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  1. #1
    Mark_The_Viking is offline Asst. Coach
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    Fitness levels in the NFL

    I have started this as a new topic rather than ask the question in a game related thread. I would really like to hear your opinions as people who have grown up with and or played the game as opposed to someone like me who just watched it.

    I've never understood this statement about being winded in the NFL. At most an offensive drive takes about 71/2 minutes of which probably only a couple of minutes is actually being played. I don't know what the fitness regime is for NFL players and can only base it on soccer and rugby (this is where my math might be out)

    If a player streaks at full tilt 50 yards and hauls in a catch he is unlikely to play the next down, he sits for a couple to get his breath back and go again, rugby players PLAY for 80 minutes and soccer players for the most part 90 minutes.

    If an NFL player is serious about his physical fitness at no point in the game (tackles, linemen excepted) should be going into the fourth quarter winded.

    I am happy for those of you with I accept much greater knowledge than me becasue you've played the game etc to tell me this is crap but it is for me the one argument I can't defend when people rip me about my love of the NFL
    Purple till i die

  2. #2
    Marrdro's Avatar
    Marrdro is offline Beware My Spreadsheet, Bitches!
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    Re: Fitness levels in the NFL

    Wow, that is a good question.

    Not being a expert on Rugby, but I think the answer lies in a simple look at what goes on in relation to who is closest to the ball.
    In American football, almost all the players are exerting maximum effort on each play with very little time to catch your breath/get your wind back.

    Rugby on the other hand, allows the "Outlying" players (not actually battling it out), kindof along the lines of soccer, to kindof catch thier breath based on the circumstances.

    On a side note, it can be said that WR's have that luxury as well, and that might be true if they aren't involved in things like supporting the run/blocking schemes.
    Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/josdin00/Vikings/Marrdro_sig.jpg

  3. #3
    Prophet's Avatar
    Prophet is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Fitness levels in the NFL

    I never played beyond high school, but, in high school you typically played the whole game and even though you were in good shape you would get tired depending on the weather, opponent, effort exerted, etc.

    At the professional level you have top-notch athletes at every position.
    It's not like high school ball or college ball where it is much easier to find mismatches.
    That doesn't really address your comparison of other sports, but, Marrdro sufficiently addressed a couple of those issues.

    Even the likes of Phat Pat do their role well even though most of us could out-endure him in something other than short bursts of physical energy.
    When you have the luxury of a 53 man squad there is no reason not to substitute folks to get the best matchups in situations and to keep the Phat Pat's of the world fresh for the game, or, when you're covering someone like Jared Allen who is athletic and insane it wears on you.
    Different packages for different situations. Utilizing the personnel given to you.

    Nothing very insightful, just my $0.02.
    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

  4. #4
    lakehubertviking is offline Asst. Coach
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    Re: Fitness levels in the NFL

    That is a good question.
    I would say in soccer in general they probably are better endurance athletes since that's what they train for, if you look at the average soccer player's build they're probably a lot skinnier, carrying less muscle mass than the average football player.
    If they need a break they simply fall to the ground grab they're ankle and roll around while looking for an official to pull a colored card out of their pocket.


    I haven't watched a lot of rugby but the muscle mass theory doesn't really work there, some of those dudes have legs bigger than my waist however I would probably concede they are in better endurance shape than football players because you train your body to fit your sport, or you pick your sport to fit your body type I guess.

  5. #5
    Zeus's Avatar
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    Re: Fitness levels in the NFL

    "lakehubertviking" wrote:
    That is a good question.
    I would say in soccer in general they probably are better endurance athletes since that's what they train for, if you look at the average soccer player's build they're probably a lot skinnier, carrying less muscle mass than the average football player.
    If they need a break they simply fall to the ground grab they're ankle and roll around while looking for an official to pull a colored card out of their pocket.



    I haven't watched a lot of rugby but the muscle mass theory doesn't really work there, some of those dudes have legs bigger than my waist however I would probably concede they are in better endurance shape than football players because you train your body to fit your sport, or you pick your sport to fit your body type I guess.
    Two things about football that set it apart in terms of fitness:

    * The equipment (pads and helmet)

    * The constant collisions

    In relation to futbol/soccer, yes, the players spend a lot of their time running, but there are *plenty* of opportunities to rest - throw-ins, free kicks, corner kicks, some dude rolling around on the ground because a player from the other team looked at him wrong, etc.

    In relation to rugby, yes, the action is continual, but the collisions are not repetitive (every 30 seconds or so), the players aren't wearing the football equipment (which is a big deal over the course of a long game), and the back and forth up and down the field is not as continual.

    All 3 sports require high levels of fitness to play at the upper echelons, that is for sure.

    =Z=

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  6. #6
    Mr Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Fitness levels in the NFL

    Keep in mind that NFL players train for short bursts, and value size, explosiveness, agility, and strength far more than cardiovascular endurance.

    The average NFL player is approximately 6'3" 245 pounds. If you were to exclude lineman I'd say that number would go down to about 6'1" 220. And excluding linemen, that's a LEAN 220. Plus the weight and resistance of pads.

    The cardiovascular demand at of a 6'1" 220 pound man is huge compared to that of an average pro soccer player at 5'10" 160. Who have virtually no value on size or strength. But a high value on cardiovascular endurance. They do place a high value on speed, but it's a different kind of speed.

    A lot of Europeans and American Foot Fairies talk about football players like they're slow and out of shape. But I'd love to see even 6'1"(who is only 160) Christiano Ronaldo try to make it through an NFL practice.

