Background Optimizing training adaptations is of the utmost importance for the strength and conditioning professional. The pre-season of any sport is particularly important to ensure preparedness of the athletes. In DIII Collegiate Football pre-season consists of approximately 3 weeks. The abbreviated time of the pre-season increases the importance of optimizing training using safe methods, including alternative loading strategies. The purpose of the current study was to determine if a 3-week variable resistance training VRT during an undulating (UL) resistance training program elicited a greater increase in back squat strength compared to traditional loading methods. Methods and Materials Forty DIII Football players (age range: 18-25 years) participated in a 3-week UL bilateral back squat (BBS) program. Both groups performed the BBS 3 times per week with a minimum of 24 hours between exercise sessions. The control group (C) (n=20) (height =182.3+5.1 cm, body mass: pre = 102.8 ±17.7 kg, post = 104.1 ±17.8 kg) used traditional loading methods (i.e., Olympic weights only) and the experimental group (E) (n=20) (height = 180.7 ±8.0 cm, body mass: pre = 100.3 ±27.1 kg, post = 101.0 ±27.7 kg) used traditional loading methods and variable resistance (i.e., resistance bands). The variable resistance accounted for approximately 20% of the total resistance while 80% of the resistance was supplied by traditional loading methods. Results When all data was pooled, subjects had a significant increase (p 0.05) between the C and E groups for muscular strength, muscular power, or vertical jump. Volume-loads were not significantly (p 0.05) different between groups for any of the weeks (C: Week 1 = 858.1 + 101.3, Week 2 = 588.6 + 69.2, Week 3 = 332.5 + 38.9, Total = 1179.2 + 209.4 vs. E: Week 1 = 835.2 + 179.7, Week 2 = 572.2 + 123.4, Week 3 = 323.5 + 68.8, Total = 1730.9 + 371.8) or for the pre-season as a whole. Conclusion A traditional UL resistance training program and training program with variable resistance are both effective methods at increasing back squat strength during 3 weeks of training. Resistance band variable resistance (VR) does not enhance training effects within a 3-week mesocycle greater than traditional resistance.