Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Carl M. Maresh; Jeff S. Volek

Field of Study



Master of Science

Open Access

Campus Access


Resistance training (RT) is an integral part of a NCAA Division I Football performance program. In the sport of football, among others, there are several components that a strength and conditioning coach must be aware. These include body mass, size, strength, power, speed, conditioning, and injury prevention, among others. The purpose of this study was to investigate if the RT component of the performance program could be prioritized for specific results using a nonlinear training model and grouping athletes by eligibility year. NCAA Division I football student-athletes were put into three separate groups based on playing year. The training of Group 1 (n=20, age: 18.95y±0.76, height: 186.63cm±7.21, body mass: 97.66kg±18.17, playing year: 1.05y±0.22) prioritized hypertrophy based RT to gain body mass. The training of Group 2 (n=20, age: 20.05y±1.05, height: 189.42cm±5.49, body mass: 106.99kg±13.53, playing year: 2.35y±0.75) prioritized strength based RT to gain strength. The training of Group 3 (n=20, age: 21.05y±1.10, height: 186.56cm±6.73, body mass: 109.8kg±19.96, playing year: 4.4y±0.50) prioritized power based RT to gain power. All subjects participated in a 10-week, 4 days per week offseason summer performance. Performance tests were evaluated in the first week of March (Spring) and the first week of August (Fall). The test measures included body mass (kg), 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) bench press maximum (kg), 1RM back squat maximum (kg), 1RM power clean maximum (kg), and maximum counter movement vertical jump (CMVJ) height with arm swing (cm). The primary findings of this investigation were as follows, Group 1 saw significant increases in bench press maximum, back squat maximum, and power clean maximum (p≤0.05). Group 2 saw significant increases in bench press maximum, back squat maximum, and power clean maximum (p≤0.05). Group 3 saw a significant increase in power clean maximum (p≤0.05). Group 1’s significant increases were expected because of their low training age compared to the other groups. Group 1 did not see significant increases in body mass, with 7 out of 20 subjects being non-responders to that prioritization. Group 2 and 3’s significant increases were expected because that was the prioritization of their RT programs. Unexpectedly, no group saw significant increases in maximum CMVJ height. With so many factors that go into a football performance program and the many variables that exist, it seems difficult to prioritize one RT goal over another without neglecting any others over a 10 week training program. Prioritization on strength (without neglecting other areas) appears to have the best overall affect on the RT portion of an offseason football performance program. A nonlinear periodization model easily allows prioritization of one training goal without disregarding others. This investigation showed that designing a performance program with a nonlinear model with a prioritization on strength had the most desirable results.

Major Advisor

William J. Kraemer