Right now the NFL season is in full swing.
The timing seemed right so I decided to write something that will
help you get a body like an NFL Running Back.
Guys in shoulder pads and helmets playing a game of inches.
Each member of a team uses every muscle and fiber in their bodies to win.
Blood, sweat and tears is what these guys are willing to give up.
And as we look at these guys it is clear that they are packed with muscle and strength.
But each man on a football team has their role to play.
You have your Linemen, Kickers, your Tight Ends, Wide Receivers, Quarterback and Running Backs.
Of all these guys the ones who stand out the most for their athleticism and impressive physiques are Running Backs.
So how do these guys do it?
I mean running backs have solid muscle, are ripped and strong and have explosiveness few athletes possess.
Well, quite simply it’s a matter of working on explosiveness and developing your fast twitch muscles the right way.
You’ve heard advice before on how to develop fast twitch muscle-
You focus on power movements like deadlifts, bench presses and squats, blast your reps and go home.
NFL Workout Routine
In fact, if you focus on big compound movements chances are you will have a solid foundation for building a stronger body but also for developing lean muscle.
Let’s look at a way you can start today if you are interested in having a body like a Running Back.
Choose 3 to 4 exercises consisting mostly of compound movements.
So for upper body work you can choose exercises like Shoulder Presses, Bench Presses and Pull Ups and Rows.
If you are doing a lower body movements your priority would be Squats, Deadlifts and Olympic movements like Power Clean and Clean & Jerk.
Along with compound exercises the best thing to do is include exercises that stimulate those fast twitch muscles.
Try to include athletic movements like Hurdles and Box Jumps.
So let’s look at examples of workouts that include these compound movements.
We will look at both an upper body example and a lower body example.
Upper Body Workout
Bench Press (4 sets of 6 to 10 reps)
Push Press or Military Press (3 sets of 6 to 10 reps)
Pull Ups (3 sets of 6 to 10 reps)
Curl (3 sets of 6 to 8 reps)
Take rest periods of 60 seconds between sets
Lower Body Workout
Box Jumps (3 sets of 5)
Barbell Squat (5 sets of 5)
Deadlift (3 sets of 5)
Leg Raises (2 sets of 8 to 10)
Take rest periods of 60 seconds between sets
Now if we break it down you will see that an athletic workout does not split the body into individual muscle groups.
In other words, you won’t see an athlete like an NFL Running Back working on Chest one day, Back another day or something along those lines.
The goal is to train the body and not only the individual parts.
Sure, you can train the upper and lower body together but there is a fine line and you have to be careful not to overtrain.
An effective approach is to avoid overtraining by training upper body and lower body on separate days.
Rest periods can and should be short at one minute tops.
By keeping rest periods short it not only helps with developing muscle, but also works with conditioning.
Avoid Gaining Fat While Gaining Muscle
So what ends up happening when you try to put on muscle?
You gain size (if you use the right number of sets and reps) but you won’t look too ripped unless your body fat stays low or develop the type of conditioning that you see in an athlete.
Let’s look at football players in an NFL Combine.
If you haven’t seen a combine before, it is basically a day dedicated specifically to testing out new recruits speed and strength as they prepare to get drafted by football teams (that’s American Football).
You see young guys running through cones, throwing and catching passes and testing their strength on bench presses and other power movements.
What do they all have in common?
They’re fast, explosive, athletic, and they are seriously jacked.
They have low body fat.
Sure they did it by lifting some weights and doing some drills but there is one more thing they did to get that way…
See although lifting weights is very important to put on muscle, the only way you are going to get lean is by including CONDITIONING in your workouts.
No, don’t worry; conditioning is not about jogging for an hour.
Conditioning is all about doing short bursts of activity to get your heart rate up without having to do cardio.
These athletes spend hours in a gym and on a football field doing sprints, jumping and doing other drills along with their weight training.
You won’t see them on a treadmill going straight for 30 minutes or an hour.
You won’t see them running miles and miles on the track.
Instead they break up their drills in short bursts of intervals.
You can train in the same manner but honestly, you and I don’t have time for that. Unless you want to spend half a day on this like the pros do…
So what is there to do?
Easy, combine your strength training and your conditioning in one single workout.
The easiest way to do this is by doing the following:
- Do strength training using Power Movements or Compound Movements
- Follow up your workouts immediately with Finishers
Finishers are exercises you do at the end of your strength training
workout in a series of intervals like:
- Kettlebell swings
- Jump rope
- Mountain climbers
I personally recommend choosing one of these finishers and split your intervals with 30 seconds of activity followed by 30 seconds of rest and repeat for 10 minutes.
You do your strength training for no longer than 45 minutes and throw in your Finishers for 10 minutes.
Presto. You’re done.
It’s crazy what 10 minutes of conditioning do at the end of your workout.
You end up looking leaner and you start looking more like one of those ripped NFL players.
To your fitness,
Sam- Look Like An Athlete