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Strength Training/What should training be like?


QUESTION: Hello Adam,

I am a soccer player and I am just returning back to playing after a long time due to my exams and college commitments. My forte used to be my speed, I could push the ball and get past players with my pace easily. However now when I push the ball past the player, I do not have the energy and strength the run past the player like before. Also, my kicking strength has weakened.

Also, I want to build my upper body a little bit more, partly for functional purposes but mostly for aesthetic reasons. I really admire Cristiano's physique and since I am tall, I believe I could bulk up to get such a physique.

All in all,what should my training program be in order to improve my match fitness, speed, kicking strength and also get a nicer body?

Some additional info about me: My soccer training is on Monday for now and matches on Saturday and Sunday.

Thank you so much for your time and advice.

ANSWER: If you don't mind I need a few more questions answered.

What is your age?  Have you ever been on a weightlifting program before and what did it consist of?

How long were you off and could anything you think of that could have affected your speed and kicking power diminishing?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


I am currently 22, and i have never been on a weghtlifting programme. I used to be a competitive long distance runner till 18. I havenot exercised for about 2-3 months. In my opinion, i feel that its because i stopped running that i lost my speed. As for my strength, there was a period where i tried squats and burpees and it gave my legs more power. So probably a lack of such exercises for 2 months could have resulted in my loss in strength.

Hope the details above help. thanks

Okay, you are young enough that whatever speed you did have, you can probably regain if just trained properly.  

I would do a progressive total body strength program, but the emphasis on your legs are the exercises you named squats would be good.  I would try a lunge and a hamstring exercise like a 1 legged bridge or leg curl (you can youtube those to look at).  Strengthen your legs twice a week with a day or two off inbetween.  Do 3 to 4 sets for each exercise doing reps of 6 - 12.  Start off with 6 reps.  If you get all the reps at 6, then the next week keep the weight and increase to 8.  Then when you get to 12 reverse it back down every two weeks until you get back to six.  As you drop in reps increase the weight.

On the off days of lifting, I would do sprints anywhere from 30 yards to 60-70 yards.  Soccer is a game of short sprints, but practice sprinting.  Inbetween each sprint rest a minute.  To help with your speed and power after a couple weeks of sprinting you could do some slight uphill running.  Also, jumps are good to improve power.  Maybe do 5 standing long jumps in a set to get the power going.

Hopefully that will help you out.

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Adam Kessler


USA Weightlifting Sport Performance Coach and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. I have 16 years experience in the industry and now run my own personal training company.

I am a speed expert. I can answer questions in regards to how to get faster and or quicker. If you are an athlete, I can also help you with your strength training routine. Understanding how you need to workout to get stronger will also help you get faster as well.

Please Note: I cannot give out any type of exercise programs. I can give advice, but don't ask me to give you an off-season workout or program to do at home. I know nothing about you and cannot give information like that over this forum. You might misinterpret what I'm saying, get hurt, and I get in trouble. Ask specific questions. I do have a document you can download that discusses the basics of losing and gaining weight. Please click here to download this document.

I have a nice report that discusses what you would need to do to be successful with your speed program. I also have highlighted over 100 athletes and coaches that have worked with me and the success they have had with my speed program. Some of them, we have documented the exact improvements in their running times to illustrate what an awesome program this is. It is called The Secrets to Their Success and you can check it out at for more information.

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I have had over 16 years of experience in the health and fitness field. The last 9, I started and have been running my own personal training company. I was also the head strength coach of an area high school for 4 years before committing to my company full-time.

I am a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. I also belong to USA Weightlifting.

I have been the feature of several articles in Columbus Business First and Mid-Ohio Golfer. I have written articles for various online article directories which can be found by Google searching my name. I have done speakings at several state and local clinics for strength and conditioning.

B.A. at Indiana University (1994)
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
USA Weightlifting Sport Performance Coach

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