As promised, here is a 2 months long training plan to help you with your training and to bring you closer to your desired goal – to sign a contract with a club.
First two weeks of the training plan are initiatory and are essential for the next six following weeks. The plan covers three main conditioning components – strength, endurance and flexibility. To give you some freedom, it is up to you, which exercises for improving flexibility are you going to choose. But if you stick to the guide bellow and you will get the most of the training plan.
Strength training exercises you need to do
Use these eight football specific strength exercises in a given order: Squats, Bulgarian Squats, Lunges, Hamstrings curl, Step-up on toes and Nordic hamstrings for your lower body plus Bench press and Press behind the neck for your upper body. All exercises should be done with a barbell or with dumbbells, only Nordic hamstrings is a bodyweight exercise. In the training plan you will find how many repetitions and sets you need to do each week and what is the load of your strength training for each week. Load is set by repetition maximum (RM) – one repetition maximum is the maximum amount of force that can be generated in one maximal contraction. In practice 15RM means that you do 15 reps of eg. squats and you can’t do one more rep if you have set your training load correctly. Because it is a bodyweight exercise, do not use 15RM as training load for the Nordic hamstrings exercise, but do at least 6 reps of it each set.
How to determine the intensity for aerobic/anaerobic interval training?
Run as far as you are possible on a standard 400-meter track in six minutes and record the distance run in meters. Divide the distance by 360 seconds and you will get vVO2max number (vVO2max is the slowest running velocity that can still elicit VO2max). The test was invented by Veronique Billat and you can find a lot of online calculators of this test to make your job easier. Then use your test result with a prescribed percentage written down in the training plan and try so stick with it with a definite time. For example: if you run 1500m in 6 minutes, then your vVO2max would be at 4,16 meters per second. If you have to run on 85 % of vVO2max in 3 minutes then you need to cover around 620-meters in a that single 3 minute interval run.
Active rest should be fun!
Every fourth week is an active rest on your training plan, after three weeks of progressive training session you should have an easy week of workouts. This means that amount of training sessions, repetitions and sets is lower than in previous weeks. In this type of training focus on your football technique. All exercises must be done with a low intensity and in about 30-40 minutes. Focus on your weaker leg, use online videos of your favourite football players and try to learn tricks they are best at. You can add more active rests if you need each single week.
Can I modify the plan?
As you already know, don’t just stick to your training plan, have it only as a course for your progression, but stick to a planned rest between repetitions and sets. Rest between repetitions and sets will bring you desired progress so don’t shorten or prolong it. If you miss a training session, do not try to make up for the deficit because probably you will neglect a planned rest between training sessions. However, what you must modify is the warm-up. It is totally up to you how will you warm up. Be creative, take time and prepare your body well for the training. Don’t skip it!
Remember, that football training is more than just training to improve strength and endurance. To make your training sessions ever better, we will provide you with some cool training tips on our blog. Next time we will update you with football specific core strength exercises.