Does Weight Training Slow Down or Help a Football Player – Lifting Weights for Football

This post is an exchange of comments between me and a reader Mr. Toledo. I figured that it will be of some use to majority of readers as an article. We basically talked about weight lifting and football. Here’s our conversation: enjoy!
Note: minor editing done on spelling and grammatical mistakes.This thread could be found here.

Hey I love this post. So it’s bad to stick to a superset style of work out for the long run.
I play a lot of soccer, I kinda feel that the bodybuilding split is detrimental to my sport but I love to lift. I was told to squat no more than 135. What are your thoughts thanks..

My response:
I am no soccer expert, but there are many lifting regimens that support athletes.
Check out our “explosive movement” regimen – they are tailor-made for athletes.

This is the post on the difference between training for athletic performance and lifting for aesthetic muscle gains.

By the way, I don’t think squatting more than 135 would be too detrimental. Most athletes I see can squat more than 200 pounds and it seems to only make them better. Just remember to do it with “explosive” motion in mind. You don’t need a very slow descent like what a bodybuilder would do.

And keep in mind that “to become fast, you first need to become strong”.
I mean, have you seen the guy who is 5 feet 5 and can do slam dunks on YouTube? He’s buff for sure: he squats a lot! And everyone can see that he is doing well in his sport. But of course I have zero experience with football (if you mean soccer). I think you need more endurance there than speed, don’t you?

This player seems like he’s lifting weights as well:

buff football player


Anyways IMO if you love to lift, JUST LIFT!! Whatever poundage you like! Just don’t tell your coach!

Mr. Toledo:
Submitted on 2015/05/14 at 11:30 am | In reply to Ironthumb.

Thanks for replying. I read the articles you have posted for me to read and I did learn from them, but I got different experiences when doing them. I feel that when I try to lift heavy I get to bulky and I’m not as able to run as fast as I can. I do 90% of my training at home since I invested in adjustable dumbbells. Each goes from 5lbs to 85lbs. I’m a college student and work at the same time that’s why I had to invest in them. But I’ll stop ranting.

I’ll change up my routine and do them more explosive like you said and no slow descending at all. I am looking to do a modified 5×5 something like 8×10-12?? Using compound lifts.. Dumbbell dead lift… bent over rows.. Dumbbell squeeze press (what are your thoughts on this exercise “dumbbell squeeze press”) military press. Football “soccer” does require the most endurance of all sports. I wished I remembered where I found this post stating” the more muscle you have the harder it is to run”. Basically if you carry a ton of muscle your heart has to pump more to those muscles and might be detrimental for endurance athletes because. Also a endurance athletes hearts if I’m correct bigger than a strength athlete.

Since we sparked a conversation I would like to know your take on macros and calories. I’m also like every other guy out there trying to get shredded and have abs. I use to follow that myth of 1gramProteinLBofbodyweight but I felt that’s way to much. Currently I’m doing from what I have learned from all my college course of 1.2 to 1.7grams per kilo gram or .5to .8 per lb.
Thanks for your reply and thanks for your time. You have really great posts! Keep it going. I’m going to donate! Help me spread the word its Football not “soccer” LMFAO.

My response:

HAHAHA yes football indeed!!
About those Dumbbell exercises you mentioned – they aren’t bad, but as an athlete, I suggest you do more “functional” stuff like barbell lifts. Instead of dumbbell deadlifts, just do barbells; in place of dumbbell shoulder press – just do the barbell versions (clean and press is the best for athletes). If you know someone who can coach you on Olympic lifts, that would be very helpful.

Yes taken, the more muscles you have the harder it is to run but it all boils down on “the way you train”

Karate and martial arts have the same principle in fighting “the way you train is the way you react” – thus if you train like a bodybuilder to build muscle, rest assured that you will not be that optimal for running.

But if you train and lift weights as supplemental to sports performance it is inevitable to have muscle size gain as a response.

Indeed it will be hard to run at first especially if you’re still new to your lifting regimen (expect soreness to kick in and affect your performance somewhat).

That is why I highly recommend power lifting like 5X5 and weight training to be taken seriously during “off season”. Give it some time and you will adapt to your mass. Muscle weight is also not as heavy as you think so the reduction in running capacity would most likely be your CNS tiring out temporarily from weight training or simply the effect of post training soreness. I recommend minimal weight training “in season” therefore and focus on the “skill” part of the sport. Conditioning should be done “off season” to avoid hindering game performance. Make sure that you give yourself enough protein to maximize recovery. Turmeric has been shown by research  to aid in recovery and muscle repair. You can find some turmeric capsules in some stores, it’s good.


