Q: Is it OK to work my legs 4 days in a row? I have 4 leg days per week (one hips, one calves, one plyo, and one heavy leg or power leg).
Well anything can work sometimes but I think there are better options. As an athlete theres no need to try to isolate bodyparts and separate your leg workouts into hips, quads, etc. Train movements not muscles. A bodybuilder would break the muscles into different days and train accordingly and that's fine but they have different goals. Since your legs work as a unit when you move you might as well train them as a unit as well. A tried and true way of setting up your schedule is to have 2 leg workouts per weekly cycle. Train for strength in the first workout and for power and speed on the 2nd workout. That alone will work just fine for the large majority of people.
You could also have 3 workouts per week and balance the volume out over the entire week. This will give you more frequency which works particularly well for beginner and novice athletes.
Gradually progress in intensity over 4 weeks. Use a buffer. A buffer is the difference between actual rep maximum and the load used in training. So if you're doing a set of 5 reps in a movement and your 5 rep max is 200 lbs and you're using a 10% buffer you would be lifting with 180 lbs. No need to get really anal about it, just make sure during the earlier sessions you stay well short of failure and work close to limit during the final sessions. It would look something like this for a 3 x per week frequency:
Week 1- use 12% buffer
Session 1- 4 x 5
Session 2- 2 x 5, 2 x 3
Session 3- 4 x 3
Week 2- use 10% buffer
Session 1- 4 x 5
session 2- 2x5, 2x 3
Session 3- 4 x 3
Week 3- use 7% buffer
session 1- 4 x 5
session 2- 2 x 5, 2x3
session 3- 3 x 3
week 4- use 5% buffer the first, then work up to 3 rep max on final session.
session 1- 3 x 5
session2- 3 x 3
session 3- test
Q: Would you recommend someone with genetically bad knees to do/not do Full Squats? Also, what exercises would help strengthen the muscles around the knee? Thanks
It really depends on what is wrong with the knees but most of the time if a person is going to squat I would rather have them squat deep then squat short of parallel. When you break parallel the hips absorb more of the stress and actually take pressure of the knee. The deeper squats are also more effective at building up the muscles around the knee - in fact it's really the only exercise you need. If you can't squat at all due to injury then EMS can be a valuable addition.
Q: Can jogging REALLY improve speed and vertical jump ???
Only if you are either very out of shape or very fat. If you're overweight then jogging or any other form of exercise can help you lose weight which will give you a better power to bodyweight ratio but that's about it. In fact jogging is one of the worst things you can do if you're interested in strength, speed and explosiveness. High volume endurance exercise causes muscular endurance adaptations that are totally opposite the type of adaptions you want for speed and power. In fact, the average marathon runner has a vertical jump of less then 12 inches. There is an inverse correlation between the volume of endurance activities and the ability to display power through vertical jump, short sprints etc. Even with their often gargantuan size, you won't see any olympic shottputters or olympic lifters doing endless laps around the track and it's no secret they are exceptionally fast in the short sprints and have extremely high vertical jumps. If you're interested in maintaining the muscular qualities needed for speed and explosiveness then do no more then 20 minutes of aerobic activity 3 days per week.
Q: If you keep your bodyfat the same, you
will make your body faster, as a stronger muscle is a faster muscle, it is a
very old fashion way of thinking that weight related training slows you down,
you should do your weight training in the gym, then practice your explosive
training on the field, for what ever sport you participate in.
Thank you. I'm not sure what your question was or if you were just asking if I agree. I agree with nearly all that you said except sometimes extra strength can be too much and sometimes you can do explosive things in the gym that you can't do on the field but a lot of people would be better off just getting strong and practicing their sport. In fact a lot of people would get what they wanted if they quit worrying about all the details and just focused on lifting some heavy stuff while developing the skills they needed for their sport. The problem is people tend to get to extreme.
It seems there are 2 extreme lines of thinking on this and the correct answer is somewhere in the middle. One camp says to just stay in the gym and get as strong as hell for everything. The other camp wants to do things functionally correct and instead of just bringing the lunchpail they constantly worry about getting slower and overcomplicate everything and worry about this and that while having the strength levels of anorexic girls.
Once you can move correctly (reactive movement efficiency) then consider this. Strength is the easiest quality to increase so focus on that for a while. Unless you're squatting and deadlifting 2 times your bodyweight don't write me asking me if some explosive gimmick will make you faster or jump higher. Just get stronger and when you start to reach a strength
plateau then insert a short 3 week cycle where you focus more on speed and plyo training. After that go back to strength and you'll gain again. Keep doing that and you'll get where you want to go. If you need more help I have services and programs available.
Q: Do you recommend any neck work for a football player?
Yes, neck work is important. I particularly recommend you do some exercises for the front of your neck (the flexors) since these muscles aren't trained in the gym. Plenty of people work the back of the neck (the extensors) but those muscles tend to be tight and sronger then the flexors anyway because most people spend too much time sitting at a desk with their heads held forward. If the back of your neck is strong and tight and the front of your neck is loose and weak you'll tend to take on a posture with your head jutted forward.
Exercise For Neck Flexors
I recommend 3-4 sets of 20 reps a couple of times per week. Also if you have a 4-way neck machine or harness do some lateral (side to side) neck exercises.
Q: What do you recommend for in-season training for a football player? I tend to lose weight and strength every year.
You should be able to maintain your strength as long as you maintain the intensity (load). Cut down on the volume and frequency but keep the weights up. I recommend 2 short 30-40 minute workouts per week. You'll be able to keep your bodyweight up if you eat enough. Here's an example of inseason workouts:
Power Clean (or speed pull + shrug) 4x3 bench 4 x 3 squat 4 x 3
Romanian Deadlift 3 x 5, Row 3 x 8, Incline bench 3 x 5, Front Squat 3 x 5
Q: Hope you get what am i talking my english is very bad. I just wonder is it possible to get huge body muscle like bodybuilder and train Plyometrics and sprint so that you get fast like Michael Jordan ????
Well maybe. At least it can work the other way....turning Michael Jordan into a bodybuilder. But it usually doesn't work very well.