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Keeping Fit: How Do NFL Players Train?

Amanda Campbell provides advice on how NFL Players Train.

If you are looking to get into shape or want something interesting to bet on with the NFL player props, it can be fascinating to learn how NFL players train and keep healthy.

Unlike most of us, these players are paid to work out and keep healthy, so they are match perfect for their games. If you want a sneak-peek into how they enhance their performances, we have the details for you!


Before getting into the exercise portion of training, the NFL players need to make sure their nutrition is balanced. They need to increase or maintain their muscle mass while stabilizing essential fats in their diet. Most NFL players will have a nutrition coach to keep them on track.


Protein is an essential component in a healthy diet as it repairs muscles and strengthens bones. It also creates a great form of energy for the players to use. This is why most NFL players will have a diet that consists mainly of protein.

This means that an NFL’s dinner plate will likely have a lot of chicken or fish to ensure that their body absorbs these needed nutrients.


Carbohydrates often get a bad wrap, but that is only because our fast food society usually eats more of it than we need to. In reality, we need carbs to get a more significant boost of energy than we can receive from proteins and allow a healthy amount of sugar into our system.

If an NFL player did not have a good amount of carbohydrates in their system, they would feel faint due to a lack of energy and a low blood sugar level. With a lack of energy, they will do poorly in their games and will not have the power to run down the field.


Fats are another food group that many people misunderstand. Yes, we do not need tons of it, but we should not go without either. Fats protect your organs and help them grow new and healthy cells. They also help to keep your blood pressure under control.

NFL players often get their fat nutrition from nuts, olive oil, and fish. However, they might prefer to take supplements so that the exact amount of fats ingested are calculated.

Different Strategies

Each NFL player will have their diet and their workout scheme. This is because every type of player will need to prioritize different strengths. Not only that, but some players will naturally be able to build muscles in areas that others find difficult.

This is why you can never get a straight answer when people talk about getting the same body as an NFL player. Instead, will show you the leading and most repeated training exercise that these athletes do regularly.


These five training methods are often considered the primary base for every NFL training session. Although some players might add boxing, swimming, or tennis to their training, they will include these more generic workout ideas.

Dynamic Warm-ups

Often confused with stretching, dynamic warm-ups are designed to increase your core temperature. This then allows your muscles to gear up and prepare themselves for more challenging and energy-exerting movements.

On the other hand, stretching is where you “wake up” your muscles and allow them to move and gain a range of motion in preparation for quick reactions.

They are both important, and you will even find NFL players utilizing both of these warm-ups before a game.

If you want to try it yourself, you should add jogging and high knee running to the beginning of your workout.

Agility Drills

Although NFL games only have around 11 minutes of active play per game, a player will be able to run 50 to 80 yards in just 4 or 5 seconds. To make sure that the players keep up this fast pace, they need to practice their running speed and quick reaction times.

Many players will try to run through areas of obstacles, try to outpace a tackle, and may be forced to duck away from flying objects just to make sure that they can stay on their toes in the middle of a game.

Strength Development

Of course, in the NFL, players need to be more than fast; they need to be strong too. In a typical strength development workout, the players would follow a week of 10 sets of repetitions that hit 70% of their max strength. This is so they do not overwork themselves by pushing too hard but continue to exercise at a level that will develop their strength.

Then they might switch to a week of higher intensity. This could include four sets of repetitions that high 90% of their max strength. These exercises will be much harder, which is why the reps are heavily reduced.

They would then go back to a smaller weight to allow their body to recover.

Core Strength

Core strength does not necessarily mean getting 6-pack abs, as that type of body often means the person is dehydrated rather than strong. Instead, the players need to make sure their core is strong enough to pulse energy to the rest of their bodies.

To exercise their core, many NFL players practice planking.


Throughout their training and the games, the players need to make sure that they are correctly hydrated. Depending on where they are in the country, each player will need to maintain different hydration levels. This is because of the changes in temperature and humidity.

Everyone around the world becomes climatized to their environment, which means that the hot heat of Arizona will feel like an impossible dessert to people from Michigan.

Post Training

After a game day, the players will get involved in a process called “taper down.” It consists of healing their muscles and recharging their bodies through exercises like ice baths and massages.

The process also includes mental health breaks, as losing a game can feel like the end of the world to a player. Imagine failing at your job day after day. It doesn't matter that the other players were given more support than you or brought in a great crowd to provide the team with money. The failed game can still play on your mind.

To make sure our athletes recognize that they did a good job and created an entertaining game, they need mental health breaks to reignite their passions for the sport.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • CAMPBELL, A. (2021) Keeping Fit: How Do NFL Players Train? [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Amanda Campbell is a freelance journalist.