Strength & Power Development

Our strength program is based on many factors. You must first come to the weight room prepared to work with the right attitude. You must be prepared to give 100% effort mentally and physically. We will use free weight exercises as the core of our strength program. These exercises require a great deal of effort to perform and you must concentrate a great deal while performing them. We divided these exercises into five categories.


1.  Exercises used to enhance explosive power – Clean, Power Clean, Hang Clean, Push Press, Push Jerk, Split Jerk, Hang Snatch, & High Pulls. The power clean one of our core exercises and it is extremely important to work very hard at perfecting the technique of this exercise. Speed of movement and timing is the key to success when performing explosive exercise. We are not just heaving weights while doing the exercises. Learn to do these exercise with flawless technique before slapping a bunch of weight on the bar. When doing the explosive exercises, concentrate on your timing and focus on your explosion from the power position. Remember to control the weight, never let the weight control you.  

2. Exercises used to develop maximum strength – Back squat, front squat, bench press, incline press, step-ups, and barbell pres. The back squat, deadlift, and bench press are the three core exercise from this category. The tempo and nature of the exercises for maximum strength is more controlled than the explosive exercises. Control the weight while lowering it and drive the weight up when pressing or locking it out. Never bounce the weight on your chest or from the bottom position while squatting. The nature of these exercises allows you to lift a great deal of weight. It is important to select an optimal weight that will allow for the completion of the set without failing in your attempt to finish the last rep. It is the sum of all the work that you do that determines the training effect. Perform all reps in a deliberate and controlled fashion.  

3. Auxiliary or Accessory exercise used to develop mass – This group of exercises is used to enhance the core lifts and develop muscle mass. Exercises such as push-ups, dips, chin ups, pull downs, pull ups, & dumbbell bench and many other assorted shoulder, triceps, and bicep exercises are used. We will do these exercises at the end of each workout. Work these exercises hard! They are very important and should be done with maximum intensity. Train every set of every exercise to failure. Concentrate on good technique and focus on the muscle group being trained. 

4. Exercises for the abs and lower back – Everyone wants a larger muscular upper body and a big powerful lower body, but many refuse to do anything for the muscles in between. You must train your abs and lower back. Do not neglect these exercises! Train your abs and lower back with a passion. Do them at the end of your workout and/or before running. We will do some type of ab and lower back work every day!

 5. Exercises used to develop the neck and traps – I shouldn’t have to tell you why it’s so important to train your neck. We will do neck work every day we lift. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO A NECK MACHINE DO MANUAL NECK EVERY DAY! Make sure you find someone to help you do this.



A football player should come into spring and pre-season camps at his strongest. The purpose of weight lifting and strength programs are to make you the strongest and most powerful football player that you can be.

Hard work is necessary to develop strength and power. Do not confuse “hard work” with showing up! It does not take a great deal of time to develop strength and power if the time spent in the weight room is done with great intensity and effort.

Developing Strength – An Introduction

Resistance – the first ingredient can come from barbells, dumbbells, body weight exercises and/or machines. You must lift heavy weights in order to get stronger. You must lift weight great form and speed in order to develop power. If form cannot be achieved do not start with heavy weights on power lifts.

Progressive overload – the second ingredient, you must make the muscles do more work than the previous workout. Performing more reps and/or lifting more weight will take care of this.

Variety – the thirst ingredient, the human body strives to reach a constant state of homeostasis. Weight lifting disrupts the body’s homeostasis. The body’s response to this disruption is growth (increased strength and/or size). Once growth occurs a new disruption must occur in order to insure additional growth. Changing reps, weights, sets and/or the exercises provides the necessary variety for growth to continue.

Rest – the fourth ingredient, the body gets stronger and faster when it recovers from work, not during. There are several ways to ensure proper growth and improvements in the weight room. Make sure you eat a diet high in quality protein, sleep at least 8 hours every night and drink a gallon of water a day. There will also be weeks in the program where you will be asked to lift heavier weights and there will be weeks where you are asked to lift lighter weights. Follow these guidelines and constant growth is guaranteed.

