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High School Football Q & A

Recently I received this comment full of questions from a young player:

“Hello Mr. Romanowski,

I was wondering if you could help me improve my workout and answer a few questions. Firstly, I try to get to the gym at least 3 times a week but was wondering if you could help me or give me some guidance. Mainly I have been wondering if I move up to 6 times a week would there be any problems in my body being able to cope or should I take it slowly. I was also wondering if it’s fine to work out when you still feel a bit tight or sore from the previous day’s work out?

I was also wondering about whenever you say power is more important than the number of reps, normally I try to do the highest weight I can complete 3 sets of 12 reps at, does that sound like a decent way to train? I was also wondering about people like James Casey who completed 28 reps of 100kg in the drafts so was wondering if I was training wrong (less reps) or whether this is not a training method and purely to try and impress coaches and in which case what is the best way to train if 30 reps of 100kg is a goal?

Just for clarification I’m a 16 year old guy. I was wondering what you mean when you say stretch out after a run? Do you mean stretch out your hamstrings ect? And I was also wandering if you knew any good stretches for your calves?  Mine seem to pull quite a bit on long runs or sprints over 40m.

Finally I was just wandering if you have any idea of what sort of weight I should be able to bench/ curl/ squat etc if I wanted to be at NFL standard in a few years time and what I should aim for over the next few years? I’m 85kg for reference.

I would like to finish saying that you have been a great inspiration to me and most of the guys I hang about with and I have found a lot of your tips so far invaluable.

Thanks a lot,



Dear Andi,

Thanks for your questions.  It’s great to hear from aspiring athletes like yourself! 

Let me try to answer a few of your questions about training here.  I strongly suggest “periodized training,” especially in the weight room.  That means that you follow a schedule of rigorous training, followed by a period of rest so your body can actually repair from your hard work in the gym.  I suggest a period of circuit weights (low weight/high reps with minimal recovery), hypertrophy (lower reps/moderate weights with full recovery), and power (low reps/high weight, full recovery).   

I recommend continuing your pattern of lifting 3 days per week, alternating your workouts between weight training and another activity each day (6 days/week).  I did my weight training 6 days a week, with three of those being explosive days, and three of those being hypertrophy.  But that takes full recovery and access to massage and therapists.  You are young and still in high school, so you have some limitations in your recovery.  It is ok to train if you are sore from your previous day’s workout, but understand that you are truly making your strength gains in your recovery from your hard training.  If you cannot recover from a workout, then you are not making any gains by doing it.  With that said, you need to understand your body and your energy levels.  If you have trouble sleeping at night, are overly fatigued on a regular basis, or excessively cranky, you may need to add another recovery day to your training schedule.  Please be sure to maximize your recovery, and decrease soreness, injury, and over-training by getting in a good recovery meal or shake immediately after your workout!  This should include at least 200 hundred calories of high-glycemic carbohydrates and protein!  And don’t forget about sleep either, at least 7 hours but closer to 9 is the best.

I’m also glad you asked about stretching.  Maximizing your flexibility can help you maximize your athleticism and reduce injuries.  Always warm up your muscles with a bit of activity before you stretch.  To stretch your calves, press your hands against a wall, walk your feet 5-6 feet away from the wall and gently try to push your heels towards the ground.  If you need more stretch, walk your feet further away from the wall.  Try to stretch every muscle in your body on a regular basis, but if you are crunched for time (as I know most high-school athletes are) then stretch the major muscles you are using, such as your quads, ham strings, calves, glutes, and shoulders/arms. 

In regards to how much weight you should be benching/curling/squatting, it not necessarily about the weight.  The weight means squat, no pun intended.  However, you will have bench press in your combine test.  They test how many times you can bench 225 lbs.  Another thing, squatting I think is an absolute necessity for power in your legs, speed, and explosive start, especially for your 40m.  Curls are more an exercise in muscle balance.  You want everything to be strong, your legs, shoulders, chest, and core.  You want your entire body to be strong. 

I hope that helps.  All the best to you Andi, I hope you reach your goals!



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8 Responses to “High School Football Q & A”

  1. Andi said:

    Hello again Mr Romanowski,

    Thanks again for your advice and reply, i really appreciate it, it means alot to me.

    One thing that has really changed the way i work out is keeping my workout more consistant and over the last month or two ive noticed quite a big improvement in my weights which seemed to have previously “peeked”, simply by leaving time between the workouts, rather than going erraticly thoughout the week.

    I was also wandering if you could answer another question for me, this time about nutrition. Do you find Creatine worth taking? And would it be worth investing into aswell as Protein?

