Roughly explained, football is a collective sport, in which two teams of 11 players face each other in a field. The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team, for which tactics and game strategies will be used, looking for both the strengths and the weaknesses. Physical training in football has a fundamental role in performance.
So, all football players, professional or not, focus their training efforts on three basic categories: agility, speed and skill. Improving reflexes, boosting performance and keeping strength should be the main goals for any football athlete. How can someone do this? With a deadly serious plan of anaerobic exercise and adjusting intensity considering resting and adaptation based on the training progression.
This implies performing high-intensity activities that require a lot of effort in a short time. The anaerobic exercises boost the muscle performance, the recommended activities could be simple as lifting weights, racing at high speed, doing sit-ups, or any exercise of short duration and big intensity, this type of exercise is used to acquire power and muscle mass, and strengthen the whole musculoskeletal system.
As the word anaerobic means literally ‘without oxygen’, in this case, this meaning refers to the exchange of energy without oxygen that occurs in the muscles when this type of exercise is performed. As the muscle mass increases, muscle cells need a lot more energy so, as energy is spent, the body needs to resort to its reserve fatty acids, it’s smart to combine this exercise program with a meal plan adjusted to the increasing requirements.
In the Gym
Training in the gym is necessary for a footballer who wants to get a high performance on the field. However, not any routine is the one needed to achieve this goal. It should be a training plan that helps reach pikes in the key moments of the season.
Strength training, in any sport has, as a main objective, improving the performance of the athlete and reducing the risk of injury. For this reason, strength training should be spun around an existing technical training plan, to avoid interferences between them and to make the most of the increase in performance.
The workout at the gym must be focused mainly on gaining strength, therefore, using the power of the main muscle groups. However, technical training is the tool that will allow the player to improve other physical aspects such as speed and coordination; and relevant non-physical aspects such as teamwork and vision of the game.
For optimal results, it is important to have in mind the basic principles for strength training: Specificity, overload, fatigue management, stimulus recovery adaptation, variation, and phase potentiation, all of this taking into account the individual differences and particular requirements to design a customized routine. An important aspect to pay attention to, is that when playing, each footballer has an assigned position and some functions or tasks that he must play during the game.
So, the first thing to do before improving the performance of a footballer from a specific training, is studying what are the average physical demands of a match for a footballer, regardless of the position the player occupies, and then go see them post by post and thus be able to train them.