A Soccer-Specific Strength and Fitness Leg Workout: Brian’s First rapid Cycle Curcuit Workout

by CoachZ on March 8, 2009

Soccer-Specific Strength and Fitness Training: Rapid Cycle Circuit for the Best Aerobic and Anaerobic Benefit (Part I)

I have been training athletes from all sports for over a quarter of a century and I’ve met few individuals with the mental, and physical, toughness of Brian. Brian is one in thousands, ten thousands, and I am fortunate to have known him. I worked him as hard as he demanded, and he demanded! This is Brian’s first soccer-specific strength and fitness training program leg workout. The strength and fitness training program is a good one, it works! You are free to copy it, tweak it…or discard it. However, before you do anything, please see a qualified medical practitioner and have a thorough physical.

Again, this is a demanding program and you should be checked out before starting it.

Step 1: You guessed it! 15 minutes of stretching. We stretch every muscle, inside out. Biggest to smallest and upper to lower. Any god stretching program will do but we streched the legs ten minutes and the upper body five.

a) Quads, hams, calves, rolling the ankles and back up…and down again for ten minutes.
b) Back (lats, traps, lower back), chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, roll the wrists and back in…and out again for five minutes.

Note: If you stretch properly, you should be sweating already! If not, you haven’t stretched with enough intensity. Everything is done at 110%, everything!

Step 2: Lifecycle (or other stationary bike). Depending on fitness level, anything from random 2 to random 5. Nothing more intense than that, we are warming up with it, not training for a triathlon!

Step 3: Immediately after you get off the bike, no drinks, no piddling around, straight to the leg extension machine.

a) Set the seat so your knees are tight against the seat and the seat back up against your buttocks.
b) Sit back, don’t lean forward.
c) Relax your upper body completely, don’t tighten up as you do the exercise. If your forearms get tight, you aren’t relaxed.
d) Do not hold your breath! Breathe out as you lift the weight up and in as you lower the weight.
e) Don’t rock your body and never use inertia, the weight itself, to move the weight.
f) Every movement should be controlled. Up to the count of two and back down in four.
g) Up 1…2…Down…1…2…3…4. Repeat. Slow, controlled, feel the weight.

Step 4: Get off and immediate proceed to the leg curl (or leg bicep curl) machine. No hesitating and no stalling!

a) Lay down, face first after setting the roll bar to rest at the crook just above the ankles. The knees should be just off the surface, the top of the knee, just touching the surface.
b) Your butt should never, and I mean never, rise up, your stomach should stay in constant contact with the surface at all times.
c) Up 1…2…Down…1…2…3…4. repeat. Again, never use the weights inertia in the motion. You should feel the weight and concentrate on what you are doing.
d) Again, breathing is so important, don’t hold your breath! Up, breathe in. Down, breathe out.
e) As you grasp the handles, do not tighten your grip! relax and feel the motion, concentrate, see the muscles in your mind.

Step5: Get off the machine and immediately proceed to the abduction machine.

a) Sit, crank the machine until you feel your groin region stretch, then begin.
b) Again, In…1…2…Out…1…2…3…4. Repeat.
c) You are dealing with smaller muscles, in conjunction with larger ones, and connective tissue. So, be careful and do not use ballistic movement (don’t “bounce” the weight).

Step 6: Simply reverse the process for the adduction machine.

a) Make sure you don’t hold your breath, don’t tighten your upper body up, and don’t hold your breath! yes, I said that twice!

Step 7: If you did the adduction and abduction exercises properly, you should really feel it in your hips. Now, move right to the leg press, quickly!

a) Set the weight established during your testing. If you aren’t sure, less is better. You can always add weight and we are not in a weightlifting contest.
b) Sit in the press, feet shoulder width apart and your upper body back against the seat (back) rest.
c) Your hands should be grasping the handles…but relax, do not squeeze them and tighten up. You are working you legs not your forearms!
d) Keep your head back, don’t lean forward and DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH! You can, quite literally, pop a gasket! If all you do is cause a major headache, you are very lucky!
e) Again, Push…1…2…Back…1…2…3…4. Repeat.

Step 8: If you’ve done the leg presses properly you should be about out of breath and walking may be a bit of a chore. That’s great! On to the hack squat, after the first two to four weeks, with Brian it was after week two.

a) Face in to the hack squat, not out! make sure the weight is heavy enough to be a challenge but not too heavy. Again, we are training fr soccer, not powerlifting!
b) Release the lever, and slowly let the weight down. In…1…2…3…4….Up…1…2. Eventually, we will work on this and explode up, but not at first, and never without supervision!
c) Never arch your back and always breath. Never hold your breath. Remember…headaches!

Step 9: A superset of seated calves and standing calves. Making sure to stretch all the way through the entire range of motion. D not stop in between exercises! Your calves are used every day in walking, so they are particularly well adapted and it takes a lot to develop them. But if you work you calves diligently, and every day, you will see improvements in quickness, power, and vertical jump (heading!).

Eventually we get to the face in hack with variations, as noted above, and perhaps some squatting and lunges…but not until about four weeks in. For now, we are finished with the legs, except to stretch. When doing a whole body workout, stretching is done after the entire workout. Again, afterwards stretching is done for fifteen minutes…ten and five. Then, the Lifecycle at manual 10! For as long as you can go. Then, 2 more minutes of stretching the legs.

Then? Collapse, shower, and bed!

A soccer-specific strength and fitness workout is done quickly, with as little rest between sets as possible and everything done in a controlled, concentrated fashion. Eventually, variation is integrated into the program and the intensity level increases even more. But at first, we are interested in combining aerobic benefits with an anaerobic workout. The combination produces an athlete stronger, quicker, and much more powerful. Heading, quickness, and kicking power are increased as a result of a properly integrated soccer-specific strength and fitness training program.

Next? We continue on to the next phase, the upper body. This workout, upper and lower, are done in a single session usually no more than 30-35 minutes! You can see why an athlete, regardless of condition, will be fatigued, to put it mildly, when finished.

Again, do not attempt this or any other training program without a thorough physical!

Skype: johnzajaros1

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