NFL Draft Worthy training routine
As an old fat **** who's trying to get back in shape, I have set some goals for myself for fitness and athleticism. In this thread, I hope to share and track my routines, document my improvement, and get feedback from you all with regard to what I'm doing. I've already begun some of this training, and I'll post what I've been up to so far.
As I'm considering trying out for a local semi-pro American football club this spring, my fitness goals will be based around some of the tests given at the NFL scouting combine.
Me: Ryan "Ryno" Greene
Prospective position: Linebacker/Defensive End
Alternate position: Tight End, Long Snapper
Goals (based on NFL Scouting Combine Numbers for Linebacker/Defensive Ends)
40 yard dash: 4.99
Bench, 225 lbs reps: 17
Vertical jump: 30 inches
Broad jump: 113 inches
The numbers represented by these goals represent a slightly low average of the numbers put up by last years combine invitees for those at about my size/weight/position. Given, just being invited to the NFL scouting combine pretty much means that you're a world-class athlete, and were a dominant player at the Division 1 level.
Now for me, some of these goals are going to be super hard, borderline unattainable. But what the hell, right? Shoot high. Here's some commentary, and my current and previous stats breakdowns, which I hope to improve upon:
40 yard dash - 4.99
This will probably be the hardest for me. I've got a good 10 yard out of the gates, but have never been fast. In high school, I ran a 5.09, but I never really trained for it. I was about 60 lbs lighter at that time. I've also blown out my knee a few times since then. About 3 months ago I was timed at 6.3 which is wholly unacceptable.
Bench - 17
In the test, you simply rep out 225 lbs as many times as you can. I've never been stellar at bench, and in high school had a pitiful max of 170 lbs. This past year, I've dedicated myself to improving my bench. Specifically, I was following this program, but have now switched to a 5x5 program as I was getting too fatigued after following that one for the last 3 months or so.
I've calculated that to get up 17ish reps, someone probably needs to be able to max 330 or so. My current max is around 235, so I've got a ways to go, but think that I can make it in around a year and a half.
Vertical jump - 30 inches
This is pretty straight forward. After a couple of knee injuries and surgery, I hadn't really worked on jumping much until recently. I need to measure to see where I'm at, but I'm pretty sure that I'm well below the 32 inches that I used to jump while playing high school basketball.
Broad jump - 113
This is a standing broad jump. I've never really done this, and need work here. I've just started practicing.
The moment of truth
What led me to setting these goals, and starting this routine was that I was getting my ass kicked last winter at my SAMBO club. I'd gotten old, fat and lazy, and was suffering through practices due to poor conditioning. Due to a demanding office job and having kids, it was tough to get in to practice much, and my fitness had really slipped. So in December of 2012, I stepped on the scale.
That was the moment of truth.
So I started dicking around with the weights in my garage, and doing some distance jogging. Things started getting a bit better for me in practice, and my overall fitness level improved. I started putting up more weights on my lifts, and things were on the upswing. My what-you-could-call-a-routine was based off of bench, squats, and cleans. Stats from start to end of dicking around period, about 4-5 months later:
Bench - 145 start, 175ish end
Squat - 190 start, 250 end
Clean - 115 start, 145 end
For someone lifting that long, that isn't great gains. I naturally ramp up on squats super fast, but have always struggled with bench. Realizing my limited gains, I decided to start a proper program and do things a bit more scientifically. I also started thinking about these goals that I've laid out here, but at the time, just thought that they might be just a pipe dream.
On a program, and logging workouts
Due to my limited gains, I decided to make a few changes to my workouts early in the summer of 2013.
First, I moved my workouts from evenings to mornings. Workouts were intruding on my home life, and it was just too easy to flake on them. Now I hate to get up early, but this seemed like a way to ensure consistency. This ended up being an excellent idea, and I'm still sticking with it 4 months later.
Second, I decided to adopt a regular fixed program rather than use my **** around approach. My initial official program was bench-centric, as that had always been a glaring weakness for me. I ran with this:
I supplemented this with some squats and cleans, which I did once a week using:
4 straight sets of 3-5 reps, 5th set of 6-8 reps at 85% of 1st set weight. During this period, I was lifting four days a week, religiously.
In addition, I began keeping a thorough log of my program, tracking lifts, sets, weight, etc. This was tremendously helpful. It let me track my progress, and kept me from cheating. If you are not keeping thorough track of your lifting, you are just dicking around. Don't be a dick.
Within a little over a month, I'd seen very good gains.
Bench went from 175 to 215 (That program really worked, but was brutal.)
Squats from 250 to 280 (Got an ass to show for it.)
Cleans from 145 to 170
My bodyweight had dropped from 252 to 240ish with minimal change to diet, just due to increased activity level at this point.
I continued with just this routine, until I accidentally had another "Ah ****" moment regarding my overall conditioning...
Looks like your program is solid to me. Are you doing all the assistance lifts in the program you linked? It looks like it has some overhead presses (DB press I am assuming is overhead, not DB bench) but you may consider a barbell overhead press as well (if you aren't doing it already). Its a great lift and overhead lifting supposedly helps with shoulder health and will theoretically prevent injury from excessive benching.
