The Coaches' Office: S&C

Today, let's talk conditioning ...

UNC strength coach Lou Hernandez.

Lou Hernandez is in his second season as North Carolina’s head football strength and conditioning coach.

The Tar Heels were one of the best conditioned teams in the ACC in 2012, outscoring their opponents 226-104 in the second half, including a 99-41 advantage in the fourth quarter.

Prior to coming to Chapel Hill, Hernandez spent seven years on the Illinois staff as the head strength coach under football coach Ron Zook.

When he arrived in Champaign in 2005, there was only one player with a 300-pound or better power clean. Five years later, the team averaged close to 35 a year. Only one player in 2005 could bench over 405 and by 2010 that number was in double figures.

How does a football team train in season and out?

Lou Hernandez shares his insights.

LOU HERNANDEZ: Conditioning for the first game, you want your conditioning to be done through the summer. That way once they move into camp they can start to get into football specific shape, which is another level of conditioning.

Summer works on your performance and your base and gives you an opportunity to move into camp where you can now move into position specific training; the specificity of your position, your helmet, your shoulder pads and those types of things.

That’s what you are looking at moving into the first game.

Then you are starting to evaluate your athletes when it comes to the amount of movement or volume that they might be engaged in during camp. You have to add and sometimes you have to subtract to make sure your guys are starting to get their legs back so they can be healed up and ready to go for the first game.

As you are moving through the season you always want to set your plan in your calendar on how it is that you go about your progression.

You do have to be aware that there might be some modifications made based on either travel, overtime or the amount of plays, but you always want to try to have a day that you are continuing to work on your overall conditioning.

Usually, most people try to do a little build up, hit their peak set of numbers or reps and then eventually taper towards the end and then reevaluate once you start getting into bowl season.

It’s a plan that is systematic and has to fit the particular style of program or goals that your head coach has. It takes some planning before you engage in what type of conditioning plan your specific team might need.

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