Talk To Me Johnnie,
I’m a high school junior looking to play Division 1-AA football in college. I’ve been doing CrossFit for a couple of years now, and I’m looking for what types of exercises I need to be able to do, and goals I need to hit in order to make it.
I figure you guys would be the best people to ask. Let me know.
I am going to let you in on a secret, there is this training site programmed by this ex-NFL player called CrossFit Football. If you click on CrossFitFootballDotCom, you can find it.
Start on Monday with the Amateur level.
I will bet you a 40 oz rib eye, the first thing it will tell you to do is squat 3 sets of 5 reps. To clarify, that is 3 sets of 5 reps of the same weight on the squat. When I say squat, I mean a back squat. This is the variation where you put a heavy bar at the base of your traps, stand erect, push your hips back, sit down till your hips are lower than the top of your knees and stand up as fast as you can. And for future reference, every time you see squat programmed, add 5 lbs to what you did last workout until you cannot squat all 5 reps. Hopefully by that time, your squat is at least 400 lbs or double your body weight. If you weight under 200 lbs you should squat 400 lbs, if you are over 200 lbs it should be close to double body weight.
Next you are going to press. When I say press, I mean a standing military shoulder press with a barbell. You are going to press 3 sets of 5 reps straight across. And for future reference, every time you see press programmed, add 2.5 lbs to what you did last workout until you cannot add 2.5 lbs to the bar. By the time you start to fail at your 3 sets of 5 reps, you should be close to pressing your body weight.
Then you are going to see something called the Daily WOD. This is the conditioning portion of the training. I want you to attack it with the fury of a thousand suns. It should only take 7-15 minutes…most days.
Make sure you drink plenty of water during the day and start eating. You will see the strength gains increasing as you consume more food.
I know it seems crazy but I promise you this, if you start to measure you protein in pounds, you will get bigger and stronger.
Lets roll play.
”Hey Steve, how much did you eat today?”
“I had 3 pounds of meat and 8 lbs of milk.”
“Great work! And how is the strength coming along?”
“I have not failed on my linear progression in 3 months and am squatting over 400 lbs. I hit 300 lbs on the bench, have pressed my body weight and can deadlift 500 lbs. And I found sleeping 11 hours a day did wonders.”
“Absolutely amazing! Those are great results and I would say on paper, and merely judging by the weight room, you are ready to go play college football.”
The next day, you will wake up and see another workout on CrossFit FootballDotCom for Tuesday. I am sure you can see where this is going.
This will be a deadlift for 5 reps. You will warm up and pull the 5 heaviest reps you can and move on. This is just 1 set to 5, so don’t be tempted to do more.
To quote from a recent conversation with Mark Rippetoe, “Fives are almost too powerful. They should be reserved only for those who want brutal strength.”
You will move on to dead hand pull ups, 3 sets for max reps. Once done with the deadlifts and pull ups you will move on the Daily WOD. This will involve some running or jumping and should only take 7-15 minutes…most days.
Once done, make sure you drink plenty of water, eat your pounds and sleep.
The third day is a rest day. So instead of going into the gym and messing around, go home, get off your feet and rest.
Day 4 is going to be another squat of 3 sets of 5 reps. You will add 5 lbs to what you did on Monday and do 3 sets straight across. Then you will replace the press with the bench for 3 sets of 5 reps. Each week, similar to the press, you will add 2.5 lbs the bar until you can not add 2.5 lbs to the bar. When it fails you should be around a 300 lbs bench or 1.5 x body weight; only if you have eaten, rested and followed the program. Next, complete the Daily WOD.
Come in on Friday for 5 sets of 3 power cleans followed with 3 sets of max reps of dead hand chin ups. Followed again, by a Daily WOD.
On Saturday, if you are feeling up to it, there is a conditioning workout posted. If you are feeling beat up and tired, don’t concern yourself, take Saturday and Sunday to rest, eat and recover.
Come Monday, rinse and repeat.
Remember, the foundation of your training is the back squat.
If you want a strong back and hands, deadlift heavy 5’s.
If you want strong shoulders with a thick chest and arms blend a generous side of pull-ups and chin-ups with a stead diet of heavy benching and pressing.
If you want to hit harder, learn violent hip extension. It just so happens, it is extremely difficult to power clean a heavy weight without a violent hip extension, so you are in luck.
The only thing left to do is show up and do the work. But here in lays the problem. The reason 99.9% of people do not make gains or reach their goals is consistency.
Everyone can do it for a few days or even weeks, but can you be consistent for months? What about years? Consistency in your training means never missing a day. Consistency with your diet means making sure you eat your calories everyday.
Not the…”I didn’t eat for 2 days so I am going to gorge myself on the third to make up for it.”
If you follow the program as it is written with great consistency, eat with great consistency and rest you will be farther closer to your dream of playing college football than ever thought possible.