Without a doubt soccer is the most demanding and most popular game in the world, the players have to be strong, fast and skilled. Yes all of you are not a professional player, a large number out there performing are semi-professionals or recreational players but the bottom line is everyone wants to be good in the game even though they only play it on the weekend. Below is a study conducted by Umbro Football Conditioning which gives average movement patterns of a soccer player on the field.
18 to 27 minutes (20-30%) Walking
27 to 36 minutes (30-40%) Jogging
13 to 23 minutes (15-25%) Running
09 to 13 minutes (10-15%) Sprinting
04 to 07 minutes (04-08%) Walking backwards
Surprising isn’t it, players virtually runs non stop for 90 minutes and its noted that on average a midfield player runs 12.8 km during a full 90 minutes game. This shows that soccer conditioning requires all components of fitness [strength, speed, power, aerobic and anaerobic endurance, and flexibility] included as part of their training.
“Training with weights will make me gain weight and slow my speed down” is a common misconception of all sportsmen, especially many soccer athletes I have met.
Lifting weights simply doesn’t mean that your body has to pile up muscles. Training with weights can strengthen your muscles, can make these muscles powerful, and can make you move faster. Doing flexibility training can aid in your skills to move your body the way you want on the field. These are all goods about training with weights. And most important is the stronger and powerful you are the risk of injuries are low.
One of the most effective weight training systems for soccer players are circuit training. By its nature it builds both strength and endurance. Here is how you make circuit training sports specific for soccer.
1 - Lower weights and higher repetitions – the resistance should be light enough to perform 15-25 repetitions in proper techniques.
2 - Time is often used instead of repetitions – it’s advisable to perform the exercise for a set period of time instead of repetition.
3 - Short rest period between exercises – to develop endurance, minimal time should be spent in each station and circuit
4 - Alternate body parts – Each station should work different parts of the body from the station before – ideally upper body, lower body, upper body and so on
5 - Focus on core – Target on developing strong abs and lower back, core is the most important muscle for strength, explosive power & endurance.
Increase the intensity gradually over a period of weeks by increasing the time per exercise/station or decreasing the rest period. For exercise that’s use free weights gradually increase the weight as it becomes easier.
Get started and feel the difference.
Note: If you would want to read about Local Football or International Football, visit the web blog of Mr. Ahmed Marzooq a professional in football studies.