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Football Pre-season "Boot Camp" Kettlebell Training

October 20, 2004 01:07 PM

Sunday, August 18, 02, the Rancho Buena Vista High School football team traveled to Camp Pendleton, California, the home of the United States Marine Corps, 1st Division, to partake in 2 days of strenuous boot camp atmosphere and comrade. As a former Marine Captain I know the value of this style training and togetherness. However, it was not until I started reading that I realized that we could put together an early morning PT program to literally challenge our players beyond their wildest dreams. I remember telling Pavel that we were taking our kids to the base and his parting comments were: Hurt them Mike!!! We did Pavel, We did!!!

Bear with me for the lack of pictures. Understand that at 0505 it was pitch dark on a grinder that allowed very little lighting. Use your imagination to create a minds eye of the workout. Let me preface by stating that Sunday night the kids were bedded down at 2100 hrs. Sure you say, putting a 15-18 yr old to bed at 2100 hrs?you would be correct?.after much giggling and general screwing around, the students FINALLY secured at 0100 Tuesday. Of course I fell asleep and was ready to go at 0415 when I got up, showered, shaved, etc. I set the course up at 0450 and the kids came to the "grinder" at 0505 to start training.

12 stations were set up
KB Swing
Jump Rope
Hurdle Squat
Jump Rope
KB Snatch
Jump Rope
Hurdle Squat
Jump Rope
KB Clean and Jerk
Jump Rope
Hip Squat & Upright Row
Jump Rope
6 Kg. Medball Woodchopper
Jump Rope
Rest Station
Jump Rope
Oly Bar Clean & Jerk
Jump Rope
3 Kg. Medball Woodchopper
Jump Rope
Oly Bar Snatch
Jump Rope
Rest Station
Jump Rope

2 athletes per station were assigned. The movement flow was from station 1- station 12, then station 12 moved to station 1. For example if an athlete was at station 7, after the exercise and the jump rope this athlete went to station 8 and so forth. Station 12 athletes moved to station 1. I controlled the workout tempo with a whistle. Approximately 30 sec to 1 min at each station tempo was emphasized. At each station the athlete either started with the prescribed exercise or started with the jump rope. After the whistle the athlete would switch to either the exercise or the jump rope. After 2 minutes at each station all athletes would then move to the next exercise station.

The athletes were encouraged to hit 10 reps with each arm on the swings, snatches and clean and jerks. They were encouraged to hit 10 reps of the kb hurdle squats and kb hip squats + upright row. The med ball woodchoppers were encouraged to have 20 hits, 10 on each side. And of course the Olympic bar snatch and clean and jerk I wanted no more than 5 reps. Each station would do the exercise followed by jump rope to recover. If the athlete started with jump rope, he then moved to the exercise but would get jump rope for recovery after he switched stations.

The athletes found this 24 minute routine to be very EVIL!!! I have to tell you that last nights chow was lost on many of the athletes during the training. BUT WHAT A WAY TO START THE NEW DAY!!!

Our goal for this training was to bring the kids together in a very regimented, disciplined environment. To start the day with this training proved the way to go. The athletes encouraged each other thru their pain, they fought and trained hard side by side at each station, while being encouraged by their team mates. After training, the athletes went to shower, breakfast, then meetings followed by 2 hrs of practice on the field. After practice, the agenda went from showers to lunch, from lunch to meetings and then practice again for 2 hrs. Dinner, meetings, and down time followed the afternoon workouts. Lights out at 2100 hrs!!! Needless to say, no giggling or jacking around this night??

Mike Burgener
Strength Coach
USA Sr. International Olympic Weightlifting Coach

Com. Burgener's daughter Sage kettlebelling into her father's footsteps