Pre-Season Fitness for Soccer (Apr 2019)

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • #9434

    This is a 5 week program designed to improve endurance and fitness for soccer. I’m using Westside for Skinny Bastards 3 as a template and blending in a few other resources I have to make up the difference.

    Starting Stats (1st April)

    Weight: 74.2kg
    Estimated 1RM squat test: 5 x 120kg (135kg)
    Broad Jump: 252cm
    Standing Vert CMJ: 53.5cm
    Bleep Test: Lvl 9 shuttle 11
    QC Step Test VO2: 50.8
    Peak Exp Flow: 735 L/min

    Funnily enough I got Lvl 9-11 this time last year filming a comparison of VO2max tests, so that shows what my baseline fitness is when I don’t work on it at all.

    Days 1-7 are meant to be run Mon-Sun so that the Saturday aligns with potential team training, but for me this is purely an experiment to see how much it helps and so I shifted it to suit my work schedule.

    4 Apr
    Bench Press – 2 x 3 x 95kg
    Incline DB Bench Press – 17, 15 x 25kg
    A1 DB Rows – 8 x 40kg, 2 x 8 x 35kg
    A2 Rear Delt Flyes – 3 x 8 x 3.5kg
    EZ Bar Curls – 9,9,8 x 33.5kg

    5 Apr
    General warm up + Mobility
    Frequency Drills
    Grass Runs: 10 x 10m, 6 x 20m, 4 x 40m (rest 1 min, 2 mins, 4 mins)

    Really liked the grass runs, I ran 60/100m at university and I love the feeling of acceleration. Pleased with my pace too given I’m an old man now.

    7 Apr
    Hex Bar Deadlift – 2 x 3 x 130kg
    Hip Thrusts – 3 x 10 x 100kg
    Sprinter sit-ups – 3 x 20
    Conditioning – 100 Swings (20kg), 75 Jump Squats in 9 mins 48 secs

    Gassed from conditioning, I wanted to avoid hammering one muscle group too heavily so I blended two conditioning challenges into one. Hip thrusts felt strong, deadlift wasn’t that hard but the program states it’s not maximal.


    8 Apr

    Push Ups – 26, 19, 17
    A1 Chin Ups – 3 x 9
    A2 Res. Band Face Pulls – 3 x 10
    DB Military Press – 10,10,9,9 x 20kg
    B1 BB Shrug – 10 x 60kg, 10,10 x 70kg
    B2 DB Tricep Extension – 15,12,10 x 13.5kg
    Swiss Ball Sit Ups – 3 x 12 x 15kg

    9 Apr

    General warm up + Mobility
    Frequency Drills
    Grass Shuttle Runs: 3 x 3 mins (4 mins rest)

    It was humbling how tired I was after 45 seconds of the first shuttle run, my fitness is appalling despite lifting weights and looking in okay shape. If I’m honest I could have pushed it more, I accepted a level of heavy breathing but didn’t try and run myself into the ground – will make sure to do that next week.

    Overall it’s been a good week of training, I felt the sprints went really well and while I was initially concerned that the first conditioning session would be too easy that opinion didn’t last long. Ideally to maximise fitness levels I would be doing three of those conditioning sessions per week but this was designed for the amateur footballer who plays in Sunday league and doesn’t have time to do 2-a-day sessions like a pro.


    11 Apr

    Bench Press – 2 x 3 x 95kg
    Incline DB Bench Press – 15, 13 x 25kg
    A1 DB Rows – 4 x 8 x 35kg
    A2 Rear Delt Flyes – 4 x 8 x 3.5kg
    EZ Bar Curls – 12,11,10 x 31kg

    I could tell in the warm up I wasn’t as strong as last week and it showed in the lower reps on incline press. Managed a bit more volume than last week though.

    12 Apr

    General warm up + Mobility
    Frequency Drills
    Grass Runs: 10 x 10m, 6 x 20m, 3 x 40m* (rest 1 min, 2 mins, 4 mins)

    On the third rep of 40m I got to around 20-25 metres and felt my right hamstring go. I’ve had enough hamstring pulls (6-8?) over the years to know that this one was quite bad. It was a combination of dehydration from not taking water with me and the uneven surface which probably caused it. I immediately picked up all my stuff and hobbled home to ice it. Over the next day and a bit I iced it for 8 lots of 20 mins, spaced 2+ hours apart. I’m on crutches and expect to need at least two weeks before I can do a light jog, but hopefully some gentle physio work before that time.

