Aug 23, 2017
Next Generation
Joey Batson and Adam Smotherman

In the Clemson University football program, we are fortunate that Head Coach Dabo Swinney believes in the work we do and trusts us to get the job done. In return, our number-one priority is to shape the team according to his vision for it. Coach Swinney’s in-season vision demands consistency, discipline, and hard work, so that’s what our strength and conditioning regimen consists of. Our focus during this time is balancing heavy lifting with injury reduction and recovery to guarantee players can stand up to the rigors of practices and games. This allows our athletes to meet Coach Swinney’s standards and compete at their best.

Our varsity athletes complete two total-body strength sessions per week during the season — one on Mondays and one on Wednesdays. Due to their varied schedules, we offer five or six training opportunities per day. Mondays are typically back squat, bench press, and power clean days with high-volume auxiliary lifts. Wednesdays usually focus on the back squat, neutral-grip bench press, and trap bar dead lift, also with high-volume auxiliaries. (For more on this training, see “Gaining Ground” posted previously.)

However, the redshirts and scout team members for Clemson University football follow a different in-season strength and conditioning protocol than our varsity athletes. Instead of lifting twice a week with the rest of the squad, they take part in Power Hour, which occurs every afternoon before practice. Head Coach Dabo Swinney calls Power Hour “the foundation-builder of our program,” and many Tigers who have gone on to NFL careers got their start in it.

In-season, our redshirts and scout team players lift in Power Hour five days per week. We spend this time teaching them every aspect of our strength and conditioning regimen, including lifting techniques, spotting protocols, recovery modalities, and how to organize and clean equipment.

Along with the intense physical time in the weightroom, we educate our Power Hour athletes on the details of our training. Each week, we have a coach-led nutrition education day, exercise science day, and flexibility education day. During these sessions, we cover everything from what a muscle cell looks like and why it is important to understand what’s going on in the body to methods for caloric replenishment post-training. In addition, we bring in various program leaders (coaches, support staff, etc.) to address the group and provide nuggets of knowledge based on their vast experiences in the coaching profession, NFL, and various business fields.

Joey Batson, MEd, MSCC, USAW, is the Director of Strength and Conditioning for the Clemson University football team. He was named the 1996 NSCA Strength Professional of the Year in the Southern Conference and FootballScoop's Strength Coach of the Year in 2009. Adam Smotherman, MS, SCCC, CSCS, USAW, SSN, is an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Clemson University football team.

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