225 x X

Here’s Real-Life Lesson #23,234 that I’ve taught football players for 40 years and college law enforcement students for two decades – the more you lift 225, the more you’re alive. Dual meaning. It keeps you alive and makes you feel alive.

Our 40-year research shows a direct relationship between the number of reps at 225 lb. squats + 225 lb. bench press and field performance. How many times you can squat 225 and bench press 225 is manifested: (i) on the scoreboard, and (ii) in player career development. We have never had a player achieve our 225 goals in squat and bench press and then: (i) fail to reach the next-level, and (ii) suffer major injury.

225 x X = what level you reach – #NextLevel or #LowerLevel.

X is the variable. You control it.

The quest for high reps at 225 in both squats and bench press has been the heart and soul of our football program for 40 years. The quest to squat and bench press 225 is the number-one element of our player-safety commitment. Nothing turns around a dead program faster than commitment to 225 lifting. Nothing makes your team survive in Football Poverty better than 225 lifting. Nothing builds armor better in mind, body, and soul than high reps at 225 for squats and bench press. Nothing serves and protects self and team more than high reps at 225 in bench press and squats. Nothing proves strength, stamina and endurance better than high reps at 225 for bench press and squats. There is no better evidence and indicator of future field performance than bench press and squat reps at 225. But, benching and squatting 225 for high reps doesn’t just happen. Nothing just happens – not randomly, not accidentally, not overnight. The quest for 225 lifting is a 4-year program, regardless of the level – high school or post-secondary. Nothing bonds a team better than its unified quest for 225 reps. Nothing builds more character, work ethic, and commitment to team and sport. The quest is the important factor, not just the outcome.

The quest for 225 reps starts at the top – with mindset and leadership. The number-one factor in workout success is straightening out love-hate relationships with lifting. I have taught students and athletes for decades that if you hate to lift, you hate your team. If you hate to lift, you hate the sport. If you hate to lift, you will never lift any souls on your team. Change your love-hate relationships, change the outcome.

Mental strength and physical strength are directly connected. They are not mutually exclusive. Strength in mind, body, and soul are connected. You will never be mentally strong if you are physically weak and vice-versa. Coaching in Football Poverty is a matter of life-and-death, physically and psychologically. Strength is a team’s greatest natural resource. When you coach, you have to make the most of it. Strength will out-muscle and out-last any opponent at any level, regardless of the natural talent gap. ‘Natural talent’ is the most misused term in sports and professions. Natural talent alone is never enough. Every human is born with God-given gifts and talents. Nature loads the bar but nurture lifts it. Raw material alone isn’t enough. What’s built matters.

The essential element of career survival in coaching is continuing education. Never stop learning. Coaching football is a Sacred Profession. It’s a calling. My gym, X Fitness, is committed to help coaches and players by sponsoring Blunt Talk Podcast. Here is the link to today’s podcast, episode 1,015:

#MUCHLOVE #soulofalifter

Blessings & all good things.


Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Nat’l Coaching Certification Program)

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