It's football season again and that means players and coaches will be trying to maintain...or, in some cases, improve their strength that they worked so much on during the off-season. ASAP: Athletic Strength And Power will be providing insights to help players get stronger during the season. We headed North, up I-75 to Cincinnati St. Xavier High School, a big school (Div. 1) football powerhouse that is the Ohio defending State Champion so we could get an idea of how they run their In-Season Strength Training Program. The head strength and conditioning coach at St. X is Carlo Alvarez and he has put together a remarkable training program. Coach Alvarez (pictured) learned his trade at The University of Cincinnati, the University of Notre Dame and was even the head strength coach for the Cincinnati Reds. The Bombers are in good hands under his leadership and this team is known for getting stronger as the season progresses. So, here's what we found out about the St X Bombers In Season Strength Training approach.
St. X BOMBERS IN-SEASON STRENGTH TRAINING PROGRAM
- Workout is to last no more than 20 minutes
- Varsity strength sessions occur on Saturday morning(day after game). This is a total body workout that consists of:
- Abdominal and CORE Routine
- Low Back + Obliques
- 15 minute continuous jog (conditioning) which they call a "flush" to work the soreness and stiffness out from the game
- Squats or heavy Leg Press 3 sets of 6 reps at approximately 55-70% of their typical off-season training weight
- RDL's (Romanian deadlifts) Coaching Points:...Bent Knees--Dumbell close to body---Dumbbells slides down leg---shoulders stay back---and do not round-out the back
- Leg Curls or PhysioBall Leg Curls
- Step-Ups or Leg Extension
- Neck and Traps
- Then, for the 2nd workout during the week: The Offense lifts on Tuesday and the Defense lifts on Wednesday.
- 6- 10 Half Gassers (on one of the days) and here are the required times that must be accomplished:
- Skill Positions: 14-16 seconds
- Big skill Positions: 16-18 seconds
- O-Line/D-Line: 18-20 seconds
- 6-10 20 YD runs and 6-10 10 yd Runs (on the other day)
An interesting point to note is that St. X really emphasizes Post Practice and Post Conditioning Flexibility work. Coach Alvarez points out the importance of lengthening the muscles. St X pays very close attention to the Rest and Recovery phases of athletics and training. In fact, with their athletic training staff they have combined sports massage and something that Coach Alvarez used often when he was working with The Cincinnati Reds and that's Cold Tubs. They have several 45 gallon tubs filled with ice water and ice. The players will dip into the bucket for anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes following practice and workouts. Alvarez stressed that this plays an important role with both the mental aspect of recovery as well as with physically.... reducing the swelling of the ankle and knee joints, also the lower back and hips from the hitting and grind of the game of football.
Make no mistake about it, this is one strong football team....and huge, too! Their offensive line was massive....as you can see in the photo below.... and their explosive power goes all the way through to the fourth quarter . They totally dominated the line of scrimmage on this steamy night in August against a formidable foe...one that often qualifies for the state playoffs.
Good Luck to the Bombers....and Thanks Coach Alvarez for letting ASAP in for a "behind -the-scenes" peek at the St. X strength training program.