Football Season Fitness!

It’s Football Season! I recently had a great discussion with one of my peeps (Thanks Tracey!) and we came up with a cool fitness program for football fans. You may have thought from the title that this was a conditioning or training program for football players, but this one is for the fans. Tracey is an avid (perhaps rabid) football fan and she is not alone.

One of the challenges we all face is finding the time, or the convenient place, to get our workouts in and maintain our fitness. Tracey has the solution for every football fan. It’s based on the following system:

  • You do your indoor home gym workout on game days (this is Monday and Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons for pro ball fans, plus the option of Saturday afternoons for fans of the college game).
  • All you need is an indoor cardio machine (bike, rower, elliptical, treadmill, etc.) and a few resistance tools like bands, tubing, kettlebell, or dumbbells.
  • Set up your exercise station near the TV. Tracey has her home gym in the family room so everything is ready to go. 
  • Instead of riding the couch with junk food snacks, you train as you watch the game, hydrating as needed and having some healthy food options during or after depending on the workout. 
  • Non-game days (such as Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and possibly Saturday if you don’t watch college football as much) are aerobic-filler sessions of comfortable outdoor walking for 30-90 minutes.

The beauty of this approach is that you have a reason to do your workout, since it’s right there and you aren’t gonna miss the game. It takes away the decision-making fatigue, stress, and guilt of the whole workout motivation mojo “thang.” You end up looking forward to your sessions and you don’t look for excuses. 

There are endless possibilities for game-day workouts. I’m going to offer up three specific sessions, with some suggestions to scale and progress them. You can swap the days around if you like.

  1. Monday Night Interval Training
    1. Bike (or other mode) easily at a 60-70% effort as a baseline. Every time there is a first down (either team), crank up your effort to 80-90% (light sprint) and hold it until the play is completed.
    2. Any time your team scores, jump off your bike and do 20 air (bodyweight) squats. Jump right back on and keep going.
    3. Start out by trying to make it through the first quarter, but by playoff time you want to do the full first half.
    4. At halftime, grab a quick shower and rehydrate.
    5. Spend the second half of the game on the floor doing your favorite stretches and core exercises.
  2. Thursday Night Circuits
    1. When your team has possession, ride your bike (or other machine) at that easy, steady pace we described above.
    2. When the opposing team has the ball, do the following resistance exercise circuit, doing only 3 reps each but keeping going until possession changes (you can take small breaks as needed).
      1. Kettlebell Swing
      2. Pushup
      3. Goblet Squat with any Weight
      4. Overhead Press with Dumbbells
      5. Band or Tubing Curls
    3. As above, start out by working your way through the first quarter, then strive to get the full first half by season’s end.
    4. Use the same halftime and second half routine as in Monday’s workout.
  3. Sunday Endurance Day
    1. Spend the entire first half of the game pacing around while alternating the following isometric positions for 20 seconds each:
      1. 1-arm overhead Kettlebell lockout (do both sides)
      2. Lunge position (do both sides)
      3. Pushup mid-position
      4. ATG squat
      5. Farmer Hold (use dumbbells or buckets)
    2. Take breaks as needed but not for too long.
    3. Use halftime for a little stretching and hydrating.
    4. Attempt to ride the entire second half at that nice easy effort as you cheer on your team.

Try out these suggestions and let me know what you think. If you want more in-depth coaching, just sign up for a session or subscription on the website. I hope you have a great, and fitness-enhancing football season!

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