Determining your Max

There are two ways to determine your max for the core lifts. The first and most accurate method is to warm-up for 5 or 6 sets until you reach a weight that you can only lift one time. The is the most accurate method, but can be tough to do without three spotters and a coach. The second method is safer and can give you a very accurate measurement. Using the Rep Max Prediction Chart on the next page or Eply Formula below is very simple. Warm-up 3 to 4 sets of low reps and put a weight on the bar that you feel you can do for 3 – 5 perfect reps. Always perform the exercise for as many reps as possible while maintaining proper technique. The left hand column (1 Rep Max Weight) on the chart is the predicted maximum and the number used to the right with the total number of reps completed found on the first line. Once you find your weight lifted and number of reps completed, slide to the left to find your Predicted max weight.

 In the formulas below,  is the number of repetitions performed and  is the amount of weight used (note that  is a factor of each formula, so the unit of measurement doesn't matter). 


 Calculating a Max for the Assistance Exercises

We will not max out on every exercises in this program. As stated earlier, we will only max in our core lifts, the clean, the squat, bench press, and deadlift. We will, however, use our core lifts to calculate a max for the snatch, jerk, press, front squat, roman deadlift, and incline bench. Follow the chart for calculating a max for these assistance exercises. If you are just learning to do some of these exercises, then conversion may not be accurate. If this is the case for you, lower the max for the assistant exercise by 20 or 30 pounds until your technique catches up to the core lifts. Remember, quality first not quantity.

1. The hang snatch is equal to 75% of your clean max, 300 clean = 225 snatch max.

2. The split jerk is equal to 100% of your clean max, 300 clean = 300 split jerk max.

3. The hang clean is equal to 100% of your clean max, 300 clean = 300 hang clean max.

4. The barbell press and push press is equal to 100% of your clean max, 300 clean = 300 press max.

5. The front squat is equal to 75% of your squat max, 500 squat = 375 front squat max.

6. The incline bench is equal to 80% of your bench max, 400 bench = 320 incline max.

7. The roman deadlift is equal to 75% of your dead lift max, 500 deadlift = 375 R.D.L. max.

Determining your workout weight using percentages (%)

After you have established a new max using one of the methods discussed earlier you are now ready to determine the amount of weight to use during your workout using the Percentage Charts for Calculating Workout Weight found on next page.

On Monday, week 1, your workout will begin with power cleans. Your workout should look like this:

1.    Power clean – 5 _____, 5 ______, 5 ______, 5 ______ 60%. The 60% at the end is considered your working weight for this particular exercise. Let’s say your clean max is 220 pounds. We will use the chart to calculate your workout weights for the hang snatch. The first set should always be light, 50%. After this warm-up set, continue increasing the weight by 5-10% each set until you reach your working eight of 65% (145 pounds). Example: Set 1 – 5 reps with 110 pounds, set 2 – 5 reps with 120-130 pounds & sets 3 & 4 – 5 reps with 130 pounds. You may do another set (bonus set) at this weight (65%) if you feel that you need the extra work. When the percentages of the working weight begin to get heavy (75% to 85%) you will need to make 10% jumps for some sets instead of 5% to reach your working weight. Remember that you need a max in the core lifts to take advantage of this system.


Be very accurate when calculating your max lifts and working weights. Strength gains are gradual and take time and effort to increase. If the weight is too heavy for you to complete an exercise with flawless technique, reduce the weight and/or the max for the particular exercise. Remember it’s more important how well you lift, not how much. You may also work on your technique for the first three or four weeks before making and using percentages. Plan to max during week four, eight, and twelve in this “Phase 1” Program.










What do you do when nobody is looking?


Do you work just as hard?

Do you remain just as reliable?

Are you just as responsible?

Are you just as considerate of others?


The seeds for achievement are shown when nobody is looking. Because the things you do when nobody is looking are driven by what you expect of yourself. And whatever you expect of yourself is what you will become.