The LSU Football Workout Program
The Southeastern Conference has become one of the dominant leagues in college football, with Louisiana State winning national championships in 1958, 2003 and 2007. For the 2007 run, head coach Les Miles was at the helm of the Tigers. Strength and conditioning coach Tom Moffitt got much of the credit for getting his players in tremendous shape for the championship run.
Length of Preparation
Louisiana State's offseason training for football season begins two weeks after the end of the previous season. Much of the offseason work is devoted to strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. The intensity of preparation picks up before the start of the season. In an interview with Stack Magazine, LSU strength and conditioning coach Tom Moffitt said the team's preparation matches the length of the season. "The most important aspect of training is your preparation," Moffitt said. "It should equal the length of your competitive season, so if you plan on playing for 12 weeks in the fall, you need 12 weeks of preparation in the summer."
Players at Louisiana State concentrate on building explosive strength before the start of football season. Moffitt wants his players to establish their maximums in their core-lifting exercises. Those exercises include the hang clean, back squat, bench press, barbell press, hang snatch, incline bench, clean pull, power clean and split jerk. The weight room at LSU is comparable those belonging to NFL teams. The weight room includes 28 multi-power stations, 36 automated machines and 10 dumbbell stations.
LSU’s program requires football players to build strong core muscles and abs. Moffit wants his players to do five sets of ab exercises to build a stronger trunk. Moffitt emphasizes core development at LSU for helping players avoid late-season injuries. The exercises he recommends include sit-ups with resistance, hanging leg raises, Russian twists, lateral leg raises and front or side planks, three times per week.
Speed Improvement and Agility
In addition to its offseason weight work, LSU devotes four days every spring to speed and agility training. This is done as the team prepares to play its spring football game and is designed to make players quicker and faster in the fourth quarter of games. This is quite a bit different from most programs that don't separate out the speed, quickness and agility aspects of football from other aspects of conditioning, according to Moffitt.
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.