It's the off season and you want to sit back, take it easy and relax until training begins in a few months. You've been grinding and pounding during the entire season, so its time to take a little break, get your ya-yas out and be ready for the next year. But don't get too cocky! You've got to stay in reasonable shape all year long, or football and the guy looking for your job next year are going to pass you by.
So here's a few things to do during the off season, that will keep you in shape and ready when training begins again. Just think of it as training for training.
It's what you eat and drink
Take it easy on the fats, and that especially means fast food, which is loaded with high fatty food content. You want complex carbs, like pasta and multi-grain bread, fruits and vegetables, lean meats, like chicken, turkey, fish, with an occasional steak or chop thrown in. High-fat foods slow you down while protein-rich low-fat foods keep your muscles fed and your metabolism burning.
More importantly, lay off cases of sugary beverages, from beer to soda and high fructose corn syrup fruit drinks. They are made with simple carbs, and these give you absolutely zero nutritional benefit whatsoever. Are they good for a treat now and again? Of course, but smart waters and drinks that are packed with electrolytes will hydrate your body and give you the quick burning fuel that you need.
You thought you could go an off season without exercising, huh? Sorry, but those days of "playing yourself into shape" no longer apply.
Aerobic exercise has got to be in your plan. You need to keep your heart muscle strong, so any type of aerobic exercise, from running to swimming, basketball to doing the circuit in a gym, (and no, golfing is NOT an aerobic exercise), needs to be done several times per week.
If you are serious about exercise, do interval training. This intense form of aerobics will keep you and your body at its physical peak, and you'll be able to slide into the next football season ready to kick butt!
This totally depends on what position you play. If you are a quarterback, you may not want to do much in the way of using weights. Running backs should concentrate more on their legs while defensive backs should concentrate more on their arms and upper bodies.
Linemen need to be bulky and strong, which comes from lifting high poundage for only a few reps, while linebackers need to be toned and strong, which means lighter weights over the course of many reps.
Regardless, hitting the gym during the off-season is a must.
Do what you will with supplements, and most doctors will recommend a quality multi vitamin. There are many types of sports mega vitamins to consider, yet none of them are FDA certified except one. Fish oil.
Fish oil contains Omega 3 fatty acids which make your blood flow smoother and allows it to deliver the maximum amount of oxygen to your muscles. Get that? Oxygen to your muscles, which is exactly what you want.
The bottom line
For modern football players, you've got to stay in shape even during the off season. That doesn't mean you have to over work yourself and leave everything in the gym, that's not what it's all about. The off season is a time for resting, healing, and getting your mind back together.
The football season was long and hard, and now it's time to take it easy. But not too easy. Staying in shape all year round will keep you healthier during the next season, and besides, even when your playing days are over, diet and exercise should be a way of life, and it starts with training in the off season.
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