Do you want to be more like the guys you’ll be watching every Sunday during the NFL season? Well then you need to train like one. Trust me, no NFL players pump up their muscles by spending hours on a treadmill, elliptical or a stationary bike. So ditch the steady-state cardio workouts and start a more structured strength, power and anaerobic fitness routine.
Start Lifting Heavy
In order to gain maximum strength and muscle, you need to move heavy weight, and increase the load and intensity of the workouts. Lift heavy and work out hard for short bursts of time - pushing your body harder, but for short durations. Cardio is necessary, but upgrade slow steady-state cardio for intensive cardio that gets the heart rate high and keeps it there for a short time, followed by an equal amount of recovery time.
I’m not saying that you should go out and try to bench press 275 lbs. like professional football players, but I would suggest using the heaviest weight that you could manage to lift (with correct form) for a total of 5 repetitions. Focus on the large muscle groups that function as prime movers, such as quadriceps, hamstrings, chest, and back. Pay less attention to smaller muscles such as biceps, triceps and calves. Alternate cardio days with sprint intervals at 85% of you max heart rate (220 – your age), and use a heart rate monitor to ensure you’re working at the correct intensity.
Up next: A sample strength and cardio workout to get you started.