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Conditioning Variations for football

Conditioning has came along ways from the days of running miles, 300 yd shuttles and 110's. While there is nothing inherently wrong with these methods of conditioning in terms of getting in general condition they essentially do nothing for meeting the demands of the game. I have adapted my conditioning over the years to meet the demands of the game being played. The tribe test which I learned from Keir Winham Flatt at the NSCA conference a few years ago has worked tremendous for our skill players. While we don't add up the total yardage the athlete covers we have modified the concept of it to fit our personnel. It is essentially 5 seconds of work and 25-30 seconds of rest completed for multiple reps usually working up to a long drive over the course of time. The athletes pair into pairs of two at the goal line, one is a runner one is a spotter. From here they run to the 20 and as far back as they can in 5 seconds. Once the coach blows the whistle the spotter then marks where they got to with a cone. They rest 25-30 seconds and complete the rep again trying to beat their previous distance. If they do the cone is moved forward, if they don't the cone is moved backward. This simulates what happens in a football game for most skill players and is a maximum effort drill versus simply trying to make a time. In a variation of it we have the same timing concept but also add more change of direction work. The athlete still starts at the goal line and then runs to the 5 and back and then as far as they can in the 5 second time frame. It also has worked great for our lineman however while it has worked well I've wanted to get even more specific with regards to a lineman variation of the drill. While a skill player must exert maximum effort in a short amount of time just like a lineman has to do they generally do not have to do so against another player. So for our offensive and defensive lineman we are going to borrow the idea behind the tribe test but make it much more position specific. We will essentially have 5 seconds of work against a sled with 25-30 seconds rest before completing another rep adding up to the distance of a drive. At the end of each rep the athlete will walk the sled back and rest 25 seconds before attempting to beat their marker on the next rep, just as in the normal tribe test the marker moves in relation to where the athlete got to in the time allotted. I recommend single sleds if you have them or putting 2-3 men on a 5 man sled if you only have that. The reason being that if you go 5 across someone is most likely not going to give their full effort and coast while the others give maximum effort. If you are more of a down blocking team than a base blocking team you can even work your down block angles instead of head up to get even more specific. I don't believe in being sports specific with regards to balancing on a bosu ball on top of a foam roller while juggling footballs with the sun in my eyes while drinking hydration water elixir all while attached to a vertimax but I do believe in being sports specific in terms of meeting the demands of the game in your training especially conditioning.



Simple Progressions

Week 1 : 6 total reps

Week 2: 8 total reps

Week 3: 10 total reps

Week 4: Two sets of 6 reps

Week 5: Two sets of 8 Reps

Week 6: Two sets of 10 reps


Video Demonstrations and explanations




Tribe Test



Modified Tribe Test

Lineman variations


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