April 30, 2019

Train like an Alouette

The term off-season should be abolished. Let’s call it prep-season considering players workout just as much, if not more, than from May to November.

While some guys head to their hometowns, others choose to stay in Montreal to benefit from the exhaustive plans prepared by team trainers Andrew Lissade and Vincent Roof-Racine.

Americans like Will Stanback, Ernest Jackson and Zac Parker as well as locals (or adoptive locals) such as Jean-Samuel Blanc, John Bowman and Boris Bede show up every morning at Pro Gym or Stade Hébert.


What are the workouts like? A perfect (for an athlete, of course!) mix of lifting, plyometrics and running with a focus on cuts.

“Regardless of their position, the guys have to be fast, strong and explosive on the field. By improving their running shape and offering them the proper dose of lifting, we’re able to get players like John Bowman who, at 250 lbs, can move swiftly and quickly to get to quarterbacks,” explain Lissade and Roof-Racine.

Some days, the group will focus on a single element. For example, a Monday run or a Tuesday lift. The most demanding trainings, such as the one below, combine e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

15-minute Dynamic Warm-up


Lateral jumps – both legs
Lateral jumps with band – one leg

RUN (6 reps of each drill)

Coordination and agility drills with 6-inch hurdles: lateral skips with high knees
W drill back and front pedal
5-yard shuffle and short sprint
Shuffle and 5-yard sprint

How they are able to optimize a rather small space is actually amazing and it forces athletes to truly burst out of their stance. Two words: strong start. Working on such short distances – we’re talking 5, 10 or 15 yards at a time – allows the guys to work on key football skills: explosiveness and the ability to recover quickly after short maximal efforts. Throughout all six reps, speed must remain the same.
Legs tired, lungs on fire, the guys move on to lifting. During the first three weeks of March, they would work at 90-100% of their maximum strength. In April, the trainers lighten the load and increase the reps.


Warm-up (two reps of the following set):

Deadlift 2 x 10
Bent over row 2 x 10
Cleans 2 x 10
Push press 2 x 10
Split squats 2 x 10 chaque jambe

During the warm, everybody, regardless of size, uses the same weight. For example, this week, all players are lifting 115 lbs. “We change the load every week. That way, the guys never get used to it. They never get too comfortable,” says Roof-Racine.

Now, let’s get down to business. Three superset circuits. No breaks after individual exercises, only between sets.

A Trap Bar squat 4 x 8
A Rotation câble 4 x 8
A Decline BB press 4 x 8
A Tricep dips 4 x 8


B KB goblet side lunges 4 x 10 each leg
B Box jump on one leg 4 x 8 each leg
B Hanging leg raises 4 x 15


C DB shoulder shrug 4 x 12
C Close grip chin-ups 4 x max
C Opposite elbow to knee hold 4 x 3 x 10 sec each side


Think you could keep us with them? Stay tuned as you could get a chance to win a workout with your Alouettes via our social media next week!