Matic Tepeš: “Building strength in soccer doesn’t require fancy training equipment. The players just need to focus on quality movements and develop strength that transfers to the pitch.”
Soccer involves repeated powerful movements like kicking, sprinting, jumping and tackling. Specific to soccer, jump height, sprint performances and aerobic endurance are highly correlated with maximal strength in male soccer players.
As mentioned in on one of our former articles, the type of strength training should be divided acoording to the season period. In the early pre-season we focuse on building maximum strength by using methods with maximal (90-100% 1RM) and submaximal (60-80 % 1RM) loads. The goal is to increase muscle mass and maximum strength. In the late pre-season we want to convert the strength gains into soccer specific power and muscular endurance. We use methods for developing strength endurance, where the loading is small (25-60 % 1RM) but with more repetitions. The breaks need to be short during sequential series. During this season period we also develop explosive strength wich increases muscle activation and results in better intermuscular coordination. The most common exercises we use here are plyometrics (jumping etc.).
During the season we focus on maintaining the strength obtained in the pre-season. We try to make at least 1-2 sessions per week to maintain the fitness along with the other days focused on endurance and injury prevention. As shown in the video below we use exercises with body weight, free weights and fitness machines. The players are divided in 2 groups. Each one is doing a circuit training, the first group is focusing more on bodyweight exercises and exercises with fitness gear (medicine balls, elastics, kettlebells, TRX…) and the other focusing mainly on exercises with weights and fitness machines. Once they complete the circle, the groups change places after a 4-5 min break. In this video one group is performing the exercise for 30 seconds and resting also for 30 seconds (work/rest ratio 1:1), the other group is performing 12-15 repetiotions per exercise and rests for 45-60 seconds between exercises.