Building WORK Capacity


A term that I always refer to when training our football players at College of the Canyons is WORK CAPACITY. Work capacity involves several physical qualities, these include:

  1. Core strength
  2. Muscular endurance
  3. Aerobic and anaerobic capacity
  4. Body composition (% body fat)
  5. Joint mobility (range of motion, durability)

Knowing when to push the envelope

My goal is to constantly build and develop greater work capacity in our players. Whether it is their ability to do more quality work at higher intensities in the weight room or to find a way to complete 20 ½ gassers during conditioning, their ability to do these things depends on their work capacity.


This guy is NOT building work capacity, although that BOSU might be getting WORKED!

This guy is NOT building work capacity, although that BOSU might be getting WORKED!

Often times, players and coaches will focus on one or two specific things to emphasize during the summer such as getting stronger or getting in better shape etc. I, however, choose to emphasize ALL of the above areas almost EVERY DAY.

In making our 7:00 AM weight room sessions very demanding and intense and THEN following this up with some speed, agility, or explosive work on the field, THEN conditioning THEN practice!

I am doing all I can to increase the work capacity in each and every player on our squad. I know, I know….this sounds like quite a lot of work!

The following is a typical day for our football players @ COC (we train Monday thru Thursday…)

  • 7:00 am: Roll call and announcements
  • 7:15-8:15: Weights (includes some plyos, core strength, etc.)
  • 8:15-8:30: Warm-up and agilities/speed
  • 8:30-9:00: Conditioning
  • 9:00-9:20: Water and stretch
  • 9:20-11:00: Practice

I will relate a story that I heard from Fred Roll (LONG time Strength coach at the University of Kansas). Coach Roll said that in all his years of training athletes, he had never seen a player flat out physically fail due to the amount of work he put them through.

Understand that he was not referring to his ability to make an individual throw-up or lay on the grass like a puddle of mud after conditioning, he was referring to a player just pooping-out so to speak from his total program.

He came to the conclusion that he might be able to push his players a little harder and harder, and harder…as their work capacity continued to build. In doing so, he found that he was seeing players get even bigger, stronger, faster, and more powerful than ever.

All this made me wonder whether I was “too soft”?

My players probably wouldn’t think so, but from a coach’s perspective it was possible. The human body is remarkably resilient; we are physically able to push our bodies into unseen territory on almost a daily basis! The problem is usually not PHYSICAL as much as it is PSYCHOLOGICAL. The human mind usually tells our bodies to quit well before it physically has to stop.

What does all this mean? Well, it doesn’t mean that you should push yourself over the top and not listen to your head! It should, however, arm you with the knowledge that your body is very strong and able to withstand a lot of physical turmoil. Understand that to increase one’s work capacity, you have to work hard and truly push yourself, consider the following:




As I tell my players, if you pay the price now, the competition will not seem so hard. At COC I guarantee you that games are no where near as tough as practices, weights, and conditioning because as a strength coach, I am in the “building work capacity business”!

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