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Train Like an NFL Pro: The Essential Guide

NFL players are the epitome of masculinity. They’re strong, powerful and mighty.

As a man, of course you want to feel the same.

NFL is one of the most demanding sports an athlete could play in. So, it’s important for players to stay on top of their game – physically and mentally. In a sport like this, your body is your tool for the job you need to get done. To win and keep on winning to reach that all-important Super Bowl.

NFL players work hard 365 days a year to keep their playing performance at their peak levels. It makes sense – being able to sprint 40 yards in 4.4 seconds or take on multiple blows and tackles for 17 weeks straight isn’t something anyone could do. Unless you have the right game plan.

These players are something else.

Do you want to feel the same strength and vigor? 

To be the fastest and strongest on the field, NFL players spend a great deal of time in the gym. Want to feel the same levels of success in your physical aspects of life and beyond? Prime Male have the exact workout you need. 

In this guide, we cover:

  • How to train like a professional NFL ace
  • Workouts for a faster pace & agility
  • Explosive exercises for power & vigor

The NFL Pro

It’s not easy to compete in the NFL. Every single player is put to the test, mentally and physically. They work hard to stay resilient  –  and their talent is pushed to the max as they try to stay competitive on the field.

These players are dominant and powerful, there’s no doubt about that. And the amplified levels of testosterone on the field undeniably contribute to their overall athletic performance[1].

Want the physical benefits of an NFL pro? Or looking to eliminate potential symptoms of low testosterone? Here are the workouts you need to do reach your health goals and advance your physique. Let’s go!

Targeted workouts

Based on a 4-day training schedule, this targeted workout regime should help you work your way to an athletic and conditioned physique – just like the players you see on the field.

Day 1: Speed training circuit

Day 2: Rest

Day 3: Agility training circuit

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Explosive power training circuit

Day 6: Rest

Day 7: All-body strength training circuit

TIP: Before each workout, make sure you start with a dynamic warmup. These reduce the risk of injury and improve your physical performance. Here are some dynamic exercises to try:

Exercise Reps
Leg swing 10 (each leg)
Lateral lunge 10 (per side)
Inchworm 10
Arm circles 10 forward & 10 backward

Speed training circuit

Speed can be the deciding factor between a win or a loss – and the players know it. Some NFL players have even clocked in running speeds of 22mph on the field[2]. These men really are machines! Getting a little faster on your feet is possible. Your energy levels, acceleration and vitality should soar with these exercises.

Repeat this circuit three times.

Exercise Reps
High knees running 30 secs
Prowler sled push 8
Box jumps 8
Resisted sprint drills 6

How to perfect each exercise

1. High knees running
Stand straight and tall and run in place as fast as you can. Bring your knees as high as possible, driving through the balls of your feet.

2. Prowler sled push
Load up the sled with weight – you’ll be able to judge how much first by seeing if you can get it going. Take up a low position against the sled, setting up your feet so that they are the same width as your usual running posture. Pushing with either straight or bent arms, embrace your core and drive through your forefoot as you move forward.

3. Box jumps
With your feet shoulder width apart, stand facing the box. Lower yourself into a quarter squat, keeping your black flat. Sway your arms forward and use the momentum to jump up onto the box landing with both feet. To cushion your landing, make sure you bend both legs and stand up before stepping back down off the box.  

4. Resisted sprint drills
Wear a form of resistance over your shoulders or round the waist. You can normally use a resistance band attached to a sled or partner. When attached, propel yourself forward and maintain proper running form. One rule of thumb is to add no more than 10 per cent resistance and run no more than 5 meters.

Agility training circuit

In NFL, being nimble is vital for any player. They must be fast and agile to challenge, block or shield against the offense. Likewise, NFL players must be swift to triumph through the defense (all while keeping hold of the ball). Keep your coordination on point and move like a real athlete with these functional workouts.

Repeat this circuit three times.

Exercise Reps
Medicine ball chest ball & shuffle 8
Single leg goblet squats 10 (each leg)
Lateral plyometric jumps 30 seconds
Jump rope 60 seconds

How to perfect each exercise

1. Medicine ball chest ball & shuffle
Hold a medicine ball with both hands at your chest and face a sturdy wall. Make sure you’re far enough from the wall to have space to extend your arms and pass the ball, however, be sure you’re close enough to catch it too. Throw the ball at the wall and shuffle laterally, catching it back and bringing it to your chest. Change shuffle directions along the wall.

