Playing a game of football demands a certain kind of fitness. Far from having the occasional five-a-side match at the weekend, the elite players in the Premier League are subjected to training drills that boost their speed, power and athleticism ahead of games watched by millions. If you’d like to build a similar level of fitness, MaxiNutrition’s football training guides can help you enhance all area of your football fitness. Here are some of our favourites.
Best for agility: 123 back
Need to build split-second reactions and the ability to adapt on the fly? Agility training will help you learn quick-fire speed so you can make decisions on the pitch. Cone-based drills are a good way to build this kind of skill.
The 123 back is an agility training drill. You’ll need four cones and a training partner or a coach. Place the first cone where the halfway line meets the touchline. Place the next cone two strides along the half way line. The third cone should be three long strides away from the touchline. The fourth and final cone should be in the same position as the third but to the left of the first cone. See this video for a visual guide.
To perform the drill, stand at the first cone and sprint to a cone indicated by your partner. As you reach the cone, your partner should shout a new cone and you must sprint to that. This should happen ten times before you get a 60 second rest. Increase the next number of sprints to 15 cones and then rest again. The final set should be 20 cones.
Best for speed: Push up starts
Want to build sudden bursts of sprint speed like Theo Walcott and Christiano Ronaldo? Practice push up starts to really excel and learn how to blast off from rest. They’re great for emulating a player who takes an opportunity on the ball and rushes to the goal.
Push up starts are a good way of training your explosive acceleration. They’re also fairly easy to perform. Start by placing two cones on the ground 20 yards apart. Head to one cone and assume a box push up position. Jump up to your feet and sprint to the second cone. Jog back to starting position. Repeat for eight reps with a 30 second rest in between each.
Best for endurance: continuous training
Continuous training is pretty simple. It’s essentially a steady state cardio that builds aerobic endurance so you can withstand a full 90 minutes without running out of breath. There are a number of different levels of continuous training, but all equate to performing an activity at a set pace for a sustained amount of time. There are three different levels:
- Train your body to between 50 and 60 per cent of its maximal work rate in order to metabolise fat. This will see only the aerobic system being called upon, so the exercise can be performed for 60 minutes or more without issue.
- Train your body to between 70 and 80 per cent of its maximal work rate in order to improve your cardiovascular system. This will see only the aerobic system being called upon once again but, because it uses glycogen, you are likely to only be able to perform the exercise effectively for between 30 and 45 minutes.
- Train your body to between 80 and 90 per cent of its maximal work rate in order to improve your cardiovascular system and burn glycogen more effectively. Your lactate tolerance threshold will also be heightened. As the aerobic system is put under heavy strain, the activity should last from 10 minutes to a maximum of 20 minutes before resting.
Using these drills, you can really excel both on the pitch and off it, building strength and speed that will complement both your football and your physique. Read Maxinutrition’s football guides for more information.