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Comparison Between Different Off-Season Resistance Training Programs in Division III American College Football Players

Hoffman, Jay R1; Ratamess, Nicholas A1; Klatt, Marc1; Faigenbaum, Avery D1; Ross, Ryan E1; Tranchina, Nicholas M1; McCurley, Robert C1; Kang, Jie1; Kraemer, William J2

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - pp 11-19
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181876a78
Original Research

Hoffman, JR, Ratamess, NA, Klatt, M, Faigenbaum, AD, Ross, RE, Tranchina, NM, McCurley, RC, Kang, J, and Kraemer, WJ. Comparison between different off-season resistance training programs in Division III American college football players. J Strength Cond Res 23(1): 11-19, 2009-The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of periodization and to compare different periodization models in resistance trained American football players. Fifty-one experienced resistance trained American football players of an NCAA Division III football team (after 10 weeks of active rest) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups that differed only in the manipulation of the intensity and volume of training during a 15-week off-season resistance training program. Group 1 participated in a nonperiodized (NP) training program, group 2 participated in a traditional periodized linear (PL) training program, and group 3 participated in a planned nonlinear periodized (PNL) training program. Strength and power testing occurred before training (PRE), after 7 weeks of training (MID), and at the end of the training program (POST). Significant increases in maximal (1-repetition maximum [1RM]) squat, 1RM bench press, and vertical jump were observed from PRE to MID for all groups; these increases were still significantly greater at POST; however, no MID to POST changes were seen. Significant PRE to POST improvements in the medicine ball throw (MBT) were seen for PL group only. The results do not provide a clear indication as to the most effective training program for strength and power enhancements in already trained football players. Interestingly, recovery of training-related performances was achieved after only 7 weeks of training, yet further gains were not observed. These data indicate that longer periods of training may be needed after a long-term active recovery period and that active recovery may need to be dramatically shortened to better optimize strength and power in previously trained football players.

1Department of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey; and 2Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, The University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

Address correspondence to Jay R. Hoffman,

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association