Every year a select number of NFL prospects subject themselves to the grueling combine training in order to climb the draft boards of pro teams across the country.  The athletes will do anything for 30+ reps on the 225 bench press test or a 40 yard dash time that will separate them from the rest of the pack.   Even at lower levels, teens are catching on to high school combine training just to ensure their future in the game.

Some coaches or organizations are willing to move average athletes from 3rd round to 1st round or from D2 schools to D1 schools all based of their 40 yard dash times!!!

What are you doing to shave the seconds off your time?…

Much speculation has been made on the methods of training for these combine workouts.  Let’s take a second and break down each one…

–          40 yard dash – Acceleration/Speed

–          Pro Shuttle – Acceleration/Quickness

–          Bench Press – Power/Strength

–          Vertical Jump – Explosiveness

–          Broad Jump – Explosiveness

–          3 Cone Drill –  Acceleration/ Agility

Besides technique, each and everyone of these tests can be trained with the right workouts and hard work ethic.  The key is to have a well devised program that targets explosive movements that are used in the actual tests.  Since most of this training is done in as little as 3-5 months in the off-season, time is of the essence.  It should start with developing a solid base of strength and then transition into using this strength to move the loads at a high velocity, which is power.  Then when all the power has been accumulated it’s time to peak the program with speed training and fine tuning.

Remember…Strength – Power – Speed, should be the principles of the routine leading up to the tests.

As far as the movements that need to be trained, you should take an approach of complex movements that focus on the posterior chain (hamstrings/glutes) for speed, acceleration, and explosiveness, while working the upper back and chest for that elusive bench test.  These exercises should be carefully ordered for you to extract the most out of your football combine training in the little time you have.

Start with training explosive and acceleration drills then move into speed drills to train your running stride and form.  Then take it to the iron and perform a power movement such as an Olympic lift.  After this you can really slap on the plates and strengthen your bench, squat, or deadlift.  Finally you want to finish with a series of supplemental movements that fine tune your goals.

These quick tips should get you on your way to a successful off-season and kill it at any combine.  If you really want to take the doubts out of the process I developed a 3 month program that is guaranteed to crush the tests and shave seconds off your times.  I’m talking No BS, this is the same program that turned a predicted undrafted free agent into a 4th round pick!!  That’s a matter of millions, if you’re serious about your training you might want to check this out…. Total Xplosive Training

Train Hard,

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Chris Barnard
Chris Barnard

Chris Barnard is a strength and conditioning coach at Strength Camp, a hardcore athlete training facility in St. Petersburg, Florida, as well as author of multiple performance programs. He has worked with athletes at all levels and from many different sports to produce the highest level of performance in each. He currently resides in St Petersburg, Florida and continues to pursuit breakthroughs in athletic performance.