    Soccer is mostly standing around anyway, 18 guys on the field 2-3 chasing the ball, the rest standing around waiting. I once read that some soccer players run 4 miles per game. 4 miles in 90 minutes, that's only 2-3 miles per hour, a slow jog. An NFL offense runs about 70 plays per game. So 70 bursts at full speed(much faster than 3 mph, probably like 20mph for most of the DBs and WRs) and it's not just running. Blocking, pushing another big, amazing athlete for 5-7 seconds, or beating the press then running a route is by no means easy and has a very heavy anaerobic demand as well, something soccer lacks entirely.

    You have to be at full speed, every single play.

    The NFL has the best athletes in the world on display. We have 350 pound men running 5 second 40 yard dashes. Do you know how fast that is? Hint: faster than 90% on here.

    I think this video speaks volumes to the NFL athlete compared to the average guy:
    YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

  7. #7
    FF
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    Re: Fitness levels in the NFL

    Like the poster above me stated ... - From a physiological standpoint ... it is not surprising to see alot of the NFL players winded ...

    NFL players muscles are not built up nor geared for endurance trials, but as stated previous ... for full burst all out explosiveness in every down, with some minor breaks ... - You can actually compare it a little to the difference in muscles between short distance and long distance runners ...

    Short burst, high speed, explosiveness for a short duration and short (relative) range means your muscles are "white", where as long distance, endurance athletes have "darker" muscles ...

    Kinda like the difference in the colour of the meat between chickens and pheasans ... or Rabbits vs. Hares (wild rabbits) ... The muscles of the former types of animals are for short explosive runs, whereas the pheasons and hares have to be able to run longer and have higher endurance. That is also the reason why Guinea Fowls have darker meat that your average chicken, because Guinea Fowls (originally) were wild ...


    As for soccer ... the average Premier League midfield player runs about 6-7 miles pr. 90 minutes ... - However this number pending on what type of game, can drastically change ... Ex. In most play off games in the Champions League this average has been recorded as high as 12 miles for a Midfielder, while the median being about 7-8 miles ...


    In terms of pure endurance ... there is probably only a VERY few NFL players, who will be able to stand up to a pro soccer player from either Spain, Germany, Britain, - not because NFL players are NOT physical fit, but because that is not how their muscles are being trained ...
    "The Only Thing nescessary for The Triumph of Evil, is for Good Men to do Nothing ..."
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  8. #8
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    Re: Fitness levels in the NFL

    I thought all this was pretty well understood.
    No athlete can top NFL players in burst speed/strength.
    However, I bet I could destroy any NFL player on the Darby Queen.
    They'd smash me during the first handful of obstacles, then would gas and I'd rout 'em.


    They train sport specific.

  9. #9
    Mark_The_Viking is offline Asst. Coach
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    Re: Fitness levels in the NFL

    Some good answers thanks, it wasn't a put down on NFL just trying to understand how they train. They seem to spend a lot of time building muscle power for explosion. more muscle means quicker use of energy.

    As you say its a horses for courses situation. There are some big guys in rugby and they do spend a lot of time in cardio activity on the field however they don't get a lot of time
    to recover as tey are almost always involved in the play.

    Totally agree with the soccer situation though and the major reason I don't follow or watch it unless its an England game is because of the pathetic players and their ability to fall over at the slightest touch. Their insistance on trying to get other players booked and sent off and the fact that a lot of premiership footballers flat out cheat. (bring on replays in soccer).

    I showed some friends of mine a clip from the Saints game last season I think it was Erin Henderson got levellled during a return on special teams and just got up and started running after the play again, I asked them how many soccer players would have done that? Got a few raised eyebrows and a little bit of respect for my sport
    Purple till i die

  10. #10
    Vikestand's Avatar
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    Re: Fitness levels in the NFL

    "Mr" wrote:
    Keep in mind that NFL players train for short bursts, and value size, explosiveness, agility, and strength far more than cardiovascular endurance.

    The average NFL player is approximately 6'3" 245 pounds. If you were to exclude lineman I'd say that number would go down to about 6'1" 220. And excluding linemen, that's a LEAN 220. Plus the weight and resistance of pads.

    The cardiovascular demand at of a 6'1" 220 pound man is huge compared to that of an average pro soccer player at 5'10" 160. Who have virtually no value on size or strength. But a high value on cardiovascular endurance. They do place a high value on speed, but it's a different kind of speed.

    A lot of Europeans and American Foot Fairies talk about football players like they're slow and out of shape. But I'd love to see even 6'1"(who is only 160) Christiano Ronaldo try to make it through an NFL practice.

    Soccer is mostly standing around anyway, 18 guys on the field 2-3 chasing the ball, the rest standing around waiting. I once read that some soccer players run 4 miles per game. 4 miles in 90 minutes, that's only 2-3 miles per hour, a slow jog. An NFL offense runs about 70 plays per game. So 70 bursts at full speed(much faster than 3 mph, probably like 20mph for most of the DBs and WRs) and it's not just running. Blocking, pushing another big, amazing athlete for 5-7 seconds, or beating the press then running a route is by no means easy and has a very heavy anaerobic demand as well, something soccer lacks entirely.

    You have to be at full speed, every single play.

    The NFL has the best athletes in the world on display. We have 350 pound men running 5 second 40 yard dashes. Do you know how fast that is? Hint: faster than 90% on here.

    I think this video speaks volumes to the NFL athlete compared to the average guy:
    YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

    You are absolutely correct, I ran a 40 at 4.98 in High School weighing 235, can't imagine running that fast at 300lbs! Thats fucking scary....


    By Pack93z

    "Success is the ability to go from one failure to the other with no loss of enthusiasm"-Sir Winston Churchill

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