Barwis workout?

Submitted by mgoblue7 on December 31st, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Serious question, does anyone know if Barwis has ever published anything about his workouts, and if so where could I find this. I am curious what his workouts consist of. I know I will probably get some crazy responses but I am really interested in what his workouts consist of.


NOLA Wolverine

December 31st, 2009 at 12:03 PM ^

Yes he does, the department sells manuals detailing quite a bit of their strength and conditioning, flexibility, and agility programs. I'm not sure how complete it is, because I'm not with the department, but I do own one of the manuals they have at their coaching conventions. This is day one.

Power Clean
Bench Press
Hammer Low Row
Leg Curl
Fat Bar Curls
Calf Lifts

All but the last 3 are performed at multiple sets with pretty high reps. The bottom 3 are just different departments with their own fun. I didn't observe the Michigan football team do this, but this is what the manual says (general).


December 31st, 2009 at 12:11 PM ^

And after you finish the power clean, bench press, squats, hammer low rows, leg curls, fat bar curls, calf lifts, plyometrics, functional/balance routines, and flexibility exercises, Barwis tells you "congratulations, today was the closest thing you're going to get to an off day."

See you tomorrow.


December 31st, 2009 at 12:33 PM ^

i have a hard time believing michigan is squatting, benching, and cleaning all in the same day. That is absurd if it is what michigan does. I'm fairly sure that "workout manual" is just a ploy to make money off saps who think there is "one barwis workout". Workouts in a strength program can change almost every 2 weeks, constantly changing workouts to challenge athletes. there is not one workout the team does year round. anything you buy without actually being in a year round program is a waste of money


December 31st, 2009 at 2:09 PM ^

High school football i assume? the mental focus required for squats is enough for one day to mentally tax a player for one day. training(and resting) the CNS is as important as the muscles themselves. along with bench and cleans, you are not getting enough out of your workout. My guess is there were a bunch of reverse curls and 3/4 squats at your place, as opposed to parallel or below squats and actual triple extension on ur cleans.

not to mention leg press is a completely pointless exercise for athletes because that kind of movement is never imitated in football(unless you are kicking someone off you after they buried you). It's as pointless to say you have a 1000 lb leg press as you have a 500 lb squat where you don't get to parallel.

The Incline after bench will not allow your chest/front shoulders to recover from your past workout, so again, you werent seeing gains you could have if you had an actual program.


December 31st, 2009 at 2:32 PM ^

I was a D-3 school in Michigan. Newer research has found that your muscles do not need an extended amount of time to recover from a work out. the idea that you need 48 hours to recover is becoming old school. The big issue with leg press is not that it isn't a necessary movement, it is that you do not have to control the weight as much as with squats. Leg press can also let you go beyond parrell without the risk of injury associated with getting stuck in the bottom of a heavy squat.


December 31st, 2009 at 4:39 PM ^

I've read the opposite. An athlete does need recovery time and shouldn't work the same muscles excessively in consecutive days. Furthermore, athletes who work one muscle group 4 times a week or 2 times a week don't show any significant differences in strength and muscle size; for example, doing squats 3 or 4 times a week is basically a bunch of wasted effort.


January 1st, 2010 at 8:03 PM ^

Really depends on the person. These are young males who are still producing high amounts of test. Therefore the recovery time is much less then say someone in their 30's or 40's. An older male who is a pro also has a shorter recovery period but they use an AAS to imitate the test level of someone in their early 20's to recover. If someone in thier 30's actually tried to do everybody part every 48 hours they would never make gains. Not to mention who has the time? I do every bodypart every 10 days (natural) and make more gains than anyone in my gym who is there every 3 or 4 days doing the same old routine with the same old weight and never getting bigger or stronger.

As far a squats go, if you are able to squat twice in the same week you are not putting in max effort nor useing correct form. If you are you must be on some major AAS or IGF.


December 31st, 2009 at 2:46 PM ^

You lost all credit when you stated that

"leg press is a completely pointless exercise for athletes because that type of movement is never imitated in football"

That is a completely pointless argument. The action may not be imitated but the muscles used in that particular exercise are often used. I suppose when a player is driving a pile to gain extra yards that is all calf muscles at work. Or when a player jumps over a pile at the goal line they use their hamstrings only? Study up a little on strength training and kinesiology before you make an argument on the muscles in the human body and their functions relative to movement and change in direction.

NOLA Wolverine

December 31st, 2009 at 3:39 PM ^

Yes, because Squats would be an adequate work out for one day. Stop bringing this isometric training garbage some personal trainer put you through, this is big time college football, not "Oh I'll try and lose 10 pounds!" work outs at the Y. All of that crap is nice, but these guys have actuall strength to build, do you think they get to recharge their "CNS" during the season? Because I know you can't. The concept your grasping at is pendulum training, where the percentages rise to a peak and then reset every 3-4 weeks, which is used in his training schedules. When is the squat "replicated," or the bench press replicated on the field? By your logic the clean is the most useless exersize of all time. What does your "program" consist of? Bench, Squat, vacation?


December 31st, 2009 at 6:19 PM ^

Cleans? cleans are extremely important because that exact type of movement, triple extension, is used in jumping, running, and applying force in a very short time, which is essential in all types of sports. .

squat? when you drive someone you use your legs to drive them back...which is why the "low" man wins..he has better leverage. hence one of the reasons squats need to be done at or below parallel. not to mention the strength gained in the core isometrically by maintaining the upper body rigid which the lower body moves.

