Fitness NFL

How Elite NFL Quarterbacks Train During the Offseason

After the NFL draft each year football fans wander aimlessly around while counting down the minutes until training camp begins. Sometimes, we even consider watching baseball!

During this sparse period in the NFL news cycle, the football players themselves are busier than ever preparing for the upcoming season.

Here’s how your favorite elite quarterbacks are prepping themselves for 16+ hard hitting games.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady planking at the gym. (Photo: Tom Brady/Facebook)

Tom Brady planking at the gym with his son. (Photo: Tom Brady/Facebook)

You may have heard that Tom Brady ran a sluggish 5.28 at his NFL combine in the 40-yard dash. That doesn’t mean that Brady thinks running is useless. He may not be a mobile quarterback like Colin Kaepernick, but he still takes running seriously during his off-season training program.

Brady told that during the off-season he does six days per week of cardio, usually for 40-60 minutes per day.

He says, “I do more running than in-season. In the off-season I also switch my weight lifting over to a routine more oriented towards strength and my sessions are usually about 25% longer since my body isn’t beat up from playing.”

During the in-season Brady says “I typically lift weights four days per week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I take off Wednesday, Saturday and obviously we play most Sundays. I also do 40-60 minutes of cardio six days per week in order to improve my conditioning.”

 Aaron Rodgers

Photo: Moe Epsilon / Wikipedia

Aaron Rodgers uses yoga in the offseason to stay flexible. (Photo: Moe Epsilon / Wikipedia)

During the off-season Aaron Rodgers works with Angelo Poli to rehab and prepare his body for the next year.

Poli works with Rodgers to get his alignment in order telling Men’s Health, a more aligned athlete isn’t just less prone to injury, he’s also more efficient – can through farther, run faster and jump higher – without having to hit the weight rack any harder.

Rodgers told that he has added yoga to his offseason routine, “a lot of flexibility’s helping with those injuries as you get older.”

Poli says of Rodgers, “his strength is already off the chats.” He estimates that Rodgers can bench press over 300 pounds. “What’s going to help him more: adding another 10 pounds to that or making him more skillful, mobile and aligned?”

The Packer’s QB says, “I used to bench-press, squat and power-clean in high school and college. Now we sub in body-weight squats and exercises that won’t over stress my shoulders.”

Cardio for Rodgers includes:

  • Boxing drills
  • 400-meter sprints
  • Brief, high intensity intervals on the stationary bike, elliptical trainer and Concept2 rowing machines

Unlike Brady, Rodgers admits that he hates running, so he doesn’t do it. Instead he’ll wrap up an offseason workout session by pushing a 3,000 pound car around the parking lot, or doing walking lunges and farmer’s walks while carrying 65-pound dumbbells.

Drew Brees

Drew Brees works out with trainer Todd Durkin. (Photo: Drew Brees / Facebook)

Drew Brees works out with trainer Todd Durkin. (Photo: Drew Brees / Facebook)

Todd Durkin began training Drew Brees back in 2004.

In an article he penned for Men’s Health, Durkin writes that he designed a program for the Saint’s QB that “consists of four circuits of three exercises each.

For each circuit do 1 set of each exercise in secession, resting 20 to 30 seconds between sets. Then rest for 1 to 2 minutes. That’s one round. Do a total of three rounds and then move on to the next circuit.”

Circuit 1:

Circuit 2:

Circuit 3:

Circuit 4:

After you complete the four circuits you can add on sprint intervals to burn more calories. Dirken recommends alternating between 30 second sprints and 30 second walks.

Not for the Faint of Heart

Training for an elite NFL quarterback is not for the faint of heart. It requires intensity, dedication and attention to recovery.

The last thing a quarterback needs is to get injured before the season even begins.

About the author


Kristina writes about NFL and NBA athletes. She founded The Sports Loop and can be reached on Twitter at @kristinarunning. She's a marathoner and hopes to one day be an ultramarathoner.