To be honest I really don’t apply “counting” calories. But what I can recommend if you want to be “shredded” ASAP. Apply the “Steak and eggs” only diet; if you are going to consume carbohydrates, make sure they come in form of green leafy veggies. No bread, no pasta, etc. Do this for at least a month. Take note: you should NOT avoid animal fat in this diet. Animal fat is vital!
Hope that helps!!

Thank you again Toledo! Eat your eggs, people!

A-Lifter- Don't forget to leave your comment/feedback below.  If this article was helpful, I am sure our book Real Talk Muscle will help you even more in your quest for muscle gain. Check it out you can read the first few chapters as well.
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5 thoughts on “Does Weight Training Slow Down or Help a Football Player – Lifting Weights for Football

  1. There we go! You’re starting a movement. Wow, so I reread my responses and I need to work on my grammar and punctuation. It’s crazy how I have changed my lifting routine and my weight has dropped drastically. I was around 180 and now I’m at 165! Thats light for someone thats 6’1. Going to stick to your advice. Your antagonist superset post is really good too. Its going to be a mix up high’ish reps mixed with circuit training and antagonist super-setting. I found these articles

    I dont know if you might find them interesting. I dont keep reps that high but its in the endurance rep ranges. The first article doesn’t seem right. Do you believe some people actually keeps reps at 100?

    Thanks ,
    Elton Toledo

    1. Sorry for the late response!

      Mr Toledo I am glad that you liked it!

      haha dont worry about grammar! We all know that its a message and sometimes its difficult to proofread something as personal as a message, I don’t think readers would mind.I appologize I forgot to edit them out tho, my bad.

      @super high reps

      Yes they are also good, but these are more fitting for someone whose goal is muscle mass. If your goal is performance, you better steer clear of that, or just do that from time to time once you hit a certain plateu or if you want to increase mass a bit.

      It’s a good shocker though I will give you that. I often do that with bodyweight moves like dips, lets say you do 100 dips but off course you don’t need to do them in one go, you can like do 20 until failure, then go on until you hit 100 reps total. The point of centuries is to go beyond failure IMO and nothing else. And that is a bodybuilding goal. So choose your programs wisely and consider the specific response that you will get.


  2. Same here, sorry for the late response. Your right it all comes down to training specificity. I learned that in class which is the same of what your saying. I’ts the “Principle of Specificity”. I’m really shocked you don’t count your calories or macros. From your picture you look in good shape man. From what I read from your description your a RN. I’m assuming you had to take rigorous bio and nutritional classes. I bet you learned the or maybe memorized the protein intake at 1.2-1.7 for endurance and strength athletes. Your the only guy that hasn’t yet written a blog on how much protein intake you need. I follow other fitness experts online. I’m pretty sure you do the same. Yours I obliviously follow, fitmole, nattyornot and one of my favorites If you haven’t checked suppversity, I highly recommended it. But back to protein. Would you agree thats its over rated. People with bad genetics should consume 1g per lb of body weight? Also carbs and fat play a big role. From my classes athletes should consume 60 to 65% of their calories from carbs! Thats a lot of carbs! Protein .5 to .8 per lb.
    I’m sorry to rant but I’m interested in your expert opinion. I could go on all day with question such as; calisthenics, low carb, paleo, and other diet trends.


    1. Thanks Toledo!

      Actually I don’t think it’s over rated at all

      IMO its important, and its not important what my opinion is, its still important. But the thing is I learned that simplicity always makes stuff easier to follow.

      Yes we had all sorts of computations back in nutrition class, like basal metabolic rate, BMI, comps, ratios etc. And that is why I know how impractical they could be if they were applied to laymen. Yes a top notch bodybuilder whose progress doesn’t anymore allow room fore more progress might need strict diet calculations daily, but if a person like you and me, we can actually make progress just following simple guidelines like the one I share.

      Now when I say, eat a lot of meat and eggs, ha! you know what I mean!

      But regarding the 1g protein per pound of bodyweight I can atest the accuracy of that and if you have a way to make that then that would be better. but then again I still think that you would meet that nonetheless if you know that you need to eat a lot. But computing for the protein content of a slab of steak or from the stuff that you eat? That is just insane man! But if you have a protein shake and you basically know that you will be getting 60 grams of protein per drink (if you put 2 or three scoops) that’s a dead giveaway that you would be getting more than enough protein per day.

      Eat your eggs!

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