getting buried was a humiliating
experience. After I picked myself up he said, "What's the use of all those
muscles if they can't move any weight?"
He challenged my manhood, and told me to train with him and find out
where it would get me. Well six months later it go me all conference
in Division I-AA football as a sophomore and three years later it
helped me get to the pros. That one month turned into a whole summer
of blood, sweet, and tears with my new friend screaming, "Dig in,
dig in. It's time to be a man. Big and strong baby!" That summer
changed the way I trained for the rest of my life. I continue to use
powerlifting movements as the basis of my training. Here are some
examples of what these movements can do for your game.
When dead lifting you are in a football position, back straight,
head up, and ready to explode through your legs and hips. Dead
lifting boosts your strength through your entire body. It also
increases your explosiveness off the ball. Dead lifting all summer,
I felt like a loaded spring ready to explode through someone's
Once you explode
off the line you shoot your hands into someone's chest plate, read
the play, disengage from your blocker, and get to the ball. To
disengage you have to press your opponent off you and lock your arms
out to keep him off you. What movement is this? The bench press! Not
the Smith Machine bench or the Cybex press, just the good old
straight barbell bench press. Raw power at its finest. The stronger
my bench got the quicker I could disengage from my blockers. I found
it easier to split double teams as well. Think about it, if you can
lock out on lineman coming to block you they won't be able to get
into you, never mind block you.
For lineman strong, powerful legs are a must. In the fourth quarter
of the game the man with the most left in him will win. Squatting
will get your legs and glutes strong and conditioned. With strong
quads and glutes you increase your speed and balance, making it
harder for blockers to move you. Squat till you drop and you'll be
snapping off the ball in the fourth quarter, the same as you were
the first! Mentally when you're getting under the bar to squat 600
lbs you have to be focused and intense or you will get buried.
Squatting isn't the same as some leg press machine that everyone
loads up and reps out on. Doing powerlifting exercises will not only
increase your power and explosiveness but will also prepares you
mentally for big challenges like the one's you'll face on game day.
Here is a brief work out program for a lineman to try. It may not be
what a powerlifter would do, but for a lineman who is also doing
sprints and agilities four times a week this is plenty, trust me.
- MONDAY - Bench (Chest/Biceps)
- TUESDAY- Squat (Legs/Neck)
- THURSDAY - (Shoulders/Triceps)
- FRIDAY - Dead lift (Back/Neck)