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How to Train like a Football Player

In honor of the Packer’s going to the Super Bowl, I decided to look at how NFL athletes train. Ever wonder what type of training and how much of it goes into the makings of an NFL champion? Check it out:

First of all, working out like a football player is going to require a focus on the entire body. For those of you whose comfort zone lies in treadmill workouts only, it is time to get back into boot camp or small group training! NFL athletes work every muscle in their body. Some may split their days by focusing on legs one day and shoulder and arms another, but inevitably, an entire week’s workout will hit every major muscle group.

How is this done? First, through weight training. (For our ladies reading this, do not be afraid of weight training!). NFL players focus on getting bigger and stronger, which in turn means, significant weight training. Unlike football players the average person doesn’t need to become extremely strong, so they can reduce the weight training, and add in two to three days a week working with weights. And ladies, unless you train professionally, do not worry about severely bulking up.

Next, core workouts are key. Do you know that your abdominal muscles can be worked daily? 
Football players understand the importance of a strong core, making core training another critical step in any program. Core training is difficult and painful, but it also adds lots of variety. Pick out a number of different core exercises both sitting and standing and rotate them, but do them often. This can include work with a ball, weights, crunches both sitting and standing and a variety of other exercise. Ask Coach Joanna, she will kick your butt with core workouts.

Cardio, cardio, cardio. Another thing NFL players need is to be fast. And by that they mean explosive power. You know how Coach Catherine has everyone sprint and then quickly change directions? It is about training your body in fast, agile movements. Running is one of the best cardio options out there.

Nutrition is key, of course. Do you think Donald Driver really sits and eats McDonald’s all day? He may be on their commercials but I don’t see a “Body by McDonald’s” t-shirt on Driver. 
Don’t forget the diet. Training on this extreme level requires a significant level of protein! Work with a diet plan and get those proteins up, because as muscle builds it needs more fuel. Add in those fibrous carbs and you will have strong muscle recovery as well.

To gain the greatest advantage, gains in maximal strength should be converted into explosive power. Most of your exercises should focus on lifting a low amount of reps through a high amount of sets. This is due to the fact that you want “explosive” muscles because the movements in the game football require that. The new circuit training at small group mirrors that!

Finally, commitment is the main component to any professional athlete’s regimen. You must stay committed. Do you think they work out each week and say “hmm, maybe I will hit the treadmill and if I have time do some legwork?” NO! Their commitment comes from having a set plan each week! They know what body parts they are working, how often they are doing it, what cardio they need to add, the duration, time and intensity of each workout, and the foods to fuel them that day. It is a PLAN. If you want to be committed to a solid exercise program than you must plan ahead and make it what you do, not something you should do.

Sources: http://www.ehow.com

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