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Maintain Muscle Mass During Football Season

by Robert Pomazak

Football Team Workout STCK e1350498842177 Maintain Muscle Mass During Football Season

Unfortunately, the beginning of the school year and the football season can mark the end of a consistent strength and conditioning program. Some athletes may be celebrating the end of dreaded two-a-days while regretting the resumption of eight hours of class followed by two hours of practice. (Want to see how a real legend trains? Check out STACK’s uncut look at Dree Brees’s workout.)

Schedule changes make it easy to compromise your commitment to a training program. This is cause for concern, because studies show that when you’re not actively engaged in strength training, you can lose up to 5% of your lean body mass (i.e., muscle) in a month.

When designing an in-season program, evaluate your time constraints. Football strength coaches and trainers offer differing opinions about in-season workouts. Below are some precepts from my own philosophy. Following them will keep you at your best way past the playoffs. My program focuses on the four main methods of training: core stability, flexibility/mobility, strength endurance and power training.

Core stability. This helps prevent lower back injuries and builds a base for the dynamic movements you need to make on the football field.

Flexibility/Mobility. An important aid to recovery, both post-practice and post-game.

Strength endurance. Use variable reps to retain lean body mass gained during the off-season and to continue strength endurance gains during the season.

Power training. Incorporate at least one power exercise in each lift session. Maintaining force production is of paramount importance to athletic performance.

2-Day In-Season Program

Day 1



  • Foam Roll: Calfs, Hamstrings, Glutes, Hip Flexors, Quads and IT Bands (Sets/Duration: 1×20 seconds each)


  • Horizontal Push: Bench Press (Sets/Reps: 3×6,8,10)
  • Horizontal Pull: DB Row (Sets/Reps: 3×6,8,10)
  • Vertical Push: DB Push Press (Sets/Reps: 3×6,8,10)
  • Vertical Pull: Pull-Up (Sets/Reps: 3×8)
  • Knee Dominant: Drop Lunge (Sets/Reps: 3×6,8,10)
  • Hip Dominant: Single-Leg Good Morning (Sets/Reps: 3×6,8,10)


Day 2



  • Foam Roll: Lower Back, Erector Spinae, Lats, Scaps, Traps/Rhomboids, Pecs (Sets/Duration: 1×20 seconds each)


  • Horizontal Push: DB Incline, Reverse Press (Sets/Reps: 3×6,8,10)
  • Horizontal Pull: DB Plank Row (Sets/Reps: 3×6,8,10)
  • Vertical Push: DB Squat to Press (Sets/Reps: 3×6,8,10)
  • Vertical Pull: Mixed Grip Pull-Up (Sets/Reps: 3×8)
  • Knee Dominant: Parallel Squat (Sets/Reps: 3×6,8,10)
  • Hip Dominant: Single-LegĀ Good Morning (Sets/Reps: 3×6,8,10)


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