Total Football Training

Vernon Davis - San Fransisco 49ers

As I’m sure many of you have noticed, San Francisco 49’ers strength coach Duane Carlisle recently released a new product titled “Total Football Training.”  I actually wrote a preliminary blog about it last Friday, which I’ll link to below:

Total Football Training – An Early Review

As promised, I took the time to review the entire product over the past 4 days.  Below you’ll find the many things I liked about the product, as well as a few things I disliked.  Enjoy!

The Things I Liked

* The energy system training.

It’s physically painful for me to see strength and/or football coaches who write in energy system training such as gassers, 400’s, and other heavily glycolytic training mediums like into the conditioning programs of football players.  It reminds me of the days when my high school basketball coach made me run cross country to get into shape!

Most football plays last between 5 and 6 seconds, with 30-40 seconds of rest in between.  As a result, a well-conditioned football player should not only be able to perform repeated bouts of high-intensity work, but they should be able to do so without shifting into the glycolytic energy system (or at the very least, minimizing this shift).

To do this, you need very specific conditioning workouts/program design.  Not only is this included in the programming, but also it’s then further broken down into examples for the various football positions (QB, RB, WR, DL, OL, etc.)

* The program balances ALL aspects of training.

While we all know that strength training is important, we also see tons of strength coaches who feel that the weight room is the only factor to a football player’s success.

This program is quite holistic in nature.  You see a focus on soft-tissue quality, mobility, movement training, strength training, conditioning, and even recovery.

Quite simply, this program will help build well-rounded athletes, not just guys that look great in the weight room or on test-day.

* A focus on recovery.

I love this concept.  I know people want to label kids as soft these days, but they’re also under more pressure than ever before.

Recovery is something that so few talk about, yet it’s such an integral component of the training process.  You can train as hard as you want, but if you don’t recover from said training, it really does you no good.

I wish more people would give the recovery side of the equation more credit.

* A focus on stability AND strength.

While many coaches get enamored with the numbers game, very few seem to be focused on developing the stability of their athletes.

A bench press is a great predictor of upper body strength, but what if that same athlete can’t perform a solid push-up because their core is too weak or unstable?

Stability is a huge key in not only injury prevention, but performance enhancement as well.  It was great to see stability being emphasized in this program.

* Every exercise in the program is demonstrated.

Every exercise that was in the manual/program was outlined in the DVD’s as well.  Quite simply, you could actually SEE each and every exercise so you would understand how Coach Carlisle wants you to perform them.  This is a big plus, as many products skip over this, assuming you know how to do them.

* A comprehensive and complete off-season workout, right out of the box.

Hands-down, this is the most comprehensive football product I’ve seen.

Every aspect of training is programmed: Mobility, flexibility, speed and agility training, strength and power training, the works.  It’s then broken down into different cycles and laid out so you have 8 weeks of training, which is perfect for high-school age athletes who finish school at the end of May and get back to training camp the first week in August.

Finally, you have sections on nutrition and recovery that I feel will be overlooked, but are actually some of the most needed sections in the program.

At the end of the day, you have a full-offseason workout in the palm of your hands.

And while I feel this product is fantastic, there were a few things that I thought could be improved upon.

The Things I Disliked

* Some of the nomenclature used to describe movement/stability.

While reviewing the first two DVD’s, I found myself constantly nodding as the philosophy was outlined.

Until I got to the section on core training.

As happy as I was to hear about stability training, neutral spine, core stability, etc., I still can’t vibe with the notion that we’re getting said stability from the TVA.

Keep in mind the issue here isn’t so much with the concepts, because I love the idea of pillar strength/core stability and agree that most athletes need to develop this qualities. What I don’t agree with is the notion that we’re getting said stability from the TVA.

Biomechanics rant over 🙂

* Some of the exercise videos and descriptions.

The only other thing I didn’t really like about the package was I felt some of the exercise videos were a little rushed.  And keep in mind here, I’m a stickler for this stuff – I want exercise technique to be top-notch, so this could just be me.

An entry-level coach could take this product and use the descriptions within to keep people from injuring him or herself in the gym, but it doesn’t give the specifics that I would like to see to really refine and improve technique.


All things considered, this is a fantastic product and one that I sincerely hope a lot of people will purchase.  If you’re a youth, high school or even collegiate-level football OR strength and conditioning coach, I feel this is a must-have product.

And please note – I said football OR strength coach. As we all know, we need to be on the same page from top to bottom.  If everyone understands why gassers suck and we need more intelligent energy system training, everyone is going to get more out of the process.

Coach Carlisle’s Total Football Training product is on sale through July 31st, so if you are interested in picking up a copy, be sure to check it out via the link below.  You’ll not only save yourself $100, but you’ll be getting the most comprehensive football-training product I’ve seen to date.

Total Football Training

All the best



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