Workout tips football players use, according to personal trainer – Insider

There’s a lot we can learn from the way football players train, according to certified strength and conditioning specialist Maurice May.
May, who works as a trainer at Ohio Sports and Fitness in Cleveland, specializes in working with athletes in middle and high school. May played football in college, and thinks the techniques football players use in their conditioning can be implemented into anyone’s fitness routine. 
May told Insider that training in phases and starting workouts with a warm-up routine can help take your fitness to the next level. 
May based the tagline “move with purpose” for his company Amayze Athletics on the idea that athletes always train with intention. For football players, he said this intention is usually to get bigger, faster, and stronger.
However, if your goal is to run a marathon, training exactly like a football player is going to be counterproductive. Anyone with a fitness routine should make their own goals, he said, and choose exercises that align with them.
Even if you’re not training for an athletic event, May said having the goal of adding muscle to a specific area, getting stronger, or becoming faster will make your workouts more effective and keep you motivated.
One way football players train more intentionally, May said, is by training in phases throughout their season. May usually trains his football players in three phases: a hypertrophy or muscle-building phase, a strength phase, and a power phase.
Hypertrophy training is primarily focused on increasing the size of your muscles. During this phase, May has his clients do exercises with light to moderate amount of weight for more reps and fewer sets. 
May then ups the weight and sets for the strength phase, he said, but decreases the amount of reps. With a base of muscle from the first phase, he said players usually notice that they get stronger faster and can lift more weight than they thought.
In the final power phase, speed becomes important, May said. “Okay, now we’re able to produce the force, but how fast can we produce the force? So then bar speed becomes really important. How fast are we even pushing that bar forward or up,” he said. 
Football players not only need to be strong, he said, but also have to be able to activate that strength quickly. 
In order to get the best results from your workout, it’s important to always warm up before starting your exercises. May usually has his clients do a cardio workout like running, cycling, or rowing when they first get to the gym. He then likes them t0 move around the muscles they’re going to work on that day to get them mobile, he said. 
Finally, he has his clients do an exercise first at a low weight to prep the muscle and get blood flow to the area. It’s important to get the technique of a movement right before adding weight to it, he said. 
Make sure you’re activating the right muscles during the movement, he said, in order to build a strong mind-muscle connection, which will give you better results when you perform the exercise with more weight.
May said that when you add in these concepts to your routine, your workouts will be more purposeful and ultimately effective at building towards your fitness goal.
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