In my last article touched on the 40-yard dash and its enormous importance in the world of football testing. In this week's article I want to discuss something I mentioned briefly in last week's article. Renegade athletes test well in training camp. Just two days ago, I received a call from a young man who I have had the pleasure to coach this past summer. His message to me was that he did awesome on his first day of training camp at a high-level Division-I program.
Allow me to go back a few months and tell you where we came in terms of preparation and attitude. I have coached this athlete for a few years now, but really had the chance this year to train him Renegade style. I told him that he was in for the journey of his life. I told him that the mode of training would be foreign to him because it concentrates on the whole athlete, not just the tested part. He seemed to shrug that comment off with no real threat to him or his manhood. After all, he had trained hard for many years ... but never Renegade style.
The first day we started to train, I could tell he wasn't equipped for the extreme nature of the training. In fact, about 20 minutes into the workout I asked him how he was holding up. His reply was, "I am doing great, and how much longer do we have?" I said, "You only have 2 more minutes left of the warm up." I will never forget the expression on his face. As the summer weeks went by that face never appeared again during the training sessions. Matter of fact, he was astonished as he looked back at each day by the mental and physical toughness it took to make it through each work out.
Now for the good stuff. In our weekly training repertoire, we attacked the wheel of development with many different kinds of exercises and schemes. The body could do nothing but respond with positive results. One thing that major college football players need is upper body explosiveness. The first exercise most people think of is the bench press. Well, it's not all about the bench press. In fact, we included upper body plyometrics, fisted push-ups, crossover push-ups, bench press, chains, bands, as well as some boxing skills for fast hands.
As you can see, we attack upper body with attitude. We attack upper body with speed and function. One of the exercise that I believe plays a pivotal role in hand speed, rhythm, and stabilization strength is the cross over push-up. Done for time and speed, it helps transfer to important game functions that football players need. Hand speed and power are not deficient in this drill! As you can see by the diagram, the exercise uses a push-up form, but never really becomes an up-and-down motion; only a side-to-side hand speed drill. In later sets, it puts enormous stress on the rear delts.
As stated earlier, we use the crossover push-up versus the clock or versus reaction to a directive. Both work well and both have merit.
Back to my point. The summer actually had minimal heavy bench press days figured into the training plan. However, at 192 pounds this young man blasted 350 off his chest for fun. The funny part to the story was that the test was administered after a heavy bout of on-field conditioning. Just what the Renegade athlete ordered.
Enter chaos! Enter fatigue! Enter rising to the top. If this team was awed with his bench press wait until the real battle starts when they lace up the pads and he starts throwing his body around like a projectile missile.
Putting The 40-Yard Dash To The Test!
Yours in Power and Speed,