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Strength Changes During an In-Season Resistance-Training Program for Football


The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: February 2003 - Volume 17 - Issue 1 - p 109–114
Original Article: PDF Only

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of both intensity and volume of training during a 2 d-wk-1 in-season resistance-training program (RTP) for American football players. Fifty-three National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III football players were tested in the 1 repetition maximum (1RM) bench press and 1RM squat on the first day of summer training camp (PRE) and during the final week of the regular season (POST). Subjects were required to perform 3 sets of 6–8 repetitions per exercise. Significant strength improvements in squat were observed from PRE (155.0 ± 31.8 kg) to POST (163.3 ± 30.0 kg), whereas no PRE to POST changes in bench press were seen (124.7 ± 21.0 kg vs.123.9 ± 18.6 kg, respectively). Training volume and training compliance were not related to strength improvement. Further analysis showed that athletes training at ≥80% of their PRE 1RM had significantly greater strength improvements than athletes training at <80% of their PRE 1RM, for both bench press and squat. Strength improvements can be seen in American football players, during an in-season RTP, as long as exercise intensity is ≥80% of the 1RM.

Department of Health and Physical Education, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey 08628.

© 2003 National Strength and Conditioning Association