Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
September 10, 2018
Well, this week marks the summation of a long offseason and a lot of finger wagging and trash talk. The NFL is back into swing, catching up with the college season and creating a general gathering place for people to get drunk in parking lots and eat exorbitant amounts of food in the process. Of course the media wants you to focus on the politics and such, but most people don’t seem to really care what select groups of loud, whiny minorities believe. NIKE’s well planned marketing campaign has caused a 31% jump in its stock price, and do you think they really care about a few yokels burning their shoes (while still wearing them of course). Apple had one of its worst years from a public relations standpoint and they still became the first trillion dollar company. Goes to show that maybe we should not regard the stock market as some kind of indicator for company success considering nothing seems to stop these companies, even when they admit they are doing bad things or intentionally stirring the pot. Anyway, before I prattle on, the main reason why so many people like football I guess is because of the bloody and gladiatorial nature the sport, which of course intoxicates men and women for various reasons. Over the years, I have kind of lost some of my zeal for the game, mainly because I don’t have a television anymore and plus both of my teams are in a rut. But occasionally I will catch a game and wonder why every team has to have 30 different uniforms on their budget. I mean, clothing 100 players with four different uniforms cannot be cheap.
EVOLUTION IN FOOTBALL: TOMMIE LEE JONES WAS 6-0, 225 POUNDS AT HIS BIGGEST WHEN HE PLAYED OFFENSIVE LINE IN THE 60s, WHICH WAS FAIRLY AVERAGE THEN. NEW YORK GIANTS TACKLE NATE SOLDER IS 6-8, 320 POUNDS AND IS NOW CONSIDERED "AVERAGE" IN REGARDS TO WEIGHT AND THREE INCHES TALLER THAN THE AVERAGE HEIGHT. HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED!
All snarkiness aside, one thing you can agree on is the fact you have to be pretty darn strong to make it at the highest levels of the game. While some people will point out there is a literal HGH problem in the game, you still have to put in the work to be able to do some of the stuff these people do. Muscles don’t grow by themselves, so injecting drugs aren’t gonna make you vascular. You still have to work your way up to that 400-pound bench press so while drugs certainly aid in that, the misconception is that you don’t have to do anything. Anyway, I have pointed out before some of the various regimens that some players utilize to stay fit in the game. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson loves doing lunges, which makes him the rare individual on the planet that loves doing that stuff. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has helped bring TRX Suspension Training to the forefront after using the exercises to help fix his busted shoulder. Houston Texans star J.J. Watt has popularized Plyometric Training and ultimately led us to many videos of losers trying to jump to the top of stacked 45-pound Rogue plates. Heck, even Chip Kelley’s failed experiment of the college hurry-up offense in Philadelphia had some legs because he introduced a strict “clean food” eating regimen for his players. The only reason it failed is because you need a lot more than 45 available bodies to make a hurry-up system work. If anything, the NFL—in spite of its stodginess and its lack of desire to embrace any kind of change—has been oddly liberal when it comes to the preparation of players off the field. If anything, it has been the prognosticator of physical fitness success in pro sports. When Marv Marinovich (former team trainer for the Oakland/LA Raiders) proved in the late 70s and early 80s that teams can get better and stronger with explosive training as opposed to just straight weight lifting, the dye had been cast. Years later, players started trying ballet, yoga and other outsider thoughts of training to improve balance and strength. Now this was helped by the fact player salaries went up in the 80s and thus created the slow rise in the game becoming faster and more violent of course, but the fact many of these players simply trained during the offseason as opposed to work regular jobs made for a bigger and faster sport. Nutrition became controlled as the average size of an offensive lineman in the 1980s (255 pounds!) pales in comparison to today’s average offensive lineman (315 pounds!). One of my favorite actors in Tommie Lee Jones was actually a guard in college when he played in college in the 1960s, and he was not much bigger than he is today. Ultimately, how does one become strong enough to play this game? It seems most days just about anyone can bench 300 pounds and if you are former Cowboys guard Larry Allen, bench 225 pounds 43 times in a row.
Obviously the preparation is going to be long and arduous. Weight training will be required and a hell of a lot of it. I mean, you pretty much have to start in middle school these days considering the stakes are higher than ever. How much weight training you do really depends on the position. If you are a linebacker or lineman, upper body and core strength will be needed exponentially. While you can still do explosive training, the ability to push, rotate and maintain leverage are the biggest things needed. This means a lotto squats….and I do mean a lot of squats. Flexibility and balance are necessary at all positions, but these positions are dependent on these. If you play a skill position like defensive back or receiver, speed and maneuverability is necessary in these positions. This means you would have to focus on footwork drills, while also really putting an onus on your foot flexibility and paying attention to shoe technology to better compliment your feet. Without these requirements, you can run into various usage injuries like turf toe, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinitis and even cause shin splints. Now these type of injuries can happen to any position, but the fact you need to move at top speed for 60 plays a game, avoid being tackled and turn on a dime can cause these usage injuries. And then of course, being a quarterback has its own challenges, for you have to have good footwork, a respectable amount of athleticism, the capability to take hits (unless you are New England quarterback Tom Brady, which is a flag and new rule change if you touch him) and also have a strong arm and shoulder.
It’s pretty tough to find the proper balance when you’re body has to be fine tuned in so many areas. And then of course, you got the other problem….size. When you look at the history of the sport, size freaking matters. Now there is not much insight into how some of these guys get big, but most of them just seem to engage in a lot of bulking (whether it be clean or dirty) to reach the gargantuan levels. There has been a slight shift though as the linebacker position has gotten slightly smaller while the safety position has gotten bigger due to the higher amount of passing in the game, but most positions are pretty much staying the same due to the fact you still need to have leverage against gigantic people. If anything, football is an interesting microcosm of fitness in itself, for there are so many directions you can go with what you need to do that you not only have position specific training, you have training that everyone on the team can engage in (unless you are a kicker). So if you are interested in getting big like a football player….just prepare for a long process. You have to remember most of those guys have been doing it for years and so when some average douche puts these guys down for making too much money, just show them images of some of the horrific injuries that happen in football and also show them the kind of training these guys have to do on a regular basis. Just saying. And also, Go Giants!
About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
Meet the Author
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
Steve shares his journey once a week here on our blog. We hope that you find a spark of inspiration from reading his blog.
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The author of this blog is an independent writer and is not an associate of Parsons Training, LLC. Any information or images displayed are done so solely at the authors discretion. Any dietary or fitness commentary is exclusively that of the author and in no way dictated by the company.