If you spent Super Bowl Sunday kicked backed in the recliner feasting on wings and other game-day snacks, you might have a little regret about your overindulgence. After all, did you see that halftime performance? How in the world can two people be so fit and energetic past their forties? You might have tried to rationalize your own state of health against some of the formidable linebackers, but in all honesty, they don’t just eat without reason. Their food consumption sustains some pretty intense playtime, not to mention their training schedule. Football players require an intense workout routine to keep their body’s in shape and able to handle the demands on the gridiron.
While there have been several studies directed at the overall weight trends among college and NFL linebackers, the common assumption is that the bigger a player is, the more effective the tackle or the defense on the field. Unlike those who struggle with obesity and need the help of a dieting protocol like the HCG diet, football players are able to burn through thousands of calories during their workout sessions and practice drills. These activities levels keep much of the weight from turning into belly fat and straight to muscle. Though there are exceptions to the rule, many players spend a lot of time on their workout routines to maintain physical health and prepare them for the game. In order to avoid unwanted weight loss, many players also follow special diets to help their energy levels and fuel their activities.
The Routines of Winners
Rather than leave you sitting on your comfortable couch and jealous of the lifestyle and activity levels of your favorite sports and entertainment stars, here is an inside look at some of the workout routines and approaches for five legendary football players.
Jerry Rice, Wide Receiver
As a member of three Super Bowl champion teams and a 13-time selection for the Pro Bowl, Jerry Rice is often heralded as the best wide receiver in NFL history. His intensity on the field could be attributed to the disciplined workout regimen that he kept up both during the season and off-season. Rice followed a six-day-a-week strategy that started with morning runs where he sprinted up hills. His afternoons were spent in weight training routines that were so tough his teammates would get sick from the intensity.
C. J. Spiller, Running Back
At just 27, C.J. spiller is considered to be one of the most fit players in the NFL because he has both speed and jumping ability that can’t be touched by his peers. His workouts consist of running hills, pulling sleds, and practicing mixed martial arts. He also doesn’t take time off because the weather outside is a little chilly or uncomfortable. He spends in his off-season training in California where he does his workouts and running on the sand dunes. He even gets up early to run on the beach whenever he decides to take a little vacation.
Ron Woodson, Safety and Cornerback
For 17 years, Woodson dominated the NFL as a defensive player. He holds the record for the most interceptions returned for touchdowns, and he was a Super Bowl champ from his time with the Baltimore Ravens. He advocated for a workout foundation regardless of the football season schedule, using jogging around the community, using the treadmill, or biking every day to keep his basic routine in place. He would then add high-core training as the season approached. Woodson admitted to a weakness for junk food, and but relief on discipline and grueling workouts to keep his weight in check.
Patrick Willis, Linebacker
Towering on the field at 6’1”, Willis was a machine to be feared on the field. Though he weighed in around 240, he had incredible speed and agility for someone so big. It was reported that he could squat approximately 500 pounds, adding impressive strength to his resume. When he won Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2007, Willis credited his unique homegrown workout for his great shape. Since he didn’t have access to a gym when he was growing up, he got creative with his workout routine. He included situps, pushups, and plyometric exercises to keep toned and develop muscle.
Antonia Cromartie, Cornerback
Though Cromartie is dedicated to a year-round workout regimen, his biggest advice for weight management and staying in shape is managing nutritional needs. His diet is filled with low-portion but high-protein meals that are filled with lean meats, vegetables, and whole grains. He tries to avoid red meats altogether, as well as the Oreos and McDonald’s that he claims were a staple part of his pre-fit diet.
Being a healthier version of yourself doesn’t mean you need to look and perform like a linebacker or tight end, but you can give their workout routines some attention. At the very least, establish consistency in your activity or exercising venture, and watch what you eat.
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