast Strap)
Swimming Pool Conditioning


Small groups throughout the morning

Soft Tissue Work
Movement Prep
Dynamic Warm-Up
5 Way Neck
Snatch variation (Blocks, Hang DB)
Box Squat Variation (bands or Chains)
Glute-Ham Raise
SL RDL Variation
UB Pre-Hab
Static Stretch


Small groups throughout the morning

Soft Tissue Work
Movement Prep
Dynamic Warm-Up
5 Way Neck
Clean Variation (Hang, Blocks, Floor)
Bench Press Variation (Bands, Chains, Board, Fat bar)
Pull-up or Chin-up variation
Push-Pull Circuit
LB Pre-Hab
Static Stretch

I hope this give you some insight. We would keep the volume very low. 10-12 total reps on Olympic lifts and 3-5RMs on CME lifts with added sets based on plying time.

Let me know if you ever need anything and I wish you the best of luck this year, my friend. I really like your set up. Make sure you have a way to evaluate how your players are performing on the field and in the wight room. Number one job for you is to keep your team physically and mentally healthy. The weightroom is the best tool for both.

Get after them,
Mark Watts

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