    14 Apr

    Sprinter sit-ups – 3 x 20

    The only part of the session I could do and even then it was modified to put no strain on my hamstring. I plan to do as much of the upper body session tomorrow as I can without feeling any kind of twinge in my hamstring, likely a seated version of some exercises. I hate being injured.


    15 Apr

    Push ups – 22,19,18
    A1 Chin up – 3 x 9
    A2 Res. Band Face Pulls – 3 x 10
    Lateral Raises – 12,12,10,12 x 3.5kg
    B1 BB Shrugs – 3 x 10 x 70kg
    B2 DB Tricep Ext – 15,12,11 x 13.5kg
    Weighted Sit ups – 2 x 12 x 15kg

    I switched from shoulder press to lateral raise and did the barbell shrugs with my injured leg kneeling on a bench, making sure my torso is still perpendicular to the floor. Pleased to get through that.

    16 Apr

    Indoor Rowing (Upper body only) – 4 x 3 mins (4 mins) in 2:20-2:25/500m pace

    So pleased I can do a fitness session, and a tiring one at that. I put my good leg in the straps and kept it straight, leaving my injured leg free and bent at 90 degrees so there’s no strain when I lean forward for each stroke. Really surprised by the pace I can hold with only my upper body, biceps were tired but I got my heart rate up to 160 so it’s a great alternative to the shuttle runs. I was going to switch running for rowing if the weather was terrible but this injury has given me another reason to include it.

    I will do some lower body rehab on Friday and probably repeat the rowing machine session instead of the speed session. I’m off crutches but I can’t walk very fast and have a small limp. I tried a two leg lying bridge with no pain and plan to follow these exercises to measure my progress


    18 Apr

    Bench Press – 2 x 3 x 95kg
    Incline DB Bench Press – 15, 13 x 25kg
    A1 DB Rows – 3 x 8 x 35kg
    A2 Rear Delt Flyes – 3 x 8 x 3.5kg
    EZ Bar Curls – 13,11,9 x 31kg

    19 Apr

    Single Leg Bridge – 4 x 10

    Part of the hamstring progression, these didn’t even feel like they were activating my hamstring.

    21 Apr

    Hamstring Bridge Walkouts – 3 x 5
    Hamstring Stretch – 1 minute

    Wow, now these are definitely working the hamstring. I walked out until my knees were almost straight and I could tell I was very close to tweaking it again so I reduced the range of my steps. I like these enough to put them in as a more advanced warm up once my leg is healed, and the plan is to do some two leg work with a swiss ball in a few days time.

    22 Apr

    Stretches – Hamstring spectrum, Holding Large Globe, Long Quad, Human Pinwheel
    Push ups – 26, 21, 20
    A1 Chin up – 9,9,9
    A2 Face Pull – 10,10,10
    Lat Raises – 4 x 12 x 3.5kg
    B1 BB Shrug – 3 x 10 x 70kg
    B2 DB Tricep Ext – 3 x 12 x 13.5kg

    I’m having to pay less attention to my leg in the gym when doing upper body, and I can walk without a limp at an average pace. The stretches are from The Permanent Pain Cure, which I still fall back on to this day for some of my stretches Days of inactivity and perhaps the use of crutches has meant I feel a lot of tightness in my lower and mid back, as well as calves. I read some research that stretching 4x day means faster recovery than 1x day but I haven’t found the time yet.

    23 Apr

    Running warm up –
    Grass Shuttle Runs: 3 x 4 mins (4 mins rest)

    I am so pleased I could complete this session. The first run was a little tentative but the other two were done at the same pace as my runs two weeks ago and the fact I can’t jog very fast meant I paced myself much better. I completed one full shuttle and got to the far 18 yard box on the second run (shuttles are 18 yd, halfway, other 18 yd, full pitch). I stayed away from any discomfort and going from crutches to jogging in 11 days is faster than I expected to progress.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 9 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.