Harvey Newstead’s weekly fitness schedule for referees

Harvey Newstead’s weekly fitness schedule for referees is something that will help you as well. Recently I interviewed Harvey Newstead, a Youth Referee from Norfolk in England. He displayed his passion and determination to hopefully one day reach the top. He’ll share his experience in some posts on my blog. “In this blog I will be talking about fitness in refereeing and how important it is to help add something to every referee’s game.”

Firstly, I feel it is very important to try and keep as fit as we can. And it is highly important that referees show dedication to their fitness if they one day want to reach the top which I am trying to do. Fitness can be boring however there are ways of making it more interesting and if you have a passion for something then that should help give you the drive to help you reach your goal.

Harvey Newstead's weekly fitness schedule for referees

Weekly fitness schedule for referees

How my week will look usually if I have a game Saturday and Sunday:


My Monday will usually be a rest day or an active recovery session of around 30 minutes of low intensity cycling/swimming/running/x-training. It will also include stretches of the major muscle groups as well.


Tuesday for me consists of High-Intensity training


Speed and agility training


High Intensity Training or a session at the Norfolk FA referee fitness group led by a senior official.


Rest day or active recovery and strength training- 10min on bike/rower/x-trainer. Strength/stability/injury prevention exercises. 30mins of low-intensity cycling/running/swimming.

Both Saturday and Sunday

Match day- followed by injury prevention stretches at home.

NB: in the upcoming weeks you’ll find training excercises on my blog

Morning training sessions

In the mornings before school and at the weekend, I wake up early to do a small sessions which includes: Push ups, crunches, squats, tricep dips, burpees, plank, calf raises. These increase day to day with rest days in between doing these morning sessions.
Some weeks will also change due to matches mid week and also how hard a session can be. So my weeks are very adaptable. Some weeks I will also do referee fitness tests to see how well my fitness training is doing and if my training is improving myself.

Following a fitness plan

For some people following a weekly plan works, for some it does not. I base my weeks on sessions from Lee Betts a FIFA assistant referee and also sessions I have done on a Thursday night. If following a plan or you are stuck for ideas for what to do a simple run is a good start or there are many helpful websites dedicated to offer sessions and ideas for your training.

Norfolk FA fitness training

Every Thursday, Norfolk FA referee’s are invited to Easton College for a referee fitness sessions which runs for about 1hour with a meal provided for after the session. The session is ran by a senior official on the night or our Referee Development Officer David Robinson. Recently we have had Level 3 Assistant Referee Jon Block take sessions and also Level 4 Referee Murray Grant run sessions as well.
These sessions usually consist of a warm up and cool down which you would regularly see with the main session normally a High Intensity training session with continuous running or speed endurance training.
In my opinion these training sessions are great not only from a fitness point of view but also because of everyone training together and the social aspect is brilliant.

Tracking your fitness

For me tracking my fitness is great during the week and also on a match day. I use a Polar V800 with a strap on chest, Heart Rate monitor. This is a multi sport watch which was reccomended by Lee. However, there are many cheaper alternatives suited to the type of fitness you want to do. Overall for me after using the Polar V800 for just under a month, it has been really easy to use and has given me all the relevant aspects of my training that I need to know. It is also great to use the website app to analyse my fitness performances in more detail.

Tips from Lee Betts: “Enjoy your training”

Here is a small piece from Lee Betts giving some tips on training. “The training schedule you should have should incorporate all elements of training, such as strengths, speed, HI and rest”, he says. “And nicely spread them out during the week. Obviously this can be changed depending on games and other commitments but its a useful guide.”

“Sessions can be adapted on a treadmill also, especially this time of year for general fitness and conditioning. An example I like is a HI run for 1/2/3/3/2/1/1/2/3 minutes. Each interval will be followed by a 1 min recovery walk or slow jog. Another is simply a 1 min HI run followed by 1 min walk or slow jog x10.”

Enjoy your training with the new watch. And remember, from someone who knows the frustrations of being out injured, don’t overdo it. Take the time for decent rest!

So overall fitness is a key part to refereeing especially if you want to take it to the top. Lastly I hope all you reading found this useful and I hope you all enjoy your training!

Want to read more on the importance of physical training? Here’s an interview with Dutch pro referees’ fitness coach.

Share your experiences

How often do you train and what does your weekly schedule looks like? Please share your weekly fitness schedule for referees below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.