Bench, squat, cleans seems like a good program overall. But really, as long as people are squatting I am happy and you have clearly defined goals, which makes it easier to assess what you are doing.
Good job and stuff. *brofive*
Speed and hops
So I'm cruising along, making some gains, being happy and all. Then during the summer, I take my kids down to an NFL Play 60 event, where I get to run a timed 40 with my son.
Ah ****. That is terrible.
So getting my speed and explosive leg drive up became a focus for me. So, I started adding some stuff at the end of the summer. On leg days, I started adding various jumping and plyometric drills.
Jump drill one: Jump up high, bring knees to chest. 3 to 5 sets of 5.
Jump drill two: Wide stair jumps. I've got some stairs in the front of my house, I hop up several at a time. This would probably be about 14 inches up, 3-4 feet forward. These are really wide stairs. I then jump down on the same stairs. 12 cycles up, non-consecutive. Going for explosiveness over cardio. I'm hoping that the forward + elevation gain will aid my stats in the standing broad jump test.
Jump drill three: Basketball jumps. Jump up and touch the roof of my garage repeatedly. 3-5 sets of 20.
I'm also trying to squeeze in some additional plyometrics when I can, but I need to find a good place to do it. I've got a bunch of oversized cinderblocks which might work as an adjustable platform.
I also dropped the casual distance jogging in favor of sprints. I warm up with a half mile jog to the park. Then I run two progressive 50 yarders, touching the lines at 10, 20, 30, 40, and finish. I run this at maybe 65%. Then I do five 40 to 50 yarders, all out. After that, I do another 5-10 of starts, focusing on initial burst, but slowing down after 20 yards. I've been working this twice a week.
The first day that I did the sprints workout, I thought I was going to collapse. Working fast burst is a bit of a cardio workout, but I try not to grind, and am sure to take breaks. But damn, after the routine, my legs feel like they are about to fall off. I was seriously concerned about collapsing going up my stairs. And this was after I had gotten my squats over 300, and considered my legs fairly strong.
After a few weeks, I could notice a substantial improvement in my getoffs and top end speed. I'm sure that I'm still slow as ****, but there's been improvement. I'll be dragging my wife to the park soon to do an official time.
I am not doing all of the assistance lifts. I am in the process of switching to the Madcow ramped 5x5 program right now. Details as to the switch to follow.
Originally Posted by Krijgsman
Fatigue and switch to Madcow 5x5
So I rolled along with that bench routine for quite awhile, and made very good gains. My squats kept progressing somewhat, and my cleans started stalling out. So I decided to add some more stuff to the program. (probably not the smartest idea) I began supplementing and additional set of cleans and squats to see if I could improve quicker. I stuck with my 4 by 3-5, 5th 6-8 straight system four days a week. I made some more gains.
Bench 215 to 235
Squats 280 to 315
Cleans 170 to 185
Things were humming along for a little while, then I hit a wall. It started with cleans, and I just started having catastrophic fails. Then it happened with bench too. My squats simply hit a plateau.
I'm fairly certain that the straight sets (same weight for first four sets) and just pushing too heavy were just killing my workouts. My form was starting to break on everything, and I got a lot less confident. So, time for a change, which I just started...
On to the Madcow ramped 5x5! http://stronglifts.com/madcow/5x5_Pr...Linear_5x5.htm
If anyone has much experience with this, please let me know. I am using the Olympic version with cleans and high pulls in place of deadlifts and rows. I suppose I could go one day of deads, and one of cleans, but cleans is a bit more important for me with respect to my goals. If anyone has any suggestions, please shoot them my way.
Oh, and no assistance lifts due to time constraints. If any of you spot any one assistance lift that is awesome and that I should definitely do, I might be able to squeak it in, but I'd prefer not to have to get up another hour earlier for something that will only make a minor improvement.
Last edited by RynoGreene; 9/27/2013 7:44pm at .
Assistance is nice but not necessary, at least during the novice phase. In fact, even Jim Wendler (of 5/3/1 fame) has a "don't do jack" template that is really just doing the major lifts. If you are not overhead pressing at all, I would add that as programmed in Madcow. But if you are doing it as written, you are already overhead pressing.
If you like Madcow and its working, awesome. If you are still stalling you may have exhausted linear progression and may need to move to a different program (there are lots of good ones, I am doing 5/3/1 but thats just one option). But it takes lots of time to do so, and if you are still making linear gains then stick with it.
Yep, I'll be doing the military presses once a week per the standard program. I hadn't been doing this in my old program, but it seems like a nice addition. So for anyone not interested in reading through the links, here's the Madcow 5x5 program. Note that sets of five are ramped, meaning increasing weight (roughly 10%) per set.
Bench Press 5x5
Rows (I substitute cleans) 5x5
Overhead Press 4x5
Deadlift (I substitute high pulls) 4x5
Squat 4x5, 1x3 (heavier), 1x8
Row (cleans for me) "
I'm doing various jumping drills on my lifting days as well. Then sprints on Tuesdays and weekends.
Due to grip failure on my heavy sets of cleans, I'm considering switching to the hook grip. I tried it out in my last workout, and it is fairly uncomfortable on my thumb, but my grip did seem solid. Does anyone with experience at heavier clean/deadlift loads have any tips regarding this?