Depending on your definition of offseason, you'll want to work on strength, power, endurance, speed and agility to get ready for football season. While offensive linemen need a wide variety of athletic skills, you should focus on your core needs of strength, power and aerobic conditioning during a true offseason, adding speed and agility workouts during your preseason training.
Before you begin working out to prepare for the football season, define what your offseason is. Some people refer to the time between your last game and your first scheduled practice as the offseason. Athletes who use a periodization plan call the offseason a specific time period that lasts only a few months. With a periodization program, you create six to eight weeks of active rest immediately after your season. You schedule strength and aerobic workouts during an offseason, then work on endurance and power during a pre-competitive season. Just before your season starts, you begin preseason workouts.
After your season ends, take a break from hard, physical work and maintain your aerobic conditioning with low-impact, moderate-intensity activities you enjoy. Swim, cycle, hit tennis balls, play some soccer, basketball or volleyball or go for power walks. If you play sports, don't go full out. Let your body recover from high-impact, high-heart rate workouts.
After you've taken time to recover from football season, begin strength and cardio training. Start with a 3x5 workout, performing five reps of an exercise and three sets consecutively, with two- or three-minute breaks between each set. Start with a warm-up set using 60 percent of your one-rep max. Perform the next set with 70 percent of your max, then finish with a set at 80 percent of your max. Each week, increase your weight, working toward a 5x5 workout. Include two warm-up sets in any 5x5 before you finish with three sets at your full working weight, which should be a weight that makes it difficult to perform your last rep. Take 24 hours between workouts to let your muscles repair and grow larger. Now is the time for aerobic workouts to build endurance. Use low-impact cardio workouts on days when you're not lifting. If you lift every day, split your workouts into morning and afternoon sessions.
After approximately two to three months of strength and cardio workouts, switch to power and endurance training. Decrease your weights and do circuit training to build muscular endurance. Perform 20 to 25 reps of an exercise using about 50 percent of your maximum intensity. Take a 30-second break, then start a new exercise. Continue this rotation for 30 minutes. Train explosive power to help you get off the line fast when the ball is snapped. Use a variety of squats, including standing, box and jump squats. Practice box jumping exercises, such as depth jumps, one-leg box jumps, shock jumps and plyo jumping. Reduce strength and cardio workouts to once or twice a week, decreasing your reps and minutes to reduce your emphasis on using your slow-twitch muscle fibers and fat-burning. Talk to your coach about his preseason training plans to make sure you coordinate this phase of training with what your team will be doing when you head back to camp during the summer.
After approximately two months of power and endurance work, focus on speed, quickness and agility to train your fast-twitch muscle fibers and for increased glycogen burning and anaerobic recovery. This type of training helps you recover after each play so you can be ready for the next snap. Stop aerobic training. Perform a variety of footwork drills to help you move in different directions, similar to how you'll move during plays. Add rope ladder, low hurdle, tire and spider drills to improve your footwork. Run 30-second sprints, followed by two minutes of walking to recover, then repeat, training this way for 10 to 15 minutes each workout.