2. Single leg goblet squats
Grab hold of a kettlebell and stand facing away from a bench/chair. Bring your right foot off the ground, extending the leg out in front of you. Push your hips back, bend your knee, and keep straight as you slowly lower down to sit. Once seated, return your right foot to the ground. Repeat on each leg

3. Lateral plyometric jumps
Place a line on the floor using cones or something similar. Stand alongside the line. With your feet no more than hip-width apart, bend your knees to squat. Push upward through your heels quickly and sideways towards the other side of the line. Land softly, squatting deeply. Repeat the jump back and forth over the line, keeping your shoulders and hips facing forward.

4. Jump rope
Stand with your rope behind you and your feet placed together. Keep your hands at hip height and flick your wrists to circle the rope up and over your head. Jump up and over the rope slightly off the ground. Try to keep your shoulders and arms relaxed, using your wrists only to turn the rope.

Explosive power training circuit

NFL players are known for how fast they can sprint across the field and bring down the offense. They make powerful blocks when compared to other, less-fiery athletes. To express high levels of force and endure inevitable contact on the field, players must have great strength levels. These explosive workouts will help you get some of the power that so many players have.

Repeat this circuit three times.

Exercise Reps
Bench press 10
Power clean 8
Front squat 8
Romanian deadlift 10

How to perfect each exercise

1. Bench press
Lay underneath the bar on a flat bench, making sure it lines up directly above your eyeline. Reach up and grab the bar with a medium grip width. Unrack the bar and lower it to your mid-chest. Your elbows should be bent at 90-degrees. Press the bar back up until your arms are straight. 

2. Power clean
Grab a barbell from the floor with your hands outside shoulder width. Stand up explosively and shrug the bar, keeping it as close to your body as possible. As the bar reaches your chest, quickly drop into a squat position and flip your wrists so that your palms are facing the ceiling. Catch the bar across the front of your shoulders and stand up. From this position you can drop the bar to the ground – if you’re on a lifting platform.  

3. Front squat
Start with the barbell on a power rack at shoulder width height. Grab the bar with both hands facing toward the floor and about shoulder width apart. Bend your elbows downward and bring your upper chest towards the bar so that it rests on your shoulders. Push your elbows upwards and your shoulders forward so the bar is totally pressed into them. Lift the bar off the rack, taking one step back with each foot. Your feet should be shoulder width apart as you drop down into the squat and return to the starting standing position.

4. Deadlift
NFL players praise the deadlift – it is the king of total body exercises. Grab a barbell or kettlebell and place it on the floor. Keeping your chest up and lower back flat, hinge at the hips and bend at your knees to pick up the bar. Tighten your glutes and core and raise to a standing position. Make sure your arms are extended. Bend at your knees as you lower the bar back to the ground, keeping your back flat and arms straight.

Full-body strength circuit

NFL champs train for months on end to improve their muscle mass to ultimately become bigger, faster and stronger on the field. What’s more, having more muscle protects them from risk of injury. These full body exercises will help add some strength to your build and improve your mobility.

Repeat this circuit three times.

Exercise Reps
Overhead press 10
Bent over row 10
Medicine ball sit-up 8
Dumbbell lunge 10

How to perfect each exercise

1. Overhead press
Taking the bar from a power rack, stand with it on your front shoulders and your hands placed next to your shoulders. Focus on squeezing your shoulders and press the bar over your head, tilting your head backwards slightly. Lock your elbows at the top and keep your chest up during each rep.

2. Bent over row
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, bend at your knees and lean forward from the waist. Keep your back straight and grab the bar with your hands palm face down. Let the bar hang with your arms straight and squeeze your shoulders to row the weight up towards your sternum. Lower it back down again.

3. Medicine ball sit-up
Lay on the floor with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Grab a medicine ball with both hands and perform a sit-up, raising the ball straight over your head.

4. Dumbbell lunge
Stand with your feet hip distance apart and hold a dumbbell at each side – palms facing your body. Take a controlled lunge forward with your right foot, making sure your knees are bent at 90 degrees and your front thigh is parallel to the ground. Push your right heel into the floor, bringing your left leg forward back to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite leg.

Post-workout cool down

Remember to cool down after your workout. A quick jog will flush out any lactic acid and the dynamic exercises will give your muscles a good stretch. Foam rolling will also help to decrease any muscle soreness and protect them from getting taut.

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