Football Conditioning: Strength, Power, Endurance – Part 3 Endurance

Blue 42… Green 18… Hut-Hut…

As football players spend countless hours learning secret plays, practicing drills, and lifting massive weights with the team, it is no secret that specialized endurance training off the field is a must to be successful in the game.

Now that football season is in full action, there is no better time than now to supplement your existing training with the Total Gym. This is Part 3 of the football conditioning workout series, focusing on muscular endurance training. If you happened to miss the pervious strength and power workouts, you can check them out here:




Muscular strength is the ability to exert a maximal amount of force for a short amount of time or number of reps (i.e. maximum weight you can lift just once or up to a few times). Developing muscle strength improves overall strength, power, and builds muscle mass.

Muscle strength is associated with high intense work-outs with low reps (typically 3-12). Although great for building muscle mass, focusing just on muscle strength can have negative consequences for football players, which can lead to long term issues. Lack of sufficient off-field endurance training can cause over-stiffness/soreness, loss of flexibility, fatigue, and injury.

Muscular endurance is the ability to sustain performance for a certain period of time (how long you can maintain movement). Developing muscular endurance improves the ability to repeat muscular contractions many times over long durations. Muscular endurance workouts are associated with higher reps (typically 15-20), which usually translates to building less muscle mass (bulk) but increasing muscle elasticity.

Endurance training has many long term benefits including:

• Sustained strength over many repetitions
• Increased muscle memory
• Increased range of motion (ROM)
• Increased strength in ligaments and tendons
• Promotes a heathy heart
• Increases overall lung capacity
• Less susceptible to fatigue
• Increases energy levels
• Reduces risk of injury
• Increases speed, agility, & quickness
• Improves body composition
• Increases metabolic rate
• Allows the mind to focus on the task at hand without legs fatiguing
• Promotes healthier, stronger muscles, tissues, and bones.


This workout focuses on improving muscular and cardiovascular endurance by executing specific drills on your Total Gym.

Equipment needed:

Total Gym, timer


Focus on completing as many reps as possible while setting the equipment to a medium incline for a moderate amount of resistance. This setting will allow you to increase your reps (faster speed and more reps than the Part 1 Strength workout). Be sure to maintain proper form and stay in control while performing the exercise. Between sets of the same exercise, feel free to change the incline to ensure you can keep your reps high (faster speed) with sufficient resistance to keep your intensity balanced with your speed.


• IN-SEASON: During your season, focus on muscular maintenance and durability. Set your daily workouts with less resistance and higher reps to avoid over training. Select your more intense, high resistance workouts carefully with your game schedule in mind to allow your muscles to recover in time for your game.
• OFF-SEASON: Focus on developing endurance by performing speed and agility drills 1-2 days per week and on non intense strength days. Set incline to higher levels to execute the drill at a strong intensity. Also incorporate workouts that focus on muscular strength development on non-consecutive days 2-4 days a week. These type of workouts can be planned in phases to develop the skills appropriately.


• Begin with a dynamic warm-up in all planes of motion. (5-8 minutes)
• Perform exercises in pyramid interval sets, meaning the duration and the incline will change each set.
• Rest for 15-30 seconds in-between each set.
• Complete 3 sets of the same exercise, then continue to the next exercise and perform in the same manor.
• End with a series of stretches or foam roll to recover muscles.

Workout Outline:

• Perform 3 timed sets
• Change incline/ resistance setting between sets (this is your rest)

Intensity Level: medium-high incline, adjust if needed.

Intervals: 60 sec / 45 sec / 30 sec

1st set: 60 seconds
REST 15-30 seconds

2nd set: 45 seconds
REST 15-30 seconds

3rd set: 30 seconds
REST 15-30 seconds



1. High Knees
• Straddle Glideboard (GB)
• Dynamically move forward, backward with high knee runs

2. Down-down Up-up
• Plank position facing the tower (incline) or away (decline) position.
• Drop down to forearms (1-2), then back to hands with straight arms (3-4)
• Closed GB (modified) or open GB (advanced)

3. Pike-up/ Push-up
• Face away from the tower in a plank position.
• Perform 1 pike-up, followed by 1 push-up.
• Keep arms and legs straight at all times.
• Knees down (modified)

4. Army Crawl
• Forearm plank position facing the tower.
• Alternate forearm crawls forward and back while maintaining a plank position.
• Lower incline = more core challenge.

5. Cross Over Repeaters
• Facing away from the tower, place 1 foot on the GB while the other alternates a crossover tap from side to side.
• Perform for same timed intervals on each leg.
• Ex: 60 sec R/L, 45 sec R/L, 30 sec R/L

6. Shuffle 1, 2, 3
• Dynamically move around the Total Gym using the shuffle count
• Works on quick footing, coordination, and timing

Be sure to check out the video to see how these endurance exercises are performed on your Total Gym.

Depending on your training goals, it is important to cycle all the three workout programs (strength, power, and endurance) in a way to maximize the benefits that suits your playing style. This will result in peak performance and help prevent injury along the way.

Good luck this season.


Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

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