Upper Body Strength Training For Football Athletes

Strength training forms the backbone of athletic performance, particularly for athletes in demanding sports like the Canadian Football League (CFL). A focused regimen targeting upper body strength (chest, back, and shoulders) not only enhances performance but also mitigates the risk of injuries common in competitive sports. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the strategic approach and methodologies employed to optimize upper body strength training for CFL athletes.

Purpose of Training

The primary objective of upper body strength training for CFL athletes is multifaceted. It aims to enhance muscular strength and power, crucial for maneuvers such as blocking, tackling, and catching. Additionally, the training incorporates both fast and slow eccentric movements to foster explosive power and build resilience in connective tissues. This dual approach not only improves athletic performance but also fortifies the musculoskeletal system against the rigors of competitive play.

Exercise Techniques

Central to the effectiveness of the training regimen are the precise techniques employed during exercises. Each exercise emphasizes proper form and execution to maximize muscle activation and minimize injury risk. For instance, cues such as maintaining full foot contact during movements, engaging the pelvic region for enhanced glute activation, and controlled breathing patterns are integral components. These techniques ensure that each repetition is performed with optimal efficiency and effectiveness, contributing to overall performance gains.

Workout Structure

The training program is structured into distinct blocks (A, B, C, D), each tailored to address specific aspects of upper body strength and conditioning (chest and back workout):

  • Block A: Fast Eccentric Movements
    • Exercises focus on explosive actions to stimulate fast-twitch muscle fibers.
    • Example: Fast eccentric bench press, where athletes release and catch the barbell swiftly to train rapid force production.


  • Block B: Dynamic Power Development
    • Includes exercises like med ball throws, designed to enhance explosive upper body power.
    • Athletes progressively increase force applied to the med ball, promoting rapid muscle response and coordination.


  • Block C: Slow Eccentric Movements
    • Concentrates on controlled lowering phases to build muscle thickness and connective tissue resilience.
    • Example: Slow eccentric pull-ups, where athletes lower themselves slowly after pulling up to stress the muscles eccentrically.


  • Block D: Muscular Endurance and Stability
    • Focuses on exercises such as chest-supported rows with heavy dumbbells and isometric holds.
    • Promotes muscular endurance and stability crucial for sustaining performance throughout extended game durations.


Philosophy and Motivation

Athletes are encouraged to embody a relentless pursuit of excellence, echoing sentiments shared by coaches and mentors. The philosophy emphasizes that success is not solely determined by talent but by the relentless pursuit of improvement and the ability to consistently execute under pressure. This approach fosters a culture of accountability and resilience, traits essential for CFL athletes aiming to excel in their careers.

Conclusion and Acknowledgment

In conclusion, the upper body strength training regimen for CFL athletes represents a meticulous blend of science and application. It combines cutting-edge exercise techniques with motivational insights to empower athletes to reach their peak potential. The collaborative efforts of coaches and participants underscore a commitment to excellence and continuous improvement in athletic performance.

The acknowledgment extends to all participants and fellow coaches who contributed to the development and execution of this training program. Their dedication and hard work exemplify the spirit of teamwork and collective pursuit of excellence that defines successful athletes in the CFL.

In essence, this comprehensive training guide serves as a testament to the transformative power of structured strength training. By implementing these strategies, Football athletes can enhance their upper body strength, elevate their performance, and maintain a competitive edge in one of the most demanding sports!




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