    Thanks Alot, Andi

    ps. Its seems almost infathomable that someone who i have looked up to and respected since i was young, has Superbowl rings and has his own Nutrition company has taken the time to respond to my questions regarding training and nutrition. I just want to thank you for taking the time to respond tho these question, it really means alot. Andi

  2. AlexSorent said:

    Well, these are interesting thoughts. I think they are true. However, everything is
    relative and ambiguous to my mind.

  3. Ryan said:

    Mr. Romo,
    I recently completed your book. I rarely read books but really enjoyed this one and appreciated your truthfulness within the text. Happy belated Birthday. I am from Denver Colorado and am currently in Law Enforcement. I attended many clearance sales at the old EAS factory in Golden that was for law enforcement only so I too have experienced much of their products. I’m thinking about trying some of yours but need to finish up what I’m using now. Anyway, I wanted to ask you sir, in your book you stated that taking vitamin C immediately after a workout is a big “no, no” How come? I figured since it was an antioxidant it would help with an immediate detoxification ie: lactic acid. Also, you seem to be a good guy and I wouldn’t be down on yourself for some of the things you’ve done. The pro football field sounds like a war zone and you treated it as such. I’m sure there’s plenty of smack talking going on out there to provoke you. Some people are there to collect a pay check while others such as yourself are looking and have left a mark within the NFL. God forgives you brother ;). Ok, well please respond in regards to the vitamin C question. Thanks. Ryan R.

  4. Paul Waring said:

    Hey there Romo!

    You are one of the best football players ever in the history of the NFL! It’s an honor to be talking with you.

    I have two questions. In my senior year of high school, I suffered a career-ending injury, as a defensive end came around the left tackle and chop-blocked me, which in turn gave me a torn ACL. Now, I have rehabilitated enough to where I can move around on my two feet and I can run a bit, but I really want to try out for a quarterback position for my college team. My first question to you is “Are there any exercises to build up my knee strength so I may be able to try out for the college team without getting hurt and suffering another career-ending injury?”

    Now, for the second question…When I played for the team in high school, I never had the arm strength to effectively stretch the field, so the coach, a former protege of Brian Billick, ended up changing the offense from a vertical passing attack to a west coast style offense. The offense that the coach at my college runs is a vertical passing game, just like my high school coach. The second question I have for you is “Are there any exercises that you can suggest to build up my arm strength so I may be able to adapt to a vertical passing attack?”

    Thanks so much for reading this, Romo, and I hope to hear from you in the future.

    Paul Waring

  5. Jon Volp said:

    Dear Romo,

    I pride myself on being an intense individual on the field and on the mat. When I read your book I was inspired by your drive and determination. As soon as I finished your book I knew I had to contact you to see if I could get some training advice.

    First of all I would like to note that I am not a good natural athlete. The lord has not blessed me with a great 40 time or the ability to lift boulders. But He has given me the gift of hard work and I intend to continue to exploit it the best I can.

    I am a 16 year old high school althete playing football and wrestling. I have struggled to get bigger without much sucess, even with the help of EAS protein. I recently have heard more about creatine and thought about trying it out. The thing is I wrestle which means that I don’t want to gain any body weight that isn’t muscle. I go to 7% body fat during the season and I want to get bigger and stronger but not necessarily heavier. I have heard that creatine fills your muscles with water and makes them flabby which would be completely ineffective for me. Should I start taking creatine as a supplement? (also given the fact that I am a high school student and cannot afford the best creatine on the market, more like the stuff you buy at target.)

    I also have questions about my weight lifting. I attempt to do my 3 day cycle which usually goes along these lines. day 1 biceps back forearms day 2 legs day 3 chest triceps shoulders. I try to do this during the week without off days (when I can, often I cannot make lifting) and during the weekend I do pushups crunches pullups running ect. I do not train a body part if it is sore and given I am going into the summer months I should rarely ever miss a lifting day. Do you think this is effective? I appreciate your feedback as I do not want to ever waste a workout and not get full results.

  6. Noah said:

    Mr. Romanowski,

  7. Noah said:

    Mr. Romanowski

    I was just wondering if you could describe how and why you taped you hands for games.

  8. Zak Romaonwski said:

    Dear Bill,

    im a linebacker converted to d line at clovis high trying to keep up the Romanowski name but im having a problem with concussions ive seen 5 doctors and none would clear me we had to get our friend thats a plastic surgon to sign my release papers i have a xenith helmate that helps with my headaches but its just not enough any advise or tips you have for a fellow Romanowski?

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