Bench press? obviously when you block someone you drive them back.

and yes, your CNS is essential for lifting correctly. at some point, the mind gets tired and cannot maintain strict form that would be needed to execute squats and cleans AND bench they don't have enough time to recharge during the season. that is why the in season workouts are completely different from off season. you are comparing two different types of training, in season and off season. The purpose of in season is to maintain strength. off season is to gain.

and if you don't think isometric training is important, along with flexibility, core training, etc. you are foolish.

obviously im not detailing an entire program saying squats would be good for one day. But certain Tier 1 exercises, that require a lot of mental effort(cleans, squat, bench), are done first, and then other auxillary lifts are done after, such as core work, mid/high rows, W raises, arms work, trap work, neck work, RDLs, GHR, are not as taxing on the athlete and therefore are done after. but doing the "big 3" as some call them, in the same day, is not a good program.

NOLA Wolverine

December 31st, 2009 at 6:55 PM ^

Yes I understand that the squat and bench press are good exercises, I'll dumb my statement down a tad then. Here we go, saying that the leg press is not replicated on the field is not a valid argument for not doing it, because none of the lifts listed are really replicated. I also didn't talk about in-season or off-season training, I said the strain put on you during the season doesn't allow you to rest your "CNS" (Hey look, I can use cool acronyms too! It's like I have a kinesiology degree because I talk like that!). Are you suggesting that without a proper diet you can still succeed?! Or are we going to not list every given that everyone already understands? I also don't care about a days routine you have, that was more of a rhetorical question.


December 31st, 2009 at 2:05 PM ^

I have both books. They are both great books, but at the same time, they strip some of the BARWIS mystique away (if the season didn't already).

They are great workouts. And if you follow them, you'll see strength, agility, flexibility, and conditioning gains. At the same time though, you'll see the same things in other modern workout manuals. Everything BARWIS does is as modern as what is out there, but he's not necessarily a pioneer or anything.

NOLA Wolverine

December 31st, 2009 at 2:09 PM ^

He didn't find any voodoo magic to use for workouts! Whhhhhatt? People gave too much credit to his "routines" like you kind of said, the real value in any coach, be it head coach or strength coach, is their ability to motivate players. Barwis seems to be pretty good at it.


December 31st, 2009 at 2:43 PM ^

the difference is how this is done...I bought a manual and transfered it to excel sheets for my high school players.

Everything is based on a percentage of your max. So the first thing you need to do is figure out your 1-rep max in all of those exercises.

There are basicly 85 individual workouts going on every day...there are 4 different workout plans "Backs Hypertrophy", "Backs Max Strength", "Line Hypertrophy" and "Line Max Strength". Each player may stay in one of those types of workouts for a different amount of time based on their needs.

As an example the first week Backs Hypertrophy you are doing 56% of your 1 rep max...usually for sets of 10 or 12 with limited breaks 45 seconds to a minute. The pace can be brutal when you do things like...

That means Upright Row, Clean and Jerk, Push Press, Push Press and Bent Over do this for a set of 8...which if you have lifted weights you can imagine how brutal it truely is.

After you have completed the weight portion of the day you go in to prehab, core, and balance and do this three times a week. Each of those other catagories is an addtional mini workout.

It is the combination of all of these things that make Barwis's Workouts so intense and effective. Everyone lifts weights, he puts a little more science behind how to create better football players.

Oh and just so you know after 1 year of these workouts the team I coach went 10-1 our first loss coming in the state playoffs. Not bad for a 6-4 team the year before. It did make a difference.


December 31st, 2009 at 3:51 PM ^

I made small changes. I limited the overall number of exercises of prehab, core and functional. They do one exercise from each of those small groups and the exercises are on rotation. I also run two sessions (morning and evening). The school has a weight lifting class and they are able to do the weight portion in that class.


December 31st, 2009 at 5:04 PM ^

I like Barwis a lot. He has a broad depth and breadth of knowledge. But most all top S&C coaches know what he knows.

Its all out there in journals and publications for anyone to read. Every S&C coach has their own methods and beliefs. Their is no perfect way to train college football players.


January 1st, 2010 at 12:42 AM ^

what Barwis' total workout plan is. I have been begging my friend who works at Schembechler to get some inside info, but so far no dice.

In terms of the argument regarding what muscle groups are worked and when, I think both sides are right and wrong. That is, unless you know what kind of reps, sets, and weight they are using, its hard to know whether or not it is right or wrong. For instance, you would not want to do huge weight, low rep, lots of sets, on bench, cleans, squats in one day. That would absolutely kill you. But you certainly could do low weight, high rep, low sets, of all those on the same day, i.e. a circuit program.

I imagine the football team mixes up their training program fairly often. But in general I bet in the off-season (when most of the strength training is done), they do bench, squats, cleans, dead lifts, arms, all on different days. If you are trying to build pure strength, most research has shown, that higher weight, lower reps, high sets, is the best way to go. And in order to be effective with that you need a lot of time in between working the same muscle group to recover. However, when you are building endurance or just toning up, you can do low weight, high reps and do the same muscle just about every day.

I also kind of agree with the post regarding leg presses. They certainly help, but are in no means as worthwhile as squats. Really you want to focus on compound lifts. That is, lifts that require you to use more than one specific muscle. Bicep curls for instance are pretty pointless, but power cleans are absolutely necessary.

No matter what the football team does, I am sure that it is better than anything I do, or anything I know. I just wish my friend would do a little spying for me. I did incorporate those Barwis push-ups into my workouts and immediately saw an uptick in both bench and shoulder press. Hooray for posting drunk on New Years!