Pushin’ Iron For The Gridiron: Part 3 - Pre-Camp Training.

Our boy Kris Aiken outlines the program that took him from a 160lb cornerback to a 195lb, bone-crunching DB with pro potential. If you're a ball player who's looking for a serious, no-nonsense program to take you to the top, look no further.


Phase 4 - Pre-Camp Phase

This month, we're back with the final phase of the program. Phases 1 and 2 were all about post season healing and a bit of muscle growth. Phase 3 was all about brutal strength and power training along with enough speed and conditioning work to make you the baddest dude around.

Now, with phase 4, we're going to maintain all that strength, size, and power, while conditioning you for the field and those killer two-a-day practices.

Training camp is now looming on the horizon. Two, sometimes three a days, meetings, and film work are what you have to look forward to. Oh yea, ice baths and blisters are also waiting for you in the August heat. So this is your last chance to work hard and slightly diminish the agony that is coming.

No matter what you do to prepare, camp still sucks. Of course, it's fun the first day. But that 6:30 wake up call on day two hurts and we all know it's harder and harder each day after that.

In this phase, the weight room workouts are reduced to three hard sessions per week. The type of lifts and goals in the gym remain fairly consistent. There will now only be one power day per week to go along with the two max days. It will alternate between upper and lower from week to week on Friday's workout.

In addition, there will now be more of an emphasis placed on field work. Specifically, conditioning and game simulation sprints will be improved. There is also a testing day on Saturday, to prepare for the tests that you will usually be put through on the first day of camp.

Even though good testers are not always good football players, those that can do both well will get the best opportunities.


Weeks 1-6

Monday - Max Lower

Click here for printable workout log!

Tuesday - Track Workout

Wednesday - Max Upper

Click here for printable workout log!

Thursday - Track Workout

Friday - Power Upper

    Speed med grip bench - 3 sets of 8-10
    Push press - 3 sets of 8-10
    Speed one arm cable row - 3 sets of 8-10
    Speed Dips - 3 sets until you feel slow
    Speed Chins - 3 sets until you feel slow

Click here for printable workout log!

Friday - Power Lower

Click here for printable workout log!

*Alternate from UPPER to LOWER from one week to the next.

Saturday - Testing

    Bench 225 for as many as possible
    Power cleans 1RM
    Vertical jump
    Shuttle 40 yd dash

*You should also perform an agility workout on this day after you do your testing

Sunday - Recovery/Agility

*Sunday should consist of form running and a lot of stretching both static and dynamic along with a little bit less intense of an agility workout.


Track Workouts For Pre-training Camp Phase

The workouts for these last six weeks will follow the same pattern as in the prior phase. Longer distances will be covered on Tuesdays and shorter, more intense work will be performed on Thursday.

The rest intervals are being shortened in order to simulate the rest a player would have in the huddle during a game. Saturday and Sunday's agility workouts should be creative and resemble game situations as much as possible.


Week 1

Tuesday

Thursday

    Warm up
    Skips 25 yards
    Stretch
    3x 100yd accelerations
    10x 10yd starts
    10x 20yd push up starts
    4 sets of 3x 40yd sprints @ 100% - jog back to start and rest 3 min between sets
    Abs and Tornado ball
    Cool down and Stretch

Click here for printable page!


Week 2

Tuesday

    Warm up
    Skips 65 yards
    Stretch
    14x 110yd @ 80-85% (rest 30 sec between each)
    4x 5yd lateral quickness
    Abs and tornado ball
    Cool down and Stretch

Thursday

    Warm up
    Skips 25 yards
    Stretch
    3x 100yd accelerations
    6x 10yd cable resisted starts
    6x ladder run
    4 sets of 4x 40yd sprints @ 100% - jog back to start and rest 3 min between each set

Click here for printable page!


Week 3

Tuesday

    Warm up
    Skips 65 yards
    Stretch
    16x 110yd @ 80-85% (rest 30 sec between each)
    4x 5yd lateral quickness
    Abs and Tornado ball
    Cool down and Stretch

Thursday

    Warm up
    Skips 25 yards
    Stretch3x 100yd accelerations
    4x 20yd sprints @ 100% (rest 2 min)
    4x 30yd sprints @ 100% (rest 4 min)
    3 sets of 5x 40yd sprints @ 100% - jog back to start and rest 5 min between sets
    Abs and Tornado ball
    Cool down and Stretch

Click here for printable page!


Weeks 4

Tuesday

    Same as week 3 but must complete all 110's under 15 sec

Thursday

    Same as week 3 but do 4 sets of 5x 40yd


Week 5

Tuesday

    Same as week 4

Thursday

    Warm up
    Skips 25 yards
    Stretch
    3x 100yd accelerations
    5x ladder run
    5x 10 yd starts
    15x 40yd - jog back between (add 0.5 to your best 40 yd time, all 15 should be under that time)
    Abs and Tornado ball
    Cool down and stretch

Click here for printable page!


Week 6

Tuesday

    Same as week 5

Thursday

    Same as week 5

At this point, you should take a complete week off so that you can be fully rested and recovered for camp. It's been a long 37 weeks and if you've followed the program as recommended you've probably got a brand new body. Put it to good use and hit somebody – hit 'em hard – for me.

About The Author

Kris Aiken recently graduated with a B.A. in Honors Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario, where he spent 5 years as a starter for the UWO Mustangs football team.

Currently, Kris is working as a strength coach and will be attending free agent camps for the CFL this spring in hopes to continue his football career on a professional level. He can be reached at mustangdb5@hotmail.com.

Be sure to also check out:
Part Two